Espoo population exceeds 250 000

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2011-08-15 10:00

According to advance information from the Population Register Centre, the population of Espoo at the end of July was 250 511 residents. The city passed the 250 000 inhabitant mark in the first half of July.

During the first half of the year, the population of Espoo increased more rapidly than in the previous year. Population growth during the first half-year was approximately 1 900 people, or almost 400 more than during the same period the year before.

The city received a migration gain from both within Finland as well as abroad. Just over half of the population growth, however, is due to the fact that more residents were born than died. Between January and June, the migration gain from municipalities was 288 people and the immigration gain from abroad was 545 people.

Espoo has experienced an exceptionally rapid population growth since the 1950s, as the number of inhabitants has increased tenfold within just below 50 years. In 1950, the population of Espoo was 22 900 and in 2010 it was already 244 300. Most of the new residents have been families with children.

“We would not have coped with the challenge without active parents, teachers, educators, volunteers, coaches and, above all, a sense of community. For instance, we build 1–2 schools and 3–4 day care centres in Espoo each year. Additionally, existing facilities are often extended during their renovation,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

“The new challenge will be the intensive growth of the ageing population. We can all think about what to expect in the next few years when all those who have moved to Espoo will gradually grow old. We as a city must boldly take on this challenge,” says Mäkelä. According to the most recent population forecast, the number of people aged 65 and over will increase by almost 15 500 by the year 2021 and the number of people aged 75 and over by more than 7 000 inhabitants.

“Espoo is the second largest city in Finland, with five district centres, each the size of an average Finnish town. Espoo is big enough to be able to organise its services in a practical way. We must be capable of setting an example of how to improve service processes and profitability in a resident-friendly manner,” Mäkelä points out.

Among other things, the population growth has an impact on the number of seats in the municipal council. In the upcoming municipal elections, the number of councillors will increase by eight, totalling 75 councillors. The size of the council will remain the same for a while after that, since according to the Local Government Act, 75 councillors represent a municipality with a population of 250 001 – 400 000 people.

Espoo will also continue to grow. During the forecast period 2011–2020, the population is estimated to increase by 34 000 residents in total. The largest growth areas will be Suur-Leppävaara by more than 7 000 as well as Vanha-Espoo and Suur-Matinkylä by more than 6 000 residents. In terms of the smaller areas, Suurpelto will grow the most by more than 4 000 residents, in addition to Saunaniemi and Uusmäki by more than 2 400 residents each. The foreign-language population will increase by almost 15 000 residents during the forecast period. The Swedish-speaking population will remain almost the same throughout the period.

Facts about Espoo

  • Population (31.7.2011): 250 511
  • Language distribution (1.1.2011): Finnish-speaking 82.4 %, Swedish-speaking 8.2 %, other languages 9.4 %
  • Neighbouring cities: Helsinki, Vantaa, Nurmijärvi, Vihti, Kirkkonummi, Kauniainen (located in the middle of Espoo).
  • Area 528 km2
  • Land area 312 km2
  • Waterways 216 km2
  • 165 islands, 95 lakes, 58 km of seashore
  • The Espoo income tax rate is 17.75 in 2011.
  • City loans €867/resident in 2010
  • Margin for the fiscal year €738/resident in 2010
  • Vehicle density 452 private vehicles/1 000 residents (does not include leasing vehicles) 

Further information

Population figures of the Population Register Centre