24.4.2017

Statistics of the month: Proportion of foreign language speakers has grown particularly in vocational education and training

The proportion of foreign language speakers in education has grown particularly in vocational education and training in the last decade.

In 2015, the proportion of foreign-language speakers was six percent of the whole population in Finland. The biggest proportion, 11 per cent, was in the age group 25–39. The biggest language groups were Russian, Estonian and Somali.

In 2015, some six per cent of the pupils in basic education spoke a foreign language as their mother tongue. In general upper secondary education the corresponding figure was five per cent and eight per cent in vocational upper secondary education and training (VET). The increase has been most prominent in VET, where the proportion went up from 2.7 per cent in 2000 to 8.2 per cent in 2015.


The biggest language groups in general upper secondary education were Russian, Somali, Estonian, English and Arabic. In VET the biggest language groups were Russian, Estonian, Somali, Persian and Arabic.

In 2015, the proportion of foreign-language speakers was six percent of the whole population in Finland. The biggest language groups were Russian, Estonian and Somali.