Vesa Koivukangas

Emigration from Finland

Finland has traditionally been a country of emigration. Over one million finnish people has moved from Finland since 1900, half of that before World War II. Without any emigration there would be 6-7 million inhabitants in Finland. The most important wave of emigration started from the 1860's and went on to the 1930's, when emigrants headed mainly for North America. The next wave of dimension was the emigration to Sweden which started in the 1950's and diminished in the 1970's.

Finding relatives in America has become some kind of a hobby for many. For people living in America, Europe is the major continent where their ancestors left. Ancestors from Finland can be found, even if the number of immigrants from Finland was only about 0.5 % of all immigrants to America. Usually people from the large emigration areas in Finland tried to settle together in the same areas in the United States. Most of the emigrants were men.


The table below show the approximate size of Finnish emigration during the period 1860-1996:

 Picture below is taken from some book. It's finnish, and as you can see, it presents Finland map. Dark areas are the places, where has left the most emigrants.