Although it is home to 577,928 residents, making Helsinki Finland’s most populous city, it is in fact the second most sparsely populated city in Europe. It is also not a particularly racially diverse city: only about 10 per cent of the population is foreign-born. However, Helsinki has a cosmopolitan outlook and although Finnish is spoken by nearly 90 per cent of the population with Swedish as the second major language, English is spoken by many. In fact, it is not uncommon to meet Finns who speak up to four languages proficiently.
Generating nearly a third of Finland’s GDP, Helsinki is an affluent city, whose GDP per capita is one of the highest of any city in the world.