Helsinki in a nutshell

Helsinki is the centre of a rapidly growing large metropolitan city area. Helsinki, together with the municipalities of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen) and eight neighbouring municipalities, forms an area with a population of over 1.5 million residents, which is referred to as the Helsinki Region. As of 31 December 2019 Helsinki had a population of 653,835. As of the end of 2019 the population density was 3,059 residents per land area square kilometre. The city of Helsinki’s surface area is 715.48 km2, of which 213.75 km2 (29.9%) is land, 0.86 km² is inland waters, and 500.87 km² sea waters. The majority of the city’s green areas are forest (45,9 km²), parks (9.25 km²) and landscape fields or meadows (10,7 km²). There were a total of 445,000 jobs in Helsinki in 2019. Helsinki accounts for 17 per cent of Finland’s jobs. The business demographics of the city are similar to other European capitals – strongly service-oriented: the service sector provides approximately 90 per cent of all jobs.

From an environmental perspective the City of Helsinki is amongst the most significant actors. In Helsinki, greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy consumption and other consumption account for approximately seven per cent of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant cleans the wastewater produced by approximately 800,000 people. Additionally, the City is Finland’s largest employer, due to which the City’s operations have significant environmental impacts because of the volume of office work, for example.

The Helsinki Group comprises the following communities:

  • The City as a parent community (4 divisions, City Executive Office, Audit Department and 5 municipal enterprises)
  • subsidiary communities, i.e. organisation which are owned directly by the City (83 subsidiary organisations and 12 foundations)
  • associated communities, i.e. companies, foundations and joint municipal authorities in which the City has a 20–50 per cent ownership stake (53 associated companies and 6 joint municipal authorities)

At the end of 2019 the City employed 37 459 people.