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 2021 Helsinki had a population of 658,457. As of the end of 2021 the population density was 3,072.7 residents per land area square kilometre. The city of Helsinki’s surface area is 715.48 km2, of which 214.29 km2 (29.95%) is land, 0.9 km2 is inland waters, and 500.29 km2 sea waters. The majority of the city’s green areas are forest (45.7 km2), parks (9.3 km2) and landscape fields or meadows (10.9 km2). There were a total of 453,600 jobs in Helsinki in 2021. Helsinki accounts for 18 per cent of Finland’s jobs. 

From an environmental impact's perspective, the City of Helsinki is one of the most significant actors at the Finnish scale. Helsinki's total greenhouse gas emissions are approximately five percent of Finland's total greenhouse gas emissions. The Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant cleans the wastewater produced by approximately 890,000 people. Additionally, as Finland’s largest employer, the City’s operations have significant environmental impacts due to the volume of office work, for example. 

The Helsinki Group comprises the following entities: 

  • The City as a parent entity (4 divisions, City Executive Office, Audit Department and 5 municipal enterprises).
  • Subsidiary entities, i.e. organisation which are owned directly by the City (90 subsidiary organisations and 12 foundations).
  • Associated entities, i.e. companies, foundations and joint municipal authorities in which the City has a 20–50 per cent ownership stake (35 associated companies and 6 joint municipal authorities).

At the end of 2021, the City employed 39,255 people.