There are over 150 different languages spoken in Finland, however the official languages used are Finnish and Swedish. The Finnish language belongs to the Finnic languages, particularly the family of Uralic languages. It is closely related to languages such as Nenets, which is a Samoyedic language, and Hungarian, an Ugric language. Other autochthonous languages of Finland with a long history in the country include Finnish Romani, Karelian, Finnish sign language and Finland-Swedish sign language.

Approximately 90% of Finland’s population speaks Finnish, or 4,868,751 residents, with the most significant percentage of the remaining population speaking Swedish. Aside from Finnish and Swedish, other commonly spoken languages in Finland include the Sami languages, Romani, and Karelian. A large portion of the population can speak and understand English as well.

Swedish is spoken by nearly 290,747 people in Finland, which is equivalent to approximately 5.31% of the total population of the country. About 92.4% of Swedish speakers in Finland hail from the autonomous province of Åland. Until the late 19th century, Finland’s language of administration was Swedish. Along with Finnish, they are compulsory languages in schools in Finland. Vaasa, Porvoo, Helsinki and Espoo are the four largest Swedish-speaking communities in the country.

Other minority languages in Finland include Russian, which is actually Finland’s third most spoken language with nearly 70,000 speakers, accounting for 1.27% of the total population. Despite the fact that the Russian language does not have an official status in the country, historically, Russian used to serve as the third co-official language in Finland between the years of 1900 and 1917, along with the Finnish and Swedish languages.

There are also the Finnish sign language and other minor languages such as Somali (spoken by 0.31% of the population), Arabic (spoken by 0.27% of the population), English (spoken by 0.31% of the population), Estonian (spoken by 0.84% of the population), Kurdish (spoken by 0.20% of the population), Chinese (spoken by 0.18% of the population), Albanian (spoken by 0.16% of the population), Persian (spoken by 0.15% of the population), Thai (spoken by 0.15% of the population),  Vietnamese (spoken by 0.14% of the population), Turkish (spoken by 0.12% of the population), Spanish (spoken by 0.12% of the population), and German (spoken by 0.11% of the population). Other languages and Sami make up 1.34% and 0.04% of the total population, respectively.


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