The Swedish-speaking Finns

In Finland there are about 290 000 persons with Swedish as their native language, making up some 5.5 % of the entire population. This linguistic group is normally called Swedish-speaking Finns. Most Swedish-speaking Finns live along the coast in *Nyland (Southern Finland), Egentliga Finland (Finland Proper) and Österbotten (Ostrobothnia). Approximately 4 % of the Swedish-speaking Finns live in municipalities with Finnish as the only official language. One may choose to register either as Finnish- or Swedish-speaking, but it is not possible to register as both. A municipality is bilingual when there is a minority of at least 8 % or alternatively at least 3 000 persons speaking either Finnish or Swedish as their native language.