Which countries use Finnish as their official language?

Which countries use Finnish as their official language?

Are you curious to know which countries have Finnish as their official language? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the countries where Finnish holds the status of an official language. From Finland, where it is the primary language, to lesser-known regions, we will provide you with an informative overview of where Finnish is spoken and recognized as an official language. So, let’s dive in and discover the countries that embrace Finnish as an integral part of their cultural identity.

Countries where Finnish is the official language


Finland is the primary country where Finnish is spoken as the official language. Located in Northern Europe, Finland is known for its stunning landscapes, beautiful lakes, and vibrant cities. Finnish is the mother tongue of the majority of the population in Finland, making it the official language of the country. The Finnish language plays a significant role in the country’s cultural heritage and is widely used in education, government, media, and daily life.


While Swedish is the dominant language in Sweden, Finnish is also recognized as an official minority language in certain regions. The northernmost parts of Sweden, such as Norrbotten and Västerbotten, have a significant Finnish-speaking population. These regions have a long history of Finnish presence and influence, leading to the recognition of Finnish as an official language alongside Swedish. This recognition ensures that Finnish-speaking residents have access to public services and education in their native language.


In Norway, Finnish is recognized as a minority language in the Finnmark County. Finnmark is located in the northernmost part of Norway, bordering Finland and Russia. The recognition of Finnish as an official minority language in Finnmark is a result of historical ties and migration between Finland and Norway. Although Norwegian is the predominant language in Norway, the recognition of Finnish acknowledges the cultural diversity present in the region and provides language rights to the Finnish-speaking population.

These three countries, Finland, Sweden, and Norway, demonstrate the significance of the Finnish language within their respective territories. While Finnish is the official language of Finland, it also holds official minority language status in certain regions of Sweden and Norway, ensuring the language rights of the Finnish-speaking populations in these areas.

Countries where Finnish is a recognized minority language


Russia is one of the countries where Finnish is recognized as a minority language. It is primarily spoken in the Republic of Karelia, which is located in the northwestern part of Russia. The Karelian region has historical ties to Finland, and Finnish has been spoken by the local population for centuries. In addition to Karelia, Finnish is also spoken by small Finnish communities scattered across other parts of Russia, particularly in areas bordering Finland. Despite being a minority language, Finnish holds an important cultural significance in these regions and is actively preserved and promoted by local communities.


Another country where Finnish is recognized as a minority language is Estonia. Estonia shares a border with Finland and has historical connections with Finnish-speaking communities. The Estonian constitution grants linguistic and cultural rights to national minorities, including the Finnish-speaking population. In certain regions of Estonia, particularly in the coastal areas bordering Finland, Finnish is spoken by a small but significant number of people. Finnish-language education and cultural organizations are supported by the Estonian government to ensure the preservation and promotion of the Finnish language and culture within the country.

In conclusion, while Finnish is not widely spoken outside of Finland, it is recognized as a minority language in certain regions of Russia and Estonia. These countries acknowledge the cultural and linguistic diversity within their borders and actively support the Finnish-speaking communities in preserving their language and heritage.

Countries with Finnish-speaking communities

United States

The United States is home to a significant Finnish-speaking community. Finnish immigrants began arriving in the United States in the late 19th century, primarily settling in areas such as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These Finnish communities have maintained their language and culture, with Finnish being spoken in households, community events, and Finnish-American organizations. The Finnish language has also been preserved through Finnish-language schools and cultural festivals celebrated by Finnish-Americans across the country.


Canada is another country with a notable Finnish-speaking community. Finnish immigrants first arrived in Canada in the late 19th century, particularly in areas like Thunder Bay in Ontario and the Thunder Bay District, as well as in parts of British Columbia. Finnish language and cultural heritage have been passed down through generations, with Finnish-speaking communities engaging in activities such as Finnish-language schools, Finnish choirs, and cultural events. Finnish-Canadians have contributed to the multicultural fabric of Canada while preserving their Finnish linguistic and cultural traditions.


While not as large as in the United States or Canada, Australia also has Finnish-speaking communities. Finnish immigrants have been a part of Australia’s multicultural landscape, with some arriving during the 20th century. Finnish language and culture have been nurtured through community organizations, social gatherings, and Finnish-language classes. Finnish-Australians maintain connections with their Finnish heritage and language, contributing to the diversity of languages spoken in the country.

These countries provide examples of Finnish-speaking communities outside of Finland, where the Finnish language has continued to thrive and play a significant role in the lives of Finnish immigrants and their descendants.

In conclusion, Finnish is spoken as an official language in only one country, which is Finland. Despite its limited reach, the Finnish language holds great significance to the people of Finland, serving as a symbol of their national identity and cultural heritage. While there may be Finnish-speaking communities in other countries, they do not officially recognize Finnish as their national language. Understanding the distribution and usage of languages across different countries is crucial in appreciating the linguistic diversity and cultural richness that exists globally.

Share This Post: