Name of the language

(Sweden) Finnish; the language is officially Finnish, but regularly referred to as Sweden Finnish. The group is officially referred to as the Sweden Finnish minority.

Total number of speakers

Unknown, since no statistical data exist.

Estimations of all speakers = 150,000 – 250,000; a majority of the fluent speakers are adults.

Regulated by

Language Act (2009) and National minority and minority language act (2010, updated in 2018); Education Act (2010, 2015).

Geographical area

Norrbotten County; Stockholm region; municipalities round Lake Mälaren, west of Stockholm; in and around the Gothenburg region; and, in urban areas along the Gulf of Bothnia.

Language family

Finnic branch of the Finno-Ugric languages

Status of the language

National minority language since 2000.

Status at the University

Special commission to teach the language and to provide teacher subject education; education in (in Finnish) and about (initially in Swedish) the language, literature, culture and didactics, from basic level to Ph.D. level.

Fields of use

In official use in the administrative area of Finnish (64 municipalities 2018, and County Boards and County Councils of the regions in which these municipalities are situated). Right to use Finnish in contact with specific authorities. Within the administrative area municipalities the use of Finnish in public and official situations is the most extensive ever in Sweden. Special provisions for pre-school in the administrative area of Finnish. Right to mother tongue education in primary school, but this today comprises of on average 1 hr/week. Bilingual education/classes in a handful of municipalities, and in five independent bilingual primary schools (4 in the Stockholm region), which also have their own pre-schools connected to them. Own public service radio channel, daily news on public tv, plus some additional documentaries and children’s programmes. Educational radio/tv is commissioned to create educational programs for schools, in cooperation with the speakers. Own weekly newspaper, other nische magazines, independent book printing cooperative company. Finnish-language theatre.

Member(s) of the NPLD

Associate member: Stockholms Universitet | Stockholm University

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