Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. The Helsinki metropolitan area generates approximately one third of Finland's GDP. GDP per capita is roughly 1.5 times the national average, making Helsinki one of the wealthiest capitals in Europe. Finland is in Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia. Cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes. Mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish (which is the mother tongue of 6% of the population). There are Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities, while English and German are widely spoken. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Finland is a highly industrialized, free-market economy with a per capita output equal to that of other western economies such as France, Germany, Sweden or the United Kingdom. The largest sector of the economy is services at 65.7 percent, followed by manufacturing and refining at 31.4 percent. The security risk for expatriates in Finland is low. Risk is mainly driving in winter. The population in Helsinki is 1.3 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.9% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Helsinki as at 1 April 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Helsinki, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Helsinki is for example 16.7% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, 11.4% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and 74.8% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Helsinki is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Helsinki for an expat from Zurich is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Helsinki) premium of 10% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Helsinki? Register subscribe to your home location and Helsinki and run your personalised reports.