Demo­grap­hics, ser­vices and eco­no­mic adap­ta­tion

The development of Joensuu can be seen in immigration and changes in the age structure.

Joensuu’s stra­te­gic goal is to keep up with popu­la­tion growth and to move towards beco­ming a city of 80,000 inha­bi­tants by 2025. In Sep­tem­ber last year, we achie­ved the miles­to­ne of 78,000 Joen­suu resi­dents. By 2030, our goal is to beco­me the 10th lar­gest city in Fin­land accor­ding to the cur­rent munici­pal struc­tu­re. We are cur­rent­ly in 12th place. Kouvola’s popu­la­tion is only 900 resi­dents and Pori’s 5,000 resi­dents ahead of us.

Source: Sta­tis­tics Cent­re, demo­grap­hics ser­vice

Joen­suu is growing thanks to immi­gra­tion

At the moment, our city is only growing due to immi­gra­tion, as the natu­ral popu­la­tion chan­ge and the domes­tic migra­tion balance are nega­ti­ve. As in the rest of the count­ry, birth rates in Joen­suu have been very low. In recent years, domes­tic net migra­tion has ori­gi­na­ted most­ly from insi­de North Kare­lia and Savon­lin­na, and to a les­ser extent from Kai­nuu and South Kare­lia. Most of the remo­val vans have left for the capi­tal region, Tam­pe­re and Kuo­pio. As a uni­ver­si­ty town, Joensuu’s domes­tic net migra­tion gain is hea­vi­ly focused on young people aged 15–24. In cont­rast, the net migra­tion loss is main­ly caused by 25–34-year-olds moving away.

Source: Sta­tis­tics Cent­re, demo­grap­hics ser­vice

The net immi­gra­tion to Joen­suu in the last 12 months has been a record +992 people. Our popu­la­tion is rapid­ly beco­ming more inter­na­tio­nal due to both immi­gra­tion for stu­dy and work and refu­gees. Soon some 300 Ukrai­nians who fled the Rus­sian inva­sion will have beco­me resi­dents of Joen­suu and cus­to­mers of the city’s ser­vices. The Fin­nish-spea­king wor­king-age popu­la­tion is dec­rea­sing and the foreign-spea­king popu­la­tion is growing.

Chan­ges in the city’s age struc­tu­re

In addi­tion to inter­na­tio­na­li­sa­tion, Joensuu’s deve­lop­ment is being direc­ted by the chan­ges in its age struc­tu­re. The pro­por­tion of tho­se aged under 15 and 15–64 have dec­rea­sed. In cont­rast, the pro­por­tion of people aged 65 and over has inc­rea­sed sharply. This deve­lop­ment will con­ti­nue in the near futu­re. The ave­ra­ge age of the resi­dents of Joen­suu has risen but, thanks to stu­dents, Joen­suu is still a com­pa­ra­ti­ve­ly young city in the munici­pal field of Fin­land.

Source: Sta­tis­tics Cent­re, demo­grap­hics ser­vice
Source: Sta­tis­tics Cent­re, demo­grap­hics ser­vice

Strong urba­ni­sa­tion

A clear trend towards urba­ni­sa­tion can be seen in the inter­nal area review of Joen­suu. Since 1990, the pro­por­tion of people living in urban areas has inc­rea­sed by almost ten percen­ta­ge points. At the same time, the pro­por­tion of people living in rural areas has dec­rea­sed. The­re has been a strong trend towards inter­nal “urban deve­lop­ment” in Joen­suu, and the resi­dents are inc­rea­singly concent­ra­ted at a dis­tance of no more than about 20 minu­tes from the city cent­re. Inter­na­tio­na­li­sa­tion acce­le­ra­tes concent­ra­tion. Inter­na­tio­nal migrants are moving to urban areas, inc­rea­sing the need for ser­vice pro­duc­tion in the­se areas.

Demo­grap­hics and eco­no­mic adap­ta­tion

Chan­ges in the demo­grap­hic struc­tu­re and geo­grap­hical loca­tion of resi­dents are key con­si­de­ra­tions in the city’s ser­vice pro­duc­tion, invest­ments and eco­no­mic adap­ta­tion. Fai­lu­re to deve­lop a long-term ser­vice and loca­tion stra­te­gy would be irres­pon­sible munici­pal mana­ge­ment and misuse of tax funds.

Deci­sions will cer­tain­ly not be easy. Howe­ver, they are essen­tial and can­not be left undeci­ded. It is the res­pon­si­bi­li­ty of the officials to pre­pa­re mat­ters for deci­sion-making using the best avai­lable infor­ma­tion and fore­sight. The aim is to secu­re Joensuu’s ser­vices, eco­no­mic sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty and con­di­tions for vita­li­ty.

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