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  Main page: Politics & Society: Finland – A Land of Emigrants   

Finland – A Land of Emigrants

Written for Virtual Finland by Professor Olavi Koivukangas,
Director of the Institute of Migration, Turku

"Throughout history the Finns have been migratory people. They were among the first Europeans to cross the seven seas."

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
Finnish lumberjacks at a logging camp in Canada in 1915.

1. North America

There may have been some Finns from northern Scandinavia sailing with Leif Ericson or with other Norwegian Vikings who explored the New World a thousand years ago but the documented Finnish presence in America starts with the "New Sweden" colony at the mouth of the Delaware River, in March 1638.

The first four European nationalities to settle permanently in the present United Sates were the English, the Dutch, the Swedes and the Finns. It is estimated that over half of the approximately 1,000 settlers in the New Sweden Colony between 1638 and 1655 were ethnic Finns. Major contributions made by the early Finns in America were slash and burn land clearance, a new way to build log cabins, and the art of living at peace with Indians. A descendant of these early Finns was John Morton, one of the signatories of the the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Finnish seamen were the pioneers of Finnish emigration across the the world. Sailors sometimes decided to stay ashore in New York and other American ports. In 1855, at the time of the Crimean War, a number of Finnish ships sought refuge in American harbours. At that time the Californian gold rush was still going. It was like a call to adventure out in the American west. A few hundred Finns did join the gold rush and started Finnish settlements on the Pacific coast.

Click to enlarge the picture
A map of Finnish settlements in the USA, produced after the Second World War, reveals that Finns concentrated in New England, Michigan, Minnesota, and the West Coast.

Since 1790 Finns had settled in Alaska working for the Russian Government. In Sitka in the 1840s there were about 500 Europeans. A third of these were Lutheran, most of them from Finland. On two occasions a man of Finnish origin was appointed Governor General of Alaska. They were Arvid Adolph Etholen, who held the post from 1840 to 1845 and Johan Hampus Furuhjelm who was in office from 1859 to 1863.

The most successful sealskin trader was Captain Gustave Niebaum, who left Helsinki as a young seaman and later, after making a fortune in Alaska, settled in California and founded a winery named Inglenook, in the Napa Valley. It is said that Niebaum - later Russian Consul in California - took part in drafting the contract of 1867 through which the USA bought Alaska from Russia. It is estimated that a few hundred Finns settled in Alaska during the Russian era, particularly during the Alaska gold rush in the late 19th century.

Finnish emigration to North America did not get started in earnest until around 1864. Finnish settlers in the Norwegian Arctic province of Finnmark were the first to respond to the temptation of the Michigan copper mines and to the promise of free land proffered by the Homestead Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. From Norway the tide of emigration spread southwards. In the 1870s, "America Fever" took hold in Southern Ostrobothnia, becoming a mass movement in the following decade.

The crest of the wave was reached in 1902 when more than 23,000 Finns applied for passports to emigrate to America. Emigration continued on a large scale till the outbreak of World War I. When the U.S. Government began to restrict the admission of immigrants in the 1920s, Finnish emigration then shifted to Canada and Australia. Between 1864 and 1914 well over 300,000 Finns made their homes in the USA and another 20,000 across the border in Canada.

Click to enlarge the picture
Finnish emigrants used to send post
cards to Finland telling of their journey
to the New World.

The Finnish emigrants to America came mainly from western Finland. Nearly half came from the province of Vaasa. The reasons for leaving Ostrobothnia were mainly economic and social. Distilling pine tar had, along with agriculture, been the mainstay of the economy in the Bothnian regions. When the era of sailing ships began to dwindle after the mid-1800s, the demand for tar declined.

Another reason was the rapid increase in population. Farms were small and nearly every household was bursting at the seams with children. The Finns leaving for America were in their prime, around 20 years of age. Over 60 per cent were men, the majority unmarried. A further reason for emigrating was the desire to earn enough money to redeem the family farm or to buy a house and a piece of land. Some young men emigrated to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. And a clergyman wrote that a member of his congregation took a boat to America to escape his nagging wife.

But the main attraction was the high wage level in the USA; in certain occupations five times higher than in Finland. Work was available for men in mines, logging camps, factories and railroad construction. Employers regarded Finns as good, reliable workers. The homes of wealthy Americans offered employment to women and Finnish servant girls were in considerable demand. The Finnish settlements were concentrated in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota. The wish of many Finns to own a farm created Finnish farming communities, especially in the Midwest.

In Canada, about 60 per cent of the Finnish population lived in Ontario, especially in Toronto, Sudbury and present-day Thunder Bay. Many Finns also settled on the west coast, but relatively few in prairie territories or the French-speaking areas. In 1901, Matti Kurikka founded a Finnish utopian socialist community called Sointula (Harmony) on Malcolm Island, Vancouver. The original community lasted only until 1905, but today there are still descendants of these settlers living in Sointula.

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
Viola Turpeinen (1909–1958),
a popular Finnish-American
accordion player, pictured in
New York in 1930.

The Finns in North America had an active religious, social, and cultural life. In 1876, the first Finnish clergyman arrived in Hancock, Michigan, and at the turn of the century there were some 100 Finnish congregations in the United States and a few in Canada. Temperance societies were started in the 1880s, obviously in response to a need.

The labour movement began to spread in the 1890s, and by 1913 the Finnish Socialist Party could boast 260 local branches. Finns have been a major element in the U.S. Communist Party. A long-time leader of the party, Gus Hall, originally Hallberg and of Finnish origin, was a candidate for the U.S. presidency four times. In co-operative activities, too, Finns were trailblazers throughout North America.

Of the many activities of the Finnish communities sport, drama, and music - including brass bands - should be mentioned. The first Finnish newspaper was published in Hancock in 1876, and at the turn of the century there were more Finnish language newspapers in America than in Finland. Many were short-lived but they played an important role in providing information about the old and new homelands.

Although the Finns formed less than one per cent of European immigrants in North America their presence, in Michigan and Thunder Bay, Canada, for example, had a considerable impact on the local population. In the mining industry in upper Michigan the Finns were quite visible, especially in industrial strikes. A study made at Northern Michigan University drew the conclusion that the American Finns had influenced the English spoken in northern Michigan.

Since the Second World War Finnish emigration to North America has been quite insignificant; 20,000 to the United States and 24,000 to Canada. In the United States and Canada there are about 40,000 first generation and 120,000 second generation Finns. Altogether there are over a million people of Finnish extraction in North America - a substantial contribution to the ethnic and cultural mosaic of the United States and Canada. These Americans of Finnish origin are generally interested in their roots and relatives in Finland.

2. Australia and New Zealand

In 1769-70, Captain James Cook, aboard the "Endeavour", claimed New Zealand and the eastern parts of Australia for the British crown. He was accompanied by H.D. Spöring, a Finnish draughtsman and naturalist belonging to Joseph Banks' retinue. A street in Canberra and a memorial in Turku, Finland, keep his name alive.

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
Edwin Anderson, left, and Finnish
labourers on the Anderson cane farm at
Image Flat, north of Brisbane, Australia, in
the early 20th century.

It is assumed that the first Finns to settle permanently in the Pacific region were seafarers. In Tahiti the first white European settler was a Finnish sailor, Peter Hägerstein, from Helsinki. He lived in Tahiti from 1793 until his death in 1811. Finnish seamen were among the crews of whaling and sealing vessels of many nationalities sailing in the Pacific from 1788 onwards. During the Australian gold rush, in the 1850s and 1860s, a few hundred individual Finns, usually seamen, settled permanently in the continent.

The first Finnish group migration to Australia took place in 1899-1900 when for a while the Queensland government offered to Finns and others free passage from London to the British colony. This group included supporters of Matti Kurikka who came to build a utopian socialist community "Kalevan Kansa" (The People of Kaleva) in Queensland. When the United States began to limit immigration in the 1920s, Australia, together with Canada, became the major destination of Finnish emigrants.

Altogether some 3,500 Finns went to Australia before the Second World War. Between 1957 and 1973, about 20,000 Finns emigrated to Australia due to high unemployment in Finland and encouraged by assisted passages ofered by the Australian government. The post-war Finns emgrating to Australia were generally skilled craftsmen and construction work was the most common trade.

The Finns settled mainly in Sydney and Melbourne and other major cities, but even the remote mining town of Mt. Isa, in Queensland, was a stronghold of Finnish settlement. Considering their small numbers, the Finns in Australia had quite an active social and cultural life from the turn of the century. Today in Australia there are about 8,000 persons born in Finland. When second-generation Finns are added, the number grows to 17,000. Altogether some 30,000 Australians have Finnish blood in their veins.

Since the mid-19th century a couple of thousand Finns have emigrated to New Zealand. Apart from seamen and farmers, a number of Finnish paper mill workers were recruited to Tokoroa and Kawerau in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact Finns were the pioneers of the New Zealand pulp and paper industry. In the 1970s and 1980s Finns emigrating to New Zealand have been usually well educated and often married to a New Zealander. The biggest concentration of Finns is in Auckland, which has an active Finnish community.

3. Latin America

Finnish emigration to Latin America is an unusual episode. It was a small, almost insignificant trickle of only six thousand persons. There too the pioneers from Finland were sailors, adventurers and businessmen.

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
August Putkuri (right) with his two sons
and a daughter pictured in Colonia
Finlandesa, Argentina, in 1953.

The first Finnish settlement in Latin America was "Colonia Finlandesa" in Argentina. It was founded in 1906 by Arthur Thesleff, a Finnish aristocrat and eccentric student of gypsy life. The colony was situated in the subtropical north-eastern region called Missiones, bordering both Paraguay and Brazil.

In its heyday in the 1930s, the population of Colonia Finlandesa rose to nearly 500. They too had an active social life although no formal societies were established. In 2006, the descendants of the Colonia Finlandesa settlers will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Finnish settlement in Argentina. Only a few of the descendants can still speak Finnish or Swedish.

In 1909, a number of Finns started to settle in southern Brazil. They came mainly from Northern Sweden and Finland together with Swedish emigrants. From Brazil many of them moved across the border to Argentina. In the early 1920s, a small group of Finns emigrated to southern Brazil. The most important Finnish settlement in Brazil was Penedo, founded in 1929 by a Finnish landscape architect, Toivo Uuskallio.

Penedo, which initially had many utopian features, has been the most significant and vigorous of the Finnish colonies in Latin America up until the present day. Penedo has now become a major tourist attraction. In the late 1920s, a Finnish settlement was founded in Paraguay. Known as "Villa Alborada", it was situated across the Parana river, close to "Colonia Finlandesa". Today there are only a few descendants of the first settlers left in Alborada.

In the Caribbean region, too, there were Finnish settlements. In 1904, a group of Finns from the United States started farming at Itabo, in Cuba, about 100 km east of Havanna. And in 1906, at the same time as "Colonia Finlandesa" was being established in Argentina, a group of Finns founded another Finnish colony in Cuba. They called it "Ponnistus" (Effort). It too was a typical utopian community.

Both of these settlements failed after some years, and only a few Finns remained in Cuba. In 1929 a Finnish missionary named Oskari Jalkio established a Finnish colony called "Viljavakka" (Bread Basket) in the Dominican Republic, but this venture never really got off the ground.

The peculiar background of each venture makes Finnish emigration to Latin America singularly interesting. Each enterprise had its own unifying idealistic goals, which placed these settlements apart from the general spontaneous mass emigration to North America. At the present time there are only a couple of thousand ethnic Finns living in Latin America.

4. Africa

The first Finns found their way to European colonies in Africa in the 18th century. Henric Jacob Wikar was born in Kruunupyy, western Finland, in 1752, and after studying at the Academy of Turku he travelled to Holland. In 1773, he was engaged as a hospital clerk by the Dutch East India Company in Cape Town. Being adventurous, he left the job after two years and went to unknown regions to the north.

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
The mining gang of Gustav Hermanson,
originally from Kokkola, W. Finland, at a
Johannesburg mine before World War I.

Wikar was one of the first Europeans to explore the Orange River and the first European to seek the Falls of Augrabies. His diary has been a valuable source for research on the early history of South Africa and on the cultures of the indigenous peoples he lived among.

Another early Finn in Africa was August Nordenskiöld who in 1792 joined an expedition to Freetown in Sierra Leone to found a colony called "New Jerusalem". This utopian enterprise never materialized and Nordenskiöld died soon of exhaustion caused by disease and maltreatment by the local people.

In the 1860s and 1870s, the mining industry caused economic upheaval in South Africa. By the close of the century deep-shaft mining in Transvaal started to attract Finnish immigrants, among others. In the 1890s, emigration to South Africa, especially to the golden city of Johannesburg, reached epidemic proportions in Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia in Finland. At the turn of century many Finns took part in the Boer War on both sides. Altogether some 1,500 Finns emigrated to South Africa before the First World War.

The Belgian Congo, too, attracted a number of Finns who usually worked as engineers or mates on steamboats on the Congo River. By the end of the 19th century, in many European colonies Finnish adventurers could be found. The most famous of these was Carl Theodor Eriksson who, after fighting in the Boer war with British Rhodesian troops, discovered important mining areas in Katanga, part of the Belgian Congo, to be exploited later.

The first six Finnish missionaries, led by Martti Rautanen, travelled to Cape Town in 1868, and Finnish missionary work was started in Amboland, present-day Namibia, in 1870. Many of the missionaries stayed permanently in Africa. Since the early years of the 20th century a few hundred Finnish adventurers and seamen have served in the French or Spanish Foreign Legions in North Africa.

Today, there are a couple of thousand Finns living permanently in Africa. Many of them are in missionary work, others are employed by Finnish or international companies.

5. Sweden, Norway, Denmark

Finns have been living for centuries in the territory of present-day Sweden, especially along the Tornio River Valley in the north. Finland was a part of the Swedish realm for approximately 600 years, until 1809. As long ago as the 14th century, people from present-day Finland went to Sweden in search of a better life.

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
Many Finnish emigrants to
Sweden after World War II
worked in Swedish industry.

In the 16th century, Duke Charles (later King Charles IX) invited Finns to settle in uninhabited parts of Sweden. But the main reasons for going to Sweden were the wars with Russia plus crop failures and hunger in Finland. Some of these "Forest Finns" of Sweden continued their journey to the colony of "New Sweden", in Delaware, in 1638.

During Sweden's period as a European power in the 17th century, Finns of all social classes and positions moved to the "mother country". Most of them were labourers, sailors, fisher folk and, last but not least, cannon fodder, but the occasional Finn made it into high office as well and many are recorded in the history books as distinguished military men, artists, explorers, scientists, and men of letters.

When, in 1809, Finland was wrested from Sweden to become a Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire, the flow of emigrants to Sweden was not staunched. Especially in the latter half of the 19th century, the timber industry and sawmills along the Swedish coast of the Gulf of Bothnia strongly attracted Finnish labour. During World War II nearly 80,000 children from Finland were evacuated to Sweden and Denmark. Of these, 15,000 remained in Sweden and many others emigrated there later.

The creation of a free Nordic labour market in 1954 and powerful economic growth in Sweden opened the door for a massive westward exodus of Finnish workers. The flow reached its peak in 1970 when more than 41,000 Finns went to Sweden to work.

However, the main reasons for mass emigration were in Finland. The rapid transformation from farming to manufacturing made a large number of rural workers redundant. At the same time, the children born in the post-war "baby boom" years of 1945-49 began entering the labour market. Finally, a hefty devaluation of the Finnish currency, the markka, in 1967 boosted Swedish nominal wages by 31 per cent. This financial illusion prompted many Finns to go west in the hope of fatter wage packets.

Since 1533, when the Finnish congregation was founded in Stockholm, Finnish settlers have had active religious, social, and cultural lives in Sweden. The first Finnish society started in 1830 and in the 20th century, after the post-war mass migration, the Federation of Finnish Associations in Sweden was established in 1957. In its heyday, in 1987, the federation had 168 local societies with 46,000 members. Swedish-speaking Finns have similar organizations in Sweden.

Altogether 555,000 Finns have emigrated to Sweden since the end of the Second World War. Over half of them later returned to Finland, especially in the 1980s, or moved to a third country. Today there are about 190,000 first-generation Finns living in Sweden and nearly 280,000 of the second generation. Nearly half of the Finns residing abroad are in Sweden. The Swedish Government has acknowledged that the Finns in Sweden are a permanent, long-established minority.

Since the Second World War over 20,000 Finns have emigrated to Norway. Permanent Finnish settlements began to develop in Finnmark, Norway's northernmost province, in the 18th century, mainly because of famines in Finland. Many of these Finns continued their journey and went on to America. Since the last war thousands of Finns have found work in the fish processing industry of northern Norway and later in the rapidly developed Norwegian oil industry. Today there are 6,000 Finns living in Norway, the majority of them male industrial workers, plus some women especially in health care and other service occupations.

Some 13,000 Finns emigrated to Denmark after the war and a couple of hundred to Iceland. Most of them, however, later returned to Finland. Today there are only a couple of thousand Finns living permanently in Denmark.

6. Russia, including Siberia

There had been slow, steady Finnish emigration began to the Baltic states as long ago as the Middle Ages. Later, in the 16th century, it accelerated, after Estonia started to fall under the control of Sweden in 1561. After the treaty of Stolbova, in 1617, Finns also began emigrating to Russia. They settled mainly around the mouth of the River Neva in the area known as Ingria where St. Petersburg was founded nearly a century later. The number of Ingrians, who were ethnic Finns, was highest in 1917, totalling some 120,000 persons.

© Institute of Migration
Click to enlarge the picture
Finnish settlers Miina and
Johannes Tuorila with their
children Paavo, Hilma, Mari and
Lyyli in Koshi, Siberia, in the
early years of the 20th century.

After Finland was joined to Russia in 1809 Finns began to emigrate to Russia, particularly to St. Petersburg. Finnish settlements were established in many other parts of Russia, too, including the Far East. In the 19th century 3,300 Finnish criminals were transported to Siberia but there was also voluntary emigration over the Ural Mountains.

Because of the lack of statistics it is difficult to estimate how many Finns went to Russia. A cautious estimate is 50,000 persons since 1809. According to the 1989 census Finns in the Soviet Union numbered over 67,000. Of these 70 per cent lived in Russia and 25 per cent in Estonia. The remainder were in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other parts of the Union. Within Russia 36 per cent lived in Eastern Karelia and 31 per cent in the Leningrad area. In censuses held in the Soviet Union many Finns did not wish to be registered as ethnic Finns and their number was higher than the official figures.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 about 25,000 persons of Finnish origin (Ingrians) from Russia and Estonia have arrived in Finland. An estimated 60,000-70,000 Finns are still living in Russia.

7. New emigration to Europe

Since the 1960s Finns have started to settle in Central and Western Europe. In Germany there are over 18,000 persons born in Finland, of whom 70 per cent are women often married to a German. In Great Britain there are about 10,000 Finns living permanently, and in Switzerland 4,000. In Spain there are an estimated 10,000 Finns, many of them retired people who visit Finland during the summer.

Generally, however, the "new emigrants" to Europe from Finland are young, well educated people. This can often be called short-term migration as many of them are employed in projects of Finnish or international enterprises. Since Finland joined the European Union in 1995 emigration has not increased much, with the exception of construction workers and nurses going to Germany. A major increase has taken place in the number of Finns in Brussels, many of them working for the European Union and other international organizations.

8. Conclusion

Click to enlarge the picture

During the past 150 years 1.3 million persons have emigrated from Finland. Most of them moved to the United States and Sweden. Even assuming that every third person has later returned, a deficit of 800,000 souls has been a heavy loss for Finland, a country that already had a small population. If they had not left, the population of Finland today would be 7 million instead of 5.2 million. Counting the third and later generations, especially in the United States, the total number of persons of Finnish origin abroad today is estimated to be over 1.5 million. 800,000 first and second generation Finns abroad, and the earlier descendants of Finnish emigrants, are an asset for Finland, not yet used much, for example in foreign trade or in Finnish cultural export.

Click to enlarge the picture
The new type of well educated emigrant is typified by Esa Peltola who moved to Australia with his family in 1992. He works as a sprint coach and researcher at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Olavi Koivukangas 2003

In the 1990s, Finland, a country of emigration, became a country of immigration. In 2004, there were 110,000 foreign citizens living in Finland, representing about 150 different nationalities. Even though this is only two per cent of the population of Finland, the country is becoming a multicultural society, following the pattern of other countries in the European Union. In this process we can learn from the experience of Finnish emigrants all over the world in centuries past.

References and further reading

The United States and Canada
  • Hoglund, A. William: Finnish Immigrants in America 1880-1920. The University of Wisconsin Press, Wisconsin, 1960. – 148 p.
  • Hoglund, Arthur William: Paradise Rebuilt: Finnish Immigrants and their America, 1880-1920. Doctoral Dissertation Series, Publication 22, The University of Wisconsin Press. Wisconsin, 1957. – 317 p.
  • Holmio, Armas K. E.: Michiganin suomalaisten historia. Michiganin Suomalaisten Historia-Seura, Hancock, 1967. – 639 s.
  • Ilmonen, s.: Amerikan suomalaisten historia III. Yhdysvalloissa ja Canadassa olevat suomalaiset asutukset. Suomalais-Luterilainen Kustannusliike, Hancock, 1926. – 334 s.
  • Jalkanen, Ralph J. (ed): The Finns in North America : A Social Symposium. Suomi College, Hancock, 1969. – 223 p.
  • Karni, Michael G. (ed): Finnish Diaspora I: Canada, South America, Africa, Australia and Sweden. Papers of the Finn Forum conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, 1-3.11.1979. Multicultural History Society of Ontario, Toronto, 1981. – 305 p.
  • Karni, Michael G. (ed): Finnish Diaspora II: United States : Papers of the Finn Forum conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, 1-3.11.1979. Multicultural History Society of Ontario, Toronto, 1981. – 319 p.
  • Karni, Michael & Ollila, Douglas (eds): For The Common Good : Finnish Immigrants and the Radical Response to Industrial America. Työmies Society, Wisconsin, 1977. – 235 p.
  • Karni, Michael et al. (eds): Finns in North America. Proceedings of Finn Forum III 5-8 September 1984, Turku, Finland. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies, C 9. Turku, 1988. – 528 p.
  • Kero, Reino: Migration from Finland to North America in the years between the United States Civil War and the First World War. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies C 1. Turku, 1974. – 260 p.
  • Kero, Reino Suomalaisina Pohjois-Amerikassa. Siirtolaiselämää Yhdysvalloissa ja Kanadassa. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti. Suomen siirtolaisuuden historia 2. Turku, 1997. – 407 s.
  • Kero, Reino Suureen Länteen. Siirtolaisuus Suomesta Yhdysvaltoihin ja Kanadaan. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti. Suomen siirtolaisuuden historia 1. Turku, 1996. – 307 s.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Delaware 350. Amerikansiirtolaisuuden alku / Amerikaemigrationens början / The Beginning of Finnish Migration to the New World. Turku, Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, 1988. – 84 s.
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni: Suomalaiset maailmalla. Suomen siirtolaisuus ja ulkosuomalaiset entisajoista tähän päivään Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1989. – 161 s.
  • Olin, K-G: Alaska, Del 2. Guldrushen : Det sista stora äventyret. Olimex, Jakobstad, 1996. – 264 s.
  • Peltoniemi, Teuvo: Kohti parempaa maailmaa. Suomalaisten ihannesiirtokunnat 1700-luvulta nykypäivään. Otava, Helsinki, 1985. – 240 s.
  • Raivio, Yrjö: Kanadan Suomalaisten historia I. Canadan Suomalainen Historiaseura, Copper Cliff, 1975. – 529 s.
  • Raivio, Yrjö: Kanadan Suomalaisten historia II. Canadan Suomalainen Historiaseura, Sudbury, 1979. – 456 s.
  • Roinila, Mika: Finland-Swedes in Canada. Migration, settlement and ethnic relations. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies C 14. Turku, 2000. – 265 p.
  • Sulkanen, Elis: Amerikan Suomalaisen Työväenliikkeen historia. Raivaaja Publishing Company, Fitchburg, 1951. – 516 s.
  • Syrjälä, F. J.: Historia-aiheita Ameriikan Suomalaisesta Työväenliikkeestä. Suomal. Sosial. Kust.yhtiö, Fitchburg, 1926. – 235 s.
  • Toivonen, Anna-Leena: Etelä-Pohjanmaan valtamerentakainen siirtolaisuus 1867-1930. Suomen Historiallinen Seura, Historiallisia tutkimuksia LXVI. Helsinki, 1963. – 294 s.
  • Wasastjerna, Hans R. (ed): Minnesotan suomalaisten historia. Minnesotan Suomalais-Amerikkalainen Historiallinen Seura, Duluth, 1957. – 780 s.
Australia and New Zealand
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: From the Midnight Sun to the Long White Cloud : Finns in New Zealand. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies, C 11. Turku, 1996. – 397 p.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Kaukomaiden kaipuu. Suomalaiset Afrikassa, Australiassa, Uudessa-Seelannissa ja Latinalaisessa Amerikassa. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Suomen siirtolaisuuden historia 4. Turku, 1998. – 418 s.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi (ed): Scandinavian Emigration to Australia and New Zealand Project. Proceedings of a Symposium, February 17-19, 1982, Turku, Finland. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies, C 7. Turku, 1983. – 138 p.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Scandinavian Immigration and Settlement in Australia before World War II. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies, C 2. Turku, 1974. – 333 p. Academic Dissertation, Australian National University, Dept. of Demography.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi; Martin, John: The Scandinavians in Australia. Melbourne, AE Press, 1986. – 230 p.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi & Westin, Charles (eds): Scandinavian and European Migration to Australia and New Zealand. Proceedings of the conference held in Stockholm, Sweden, and Turku, Finland, June 9-11, 1998. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies, C 13. Turku, 1999. – 320 p. CEIFO Publications No 81. (Pages 185-214 Olavi Koivukangas article): ”Finns in the southern hemisphere – a comparative approach.”
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Sea, Gold and Sugar Cane. Finns in Australia 1851-1947 Institute of Migration, Migration Studies, C 8. Turku, 1986. – 402 p. Academic Dissertation, University of Turku, Dept. of History.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Suomalainen siirtolaisuus Australiaan toisen maailmansodan jälkeen. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti A 1. Turku, 1975. – 262 s.
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni: Suomalaiset maailmalla. Suomen siirtolaisuus ja ulkosuomalaiset entisajoista tähän päivään Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1989. – 161 s.
  • Peltoniemi, Teuvo: Kohti parempaa maailmaa. Suomalaisten ihannesiirtokunnat 1700-luvulta nykypäivään. Otava, Helsinki, 1985. – 240 s.
Latin America
  • Karni, Michael G. (ed): Finnish Diaspora I: Canada, South America, Africa, Australia and Sweden. Papers of the Finn Forum conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, 1-3.11.1979. Multicultural History Society of Ontario, Toronto, 1981. – 305 p.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Kaukomaiden kaipuu. Suomalaiset Afrikassa, Australiassa, Uudessa-Seelannissa ja Latinalaisessa Amerikassa. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Suomen siirtolaisuuden historia 4. Turku, 1998. – 418 s.
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni: Suomalaiset maailmalla. Suomen siirtolaisuus ja ulkosuomalaiset entisajoista tähän päivään Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1989. – 161 s.
  • Lähteenmäki, Olavi Colonia Finlandesa : Uuden Suomen perustaminen Argentiinaan 1900-luvun alussa Suomen Historiallinen Seura. Historiallisia tutkimuksia 154. Helsinki, 1989. – 282 s.
  • Melkas, Eevaleena: Kaikkoavat paratiisit : Suomalaisten siirtokuntien aatteellinen tausta ja perustamisvaiheet Brasiliassa ja Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa n. 1925-1932. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti. Siirtolaisuustutkimuksia A 21. Turku, 1999. – 302 s.
  • Paavolainen, Olavi: Lähtö ja loitsu. Matkakirja mm. Colonia Finlandesaan. Gummerus 1937.
  • Peltoniemi, Teuvo: Kohti parempaa maailmaa. Suomalaisten ihannesiirtokunnat 1700-luvulta nykypäivään. Otava, Helsinki, 1985. – 240 s.
  • Jalonen, Jussi: Magersfonteinin miehet. Skandinaviska Kåren -komennuskunnan suomalaisvapaaehtoiset buurisodassa 1899-1902 sekä aikalaisten ja jälkimaailman silmissä. Yleisen historian pro gradu -tutkielma, Tampereen yliopisto, 2003. – 90 s.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi: Kaukomaiden kaipuu. Suomalaiset Afrikassa, Australiassa, Uudessa-Seelannissa ja Latinalaisessa Amerikassa. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Suomen siirtolaisuuden historia 4. Turku, 1998. – 418 s.
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni: Suomalaiset maailmalla. Suomen siirtolaisuus ja ulkosuomalaiset entisajoista tähän päivään Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1989. – 161 s.
  • Kuparinen, Eero: An African Alternative. Nordic Migration to South Africa, 1815-1914. Institute of Migration, Migration Studies C 10. Turku, 1991. – 487 p.
  • Kuparinen, Eero: Valkoista Afrikkaa rakentamassa. Pohjolan miehet ja Kapmaa Hollannin Itä-Intian kauppakomppanian hallintokaudella 1652-1795. Turun yliopiston historian laitos. Julkaisuja 34. Turku, 1995. – 142 s.
  • Peltoniemi, Teuvo: Kohti parempaa maailmaa. Suomalaisten ihannesiirtokunnat 1700-luvulta nykypäivään. Otava, Helsinki, 1985. – 240 s. 5. SWEDEN
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni & Tarkiainen, Kari: Suomalaiset Ruotsissa. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti. Suomen siirtolaisuuden historia 3. Turku, 2000. – 546 s.
  • Lainio, Jarmo (red): Finnarnas historia i Sverige 3 : Tiden efter 1945. Finska Historiska samfundet och Nordiska museet. Suomen Historiallinen Seura, Helsinki, 1996. – 516 s.
  • Tarkiainen, Kari: Finnarnas historia i Sverige 1. Inflyttarna från Finland under det gemensamma rikets tid. Finska Historiska Samfundet och Nordiska museet. Suomen Historiallinen Seura, Helsinki, 1990. – 398 s.
  • Tarkiainen, Kari: Finnarnas historia i Sverige 2. Inflyttarna från Finland och de finska minoriteterna under tiden 1809-1944. Finska Historiska Samfundet och Nordiska museet. Suomen Historiallinen Seura, Helsinki, 1993. – 445 s. Finska Historiska samfundet och Nordiska museet.
  • Bergh, Volmar: Kööpenhaminan Suomalaisen Seuran 50-vuotiskertomus 1904-54. Valkeakoski, 1954. – 71 s.
  • Engman, Max: Norden och flyttningarna under nya tiden. Föreningen Norden, Kööpenhamina, 1997. – 60 s.
  • Engman, Max: Pigutvandringer från Finland till Danmark och södra Sverige vid förra sekelskiftet. Särtryck, Scandia 1/2000. – s. 91-118.
  • Laine, Sonja: Saunassa olen suomalainen. Tanskassa asuvien suomalaisten suomalaisuuden sosiaaliset representaatiot ja etninen identiteetti. Pro gradu -tutkielma, Helsingin yliopisto, folkloristiikan laitos. Helsinki, 2001. – 97 s.
  • Schildt, Mila & Runeberg, Arne (red): Finlandsbarnen i Danmark. Söderström, Helsingfors, 1960. – 234 s.
  • Anttonen, Marjut: Etnopolitiikkaa Ruijassa. Suomalaislähtöisen väestön identiteettien politisoituminen 1990-luvulla. Väitöskirja. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran Toimituksia. SKS, Helsinki, 1999. – 521 s.
  • Anttonen, Marjut: Suomalaissiirtolaisten akkulturoituminen Pohjois-Norjassa. Jyväskylän yliopisto, etnologian laitos. Tutkimuksia 18. Jyväskylä, 1984. – 140 s.
  • Kalhama, Maija-Liisa (toim) Suomalaiset Jäämeren rannoilla / Finnene ved Nordishavets strender. Kveeniseminaari 9.-10.6.1980 Rovaniemellä. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1982. – 235 s.
  • Niemi, Einar A.: Oppgrudd og tilpassing : Den finske flyttingen til Vadsö 1845-1885. Vadsö kommune, Vadsö, 1977. – 190 s. Väitöskirja, Universitetet i Oslo.
  • Paulaharju, Samuli: Ruijan suomalaisia. WSOY, Helsinki, 1985. – 555 s.
  • Saressalo, Lassi: Kveenit : Tutkimus erään pohjoisnorjalaisen vähemmistön identiteetistä. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran Toimituksia 638. SKS, Helsinki, 1996. – 370 s.
Russia and Siberia
  • Engman, Max Borgare och skenborgare i Finland och Ryssland under första hälften av 1800-talet. Särtryck / Historisk Tidskrift för Finland 1978:2. – s. 189-207.
  • rek/käsikirjat ENGMAN Engman, Max Förvaltningen och utvandringen till Ryssland 1809-1917 Helsinki, 1995. – 275 s : m-v (Hallintohistoriallisia tutkimuksia, ISSN 9786-7700 ; 20) Förvaltningshistoriekommittén. Sisältää mm.: Pietari; väestörekisterit; Suomi; suomalaisten siirtolaisuus; viranomaiset; Venäjä; historia; vähemmistöt; Venäjän suomalaiset; lait; passit; kansalaisuus; siirtolaisuuspolitiikka; luterilaiset; köyhyys; tuet
  • Engman, Max: Petersburgska vägar. Espoo, Schildts, 1995. – 301 s.
  • Engman, Max: Pietarinsuomalaiset. WSOY, Helsinki, 2004. – 641 s.
  • Engman, Max: S:t Petersburg och Finland : Migration och influens 1703-1917. Bidrag till kännedom av Finlands natur och folk H 130. Helsinki, 1983. – 453 s. Akademisk avhandling. Finska Vetenskaps-Societeten, Societas Scientiarum Fennica.
  • Jungar, Sune Från Åbo till Ryssland : En studie i urban befolkningsrörlighet 1850-1890. Acta Academiae Aboensis, ser. A Humanioda Vol 47 nr 3. Åbo Akademi. Åbo, 1974. – 108 s.
  • Juntunen, Alpo: ”Suomalaista kulttuuria Nevan rannoilla.” Piirteitä Pietarin suomalaisen siirtokunnan kulttuurielämästä 1900-luvun alussa. Turun yliopiston Suomen historian laitos, Monistesarja B. Tutkimuksia IV. Turku, 1972. – 89 s. Juntunen, Alpo: Suomalaisten karkottaminen Siperiaan autonomian aikana ja karkotetut Siperiassa. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti. Siirtolaisuustutkimuksia A 10. Turku, 1983. – 210 s.
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni: Suomalaiset maailmalla. Suomen siirtolaisuus ja ulkosuomalaiset entisajoista tähän päivään Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1989. – 161 s.
  • Kostiainen, Auvo Loikkarit : Suuren lamakauden laiton siirtolaisuus Neuvostoliittoon. Otava, Helsinki, 1988. – 284 s.
  • Lahti-Argutina, Eila Olimme joukko vieras vaan. Venäjänsuomalaiset vainonuhrit Neuvostoliitossa 1930-luvun alusta 1950-luvun alkuun. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 2001. – 651s.
  • Lepola, Marcus: Koloniala mönster i Sitka under medlet av 1800-talet : Kulturkontakt och kulturkonflikt mellan ryssar, finländare och ursprungsbefolkningen i Alaska. Pro gradu -tutkielma, Åbo Akademi, Etnologi, humanistiska fakulteten. Turku, 2002. – 130 s.
  • Olin, K-G: Alaska, Del 1. Ryska tiden : Den okända historien på jordklotets baksida. Olimex, Jakobstad, 1995. – 280 s.
  • Peltoniemi, Teuvo: Kohti parempaa maailmaa. Suomalaisten ihannesiirtokunnat 1700-luvulta nykypäivään. Otava, Helsinki, 1985. – 240 s.
  • Björklund, Krister: Suomalaiset Sveitsissä 1944-1996. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1998. – 218 s.
  • Hoffren, Henriikka: Suomalaiset Ranskassa. Pro gradu -tutkielma, sosiologia, Jyväskylän yliopisto, 2000. – 66 s.
  • Immonen, Päivi: Suomalaisia Euroopan sydämessä. Pro gradu -tutkielma Luxemburgissa asuvista suomalaisista. Turun yliopisto, sosiologian Pro gradu -tutkielma. Turku, 1994. – 125 s.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi et al. (toim): Suomi Euroopassa – maassamuuton uudet ulottuvuudet : Muuttoliikesymposium 1995. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti A 18. Turku, 1996. – 207 s.
  • Koivukangas, Olavi (toim): Utvandringen från Finland till Sverige genom tiderna / Siirtolaisuus Suomesta Ruotsiin kautta aikojen. Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1980. – 100 s.
  • Korkiasaari, Jouni: Suomalaiset maailmalla. Suomen siirtolaisuus ja ulkosuomalaiset entisajoista tähän päivään Siirtolaisuusinstituutti, Turku, 1989. – 161 s.
  • Pennanen, Helena: Suomalaisnaiset Hollannissa. Sosiologian pro gradu -tutkielma, Jyväskylän yliopisto, 1992. – 85 s.
  • Timonen, Susanna: Uusmuuttajat, Saksa ja suomalainen seurakunta vuonna 2003. Köln, 2004. – 66 s.
  • Tuomi-Nikula, Outi: Saksansuomalaiset. Tutkimus syntyperäisten suomalaisten akkulturaatiosta Saksan Liittotasavallassa ja Länsi-Berliinissä. SKS, Helsinki, 1989. – 192 s.
Olavi Koivukangas is Professor and Director of the Institute of Migration, Turku, Finland, since 1974. He has a Ph.D. in Demography, The Australian National University, Canberra, 1972 and a Ph.D. in History, The University of Turku, 1986. He has published widely in the field of international migration, especially on Finns and Scandinavians in Australia and New Zealand.

Published February 2005



1. North America

2. Australia and New Zealand

3. Latin America

4. Africa

5. Sweden, Norway, Denmark

6. Russia, including Siberia

7. New emigration to Europe

8. Conclusion

References and further reading


Institute of Migration