Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Diasporas

pp 1004-1010

Kurds in Finland

  • Östen Wahlbeck

Alternative Names

There are no relevant alternative names.


Finland is a republic in northern Europe, situated between Sweden, Norway, Russia, and Estonia. The country is a parliamentary democracy and has been a member of the European Union since 1995. The total population is 5.2 million. The majority of Finns live in the southern parts of the country; the north is sparsely populated. Finland is a highly developed welfare state with a high gross national product and low income differences, similar to neighboring Scandinavian countries.


Most of the Kurds in Finland arrived in the country in the 1990s, largely as a consequence of organized resettlement of Iraqi refugees under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). There are also Kurds from Iran and Turkey living in the country, but refugees from Iraq make up the majority of the Kurds. By the turn of the millennium, the number of Kurds living in Finland was abo ...

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