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Finland for Thought » More Finns marrying foreigners, less foreigners marrying Finland | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

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6.5.2007

More Finns marrying foreigners, less foreigners marrying Finland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:22 pm

No big surprise in today’s globalized world where more people are traveling abroad – but I’d like to think that there’s just something “special” about us American boys. Special, like the Special Olympics…

Marriages between Finns and foreigners are becoming more popular. According to the newspaper Keskisuomalainen, the number of mixed-nationality marriages has risen by about one third in the past 10 years.

In 2005, about 3,000 Finns married foreigners. The number is up by 700 from 1996. Finnish men married foreigners slightly more often than women.

Most men married women from Russia, Thailand or Estonia. Finnish women tended to marry men from Britain, the United States and Turkey.

But looks like this rise in marriages isn’t equating into citizenship (yet)…

In total 4,450 foreigners permanently living in Finland became Finnish citizens in 2006. The number is 1,250 fewer than in 2005. Some 2,550 females and 1,900 males became Finnish citizens. About 1,300 were under 15 years old and 150 were over 65 years of age.

Meanwhile, about 2,550 European citizens took up Finnish citizenship. That’s 1,140 fewer than in 2005. Some 500 people who became Finnish were EU citizens, while 1,000 people from Asian countries became Finnish.

Foreigners from Russia, Somalia and Iraq were the most frequent recipients of Finnish citizenship.

  • winter “Against stupidity, the gods themselves are helpless.”

    “France now has a tough, unashamedly pro-American president with a clear understanding of the threat from radical Islam. It’s a real sea change in European politics.”

    I here by say I will quit using the “French White flag of surrender”.

    Darn

  • aet75

    Scout’s honor?

  • http://www.finlandforthought.net Phil

    Winter, I think that’s a new record, you hijacked one of my posts after comment #1! :-)

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    OK, my turn:

    “I’d like to think that there’s just something “special” about us American boys. Special, like the Special Olympics…”

    Does that say more about the American boys or the Finnish girls?

  • Kristian

    We met a couple on Silja Line a short while ago. She is Finnish, and he is Swiss. They moved to Italy about 10-years-ago but often visit her family in Finland. No interest in moving back to Finland though.

    According to them, they have a higher standard of living in Italy and can afford more luxury. They also said healthcare is better.

    Another reason cited was the cultural coldness in Finland. Go figure :-)

  • maksalaatikko

    I think your on to something with the American men thing. Not to brag or anything, but many women we know in international relationships say they were always attracted to American guys or were immeadiatly attracted to them when they met them. Of course we don’t have a control group to compare to our rather biased subject matter.

    My wife claims there is a confidence level and independance streak in American men that she hasn’t seen anywhere else, except occasionally in Russian men. I used to think it was me specificlly until she told me she sees it everywhere she goes (we live in the US). I better keep a closer eye on her!

  • Anonymous

    One thing I cannot understand is the Finnish men attraction for Thai women… for Estonian women, yes I can see that. Estonian women are like Finnish women with sex appeal. As far as men are concerned, Finnish men are like cavemen… most of them are introverts with little confidence, traits that most women do not find attreactive. Did I mention that the uniform for Finnish men is the warm suit :)

  • http://www.finlandforthought.net Phil

    One thing I cannot understand is the Finnish men attraction for Thai women…

    There’s a lot of guys out there that have a big thing for Asian women. They are gorgeous, but I’ve always preferred the tall, thin, white women.

  • http://www.finlandforthought.net Phil

    My wife claims there is a confidence level and independance streak in American men that she hasn’t seen anywhere else

    It sees that American guys (well, I think most foreigner guys) learned how to “treat” a girl better than Finnish guys did. We know to say nice things, give flowers, show her a good time, take her out on a real date, ask her on a date when we’re sober, not get too plastered…

  • Antti rn

    “We know to say nice things, give flowers…”

    Heh, those things are accepted for and even expected from foreigners. If I tried, I would get breathalyzed by Hugo test and an interrogation of third degree about what I have been doing now and does it have something to do with coming home late a half a year ago. :D

  • http://anzisblog.blogspot.com Anzi

    Personally, I have always been kind of partial to the caveman approach. :-)

    Many women I know go crazy over Southern European dudes, but I find them annoying. They put women up on pedestals and I *hate* that. I like to look people in the eyes, not down on them.

    I have my big bad bear from Satakunta (who does wear his heart on his sleeve, though) and I wouldn’t trade him for some sweet-talker for the world.

    What can I say, tastes vary!

    Flowers are nice, though not required. No roses, though. And my idea of a perfect date involves horror movies, beer, and Def Leppard. :-)

  • brr

    I’d say that one factor that men from English speaking countries have in their favor when scouting for a Finnish female of the species, is that the English language is made for wooing, when Finnish is made for getting your point across pointedly.
    Finnish people tend to understand English best, thus most representatives coming from other countries, even though they might speak ok English, don’t have the same kind of an edge. This is most likely one of the reasons Finnish people use so much alcohol in their mating rituals…
    Naturally, tv/movies have made the us/uk easily approachable for most of the world, thus preventing big surprises culture-wise.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it obvious? The welfare state pampers Finnish men so that they never develop a self esteem. Also, it makes their penises shrink.

  • http://www.verosirkus.com Sirkuspelle

    I don’t want to become a citizen in a country that allows its citizens/residents personal ecomonic data to be broadcasted in the internet against without permission and all kinds of rules, laws, and agreements that it has signed. I can make a salary doing what I am doing in dozens of different countries, privacy as an added benefit – Finland has no right to abuse
    my personal data and privacy.

    In fact, I have been considering moving elsewhere after 15 years.

    Otherwise, I pretty much like Finland. I have a house in the country. I would like to try to get
    variants of walnut and hickory nut tress growing here, and buy land for it, but everything is pretty much on hold right now.

    A Finnish citizenship would help me visit places that might perhaps be hard to visit with a USA passport. Also there are countries that require “revenge” visas for Americans because border control in the US treats dogs better. Finland doesn’t really have that kind of reputation. But at this point, no thanks.

  • tim73

    The comparison should be between average Earl from Buttfuckville and Jussi from Juupajärvi. People living abroad are usually well-educated/earning people. I’d bet Finnish women would not be soooo attracted to that Earl type.

  • seeker of truth

    “I don’t want to become a citizen in a country that allows its citizens/residents personal ecomonic data”

    Finns are otherwise wonderful and smart people, I like the country a lot myself. But that crap would keep me from moving to Finland. Its hard to believe how finns can be so smart in some ways but idiotic wierd in other ways.

  • JG

    I have to agree with Tim73. We seem to be making our comparison just between “Jussi” and the well educated foreigners living abroad.. which is rather unfair on us Finnish men. Contrary to popular belief and Swedish propaganda, we do not all spend our free time wielding knives in kossu inspired rages.

  • katas

    I i am correct these statics doesnt include finnish citizen who get married foreing country
    i think if these mariage would have included statics would look different espcially lot more female male ration would change to finnish female marrying more foreings than finnish males.

  • Maaksalaatikko

    “The comparison should be between average Earl from Buttfuckville and Jussi from Juupajärvi. People living abroad are usually well-educated/earning people. I’d bet Finnish women would not be soooo attracted to that Earl type.”

    Not quite. My wife and I met in the US; she had never met an American man in Finland. In fact, many of the Finnish American couples we know in this area had the same start to their relationship. Lots of Finnish beauties shackin’ up with American Earls. Maybe the type of Finnish woman who likes to travel to places off the beaten track is attracted to Yankee men. My wife has lived in Russia(1.5 yrs), Colorado(for 1 yr. before I met her), Oslo (1 yr) and in Stockholm (6 months) so she has some experience with meeting people on their home turf.

  • Maaksalaatikko

    “Contrary to popular belief and Swedish propaganda, we do not all spend our free time wielding knives in kossu inspired rages.”

    I think Finnish women, born and raised in Finland, know this already.

  • maria

    I see that the men go for the BUY-A-BRIDE ones. That’s all the Finnish men can get on an average, sad to say. They lack just that masculinity that most women want, self esteem and confidence is a rare commodity among the Finnish men. Except when they are drunk of course.
    On the other hand the Finnish women can go and pick a man from anywhere and actually get an interesting compatible man, no need to scroll down a man catalogue on the internet.
    See the stats, which one seems more pathetic? Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

  • Kristian

    Sirkuspelle: “a country that allows its citizens/residents personal ecomonic data to be broadcasted in the internet against without permission and all kinds of rules, laws, and agreements that it has signed.

    This relates to the low-confidence that’s been mentioned. In the early 1970′s, Finland’s politicians followed Sweden by enacting a law that exposed everyone’s personal financial information.

    By mimicking Sweden, Finnish politicians could escape any potential blame by just telling everyone, “We only did the same as Sweden.”

    One slip-of-the-pen and everyone’s privacy was gone. Thanks to low-confidence.

  • Antti rn

    Heh, must be quite a statistician to say an average finnish äijä has a mail order bride. Don’t see many of them around here afterall. Even I am married to another finn but heck, I had a pretty face 20 years ago, when properly shaved.

    One guy back home married a russian girl though, but it takes a special kind of woman settling for a farmer’s wife role in a place at 70km distance from another place about nanosomewhere. Such species is quite extinct in modern part of the western world. Then there was this ex-colleague from Pakistan, who divorced his finnish wife for 20 years in his 50′s craze and married a hometown girl…

  • JG

    By mimicking Sweden, Finnish politicians could escape any potential blame by just telling everyone, “We only did the same as Sweden.”

    We do not always follow Sweden.
    http://internytt.yle.fi/artikel.php?id=99142

  • http://funkybrownchick.com funkybrownchick

    Oh, is it American *boys* only?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=595Nj9EV2Qg

  • AmeriikanEnkeli

    Well, I like Finnish men.

    I think they’re cute in a kind of introverted, nerdy way. They may never lavish flowers or gush “I love yous” every night, but dang if they won’t fix the faucet or shovel snow.

  • http://www.verosirkus.com Sirkuspelle

    Finnish men seem to be quite stable and reliable.
    They are pretty loyal to their employers, if the
    employer merits it. The ones who study and research often do
    it quite thoroughly. They tend to get the results, then make the conclusion. Often Americans will make a conclusion, and then get the
    results. Either way has its merits. Americans can sometimes
    “jump the gun” in life’s situations, whereas Finns will
    take a moment to think about it before getting into whatever
    it is. Finns are not very prone to being manipulated. When a Finn feels like someone is trying to
    manipulate them, they withdraw and become
    quite detached from the situation.

    Finns also seem to often be pretty happy in everyday life
    and in family life. Americans are often workaholics and
    don’t spend much time with their families.

    Finnish men are often quite introverted
    and closed, and can sometimes use alcohol as a social crutch.

    Finnish people become silent in situations that are socially
    awkward, whereas Americans will tend to try to “break the ice”
    and make all kinds of smalltalk.

    Americans are open, easy going and easy to get to know.

    There are of course, individual exceptions to everything and
    every culture has its good and not-so-good points. After 15 years of living here I have learned some things.

  • http://anzisblog.blogspot.com Anzi

    AmeriikanEnkeli, I completely agree. It’s the introverted nerdyness that makes Finnish guys so irresistible. They’re representatives of “the strong, silent type”, which I personally have always gone crazy for. I like confidence in a man, but the loud, boisterous macho type is a major turn-off for me.

  • http://funkybrownchick.com funkybrownchick

    Introverted nerdyness? Finnish guys sound an awful lot like Dutch guys.

  • tim73

    If extrovert is defined as “why the hell that bitch from America would not just shut the hell up for once in a while” than Finnish guys are rather introverted :)

    Nothing is more annoying than an American Bitchy Britney complaining about something while abroad and her boyfriend Earl next to him nodding approvingly. She would last about one hour in an island with that last man alive because that man would strangle her and live happily ever after.

  • http://anzisblog.blogspot.com Anzi

    Introverted nerdyness? Finnish guys sound an awful lot like Dutch guys.

    There are striking similarities. I have had a lot to do with Dutch people and they are in many ways very similar to Finns.

    It’s like Diana King once sang:
    “I don’t want no fly guy, I just want a shy guy.”

  • Unit

    2Americans are often workaholics and
    don’t spend much time with their families.”

    This one is very stereotypical. Americans do work much more than Finns do, but they are much closer with their families. Sometimes it seems to me that in Finland a brother is just someone you grew up with. Same with parents as well.

  • Fat Bastard

    I have a brother and a sister. We are not really that close and only see each other a couple of times every year. However, you can be sure that if something happened to one of us, the others would be there to help in a flash. I personally like it that way. Dependability over personability.

  • maksalaatikko

    “I like confidence in a man, but the loud, boisterous macho type is a major turn-off for me.”

    Confidence is found in all personality types, which seems to be the intent of your post so I’m disagreeing with you. I’m very confident, but I’m definatly not loud, boisterous or macho. In fact, contrary to Finnish stereotype, most American men are not loud, boisterous and macho at least in the Southern Eurpean way. I does make them easier to ridicule if they are labeled with undesirable non-Finnish stereotypes. Although Finnish men do tend to get loud boisterous and macho when they drink. They also drink alot. I wonder why?

    “Dependability over personability.”

    Contrary to typical Finnsih belief, to have one doesn’t mean to have less of the other. To have a quite personality does not mean you are more dependable than a loud blowhard. They are not related at all.

  • http://q-funk.iki.fi Martin-Éric

    There are several reasons why the number of citizenship applications keeps on spiraling downward:

    1) Europeans no longer need to change citizenship to get equal access to the country, in most cases. Russians are a notable exception so, conversely, they are among the largest group to get citizenship.

    2) Residence duration for applying was lengthened from 5 to 6 years, in 2003.

    3) Various dirty decisions made around Finland’s entry to the Schengen treaty have factually disqualified several people from ever meeting the eligibility criteria.

    4) People who arrived from outside EU during the late-90′s were systematically given temporary B-class residence permits which, for some foggy reasons, do not count for accumulating residence time towards a citizenship application. Most of these people had permanent jobs that would have justified long-term A-class permits, but bureaucratic discretionary power resulted in them getting less favorable permits. This issue is well-known among politicians and, during recent SDP-lead governments, was openly evaded.

    Last, but not least, most foreigners (both EU nationals and outsiders) simply realize, sooner than later, that Finland is the wrong country to live in career-wise, taxation-wise and society-wise, so, one day, they just go away and never look back.

  • http://anzisblog.blogspot.com Anzi

    I’m very confident, but I’m definatly not loud, boisterous or macho.

    So is my boyfriend. What’s your point?
    I was just talking about my personal preferences, that’s it. The panties need not go in a bunch.

  • maksalaatikko

    I’m sorry. I made a typo. I meant to say I’m NOT disagreeing with you. Posting at work, no time to proofread, guilt that I should be working, results in the ommission of one word that changes my whole post. Sorry. I’ve hoped I’ve unbunched my panties to your satisfaction. Or would you like to check to verify? :)

  • Unit

    “I have a brother and a sister. We are not really that close and only see each other a couple of times every year. However, you can be sure that if something happened to one of us, the others would be there to help in a flash. I personally like it that way. Dependability over personability”

    Are you Finnish? Judging from my work experience in Finnish hospitals, families are very undependable here when one is in need. I have seen too often people dying alone, even when their children had been notified that the end is near. Worse, Some have become very annoyed when woken in the night to tell that their parent has died. “Miksi soittit minulle keskelle yötä?”

    It’s good to hear that you don’t fall into this category.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com Fred Fry

    Unit,

    That is really sad to hear.

  • Jaakko

    I don’t understand why Finnish women would want American men. Most American men tend to stereotype the world from the ones I’ve met, and most tend to be really patriotic too. If they’re not patriotic, then they’re usually in support of gun ownership (“it’s ma constitutional right y’all”), tend to support Bush, tend to think that work is the only thing in one’s life, and revolve around money. They are also circumcised which to me is just the same as genital mutilation, and most defend this also. If Finnish women have children with American men, how could they accept the man’s wants that the child have his penis ruined and barbarically cut off? :\\

    I don’t know what to say about Finnish man. I don’t think they’re any better in any regard, but I think they’re honest (this has consequences but also advantages), but I don’t think any less emotional. Teenage couples say “Minä rakastan sinua” to each other everyday. ;) Hell, every hour! But most Finnish people are pretty distant to their families. A lot of my friends’s parents are divorced, or have had very bad experiences with their parents. Maybe the new generation will be a tiny bit better off.

    Finnish girls are a little cold, but I like them. :) All the American girls I’ve met have pissed me off one way or another. Hm, except for one. Maybe she was Canadian?

  • maaksalaatikko

    “I don’t understand why Finnish women would want American men. Most American men tend to stereotype the world from the ones I’ve met.”

    Reread the rest of your post after the above quote and then be honest and insert Finnish men instead of American men in the above quoted section.

    Have you lived in the US Jaakko or you talking about tourists you’ve met in Helsinki?

  • Punter

    I don’t think Jaako know what he’s talking about as he’s too busy looking at our “mutilated manhood” and wondering what the cheese is growing around his. Of all the stupid comments I’ve read on this site over the years (and there have been many) this is with out a doubt the DUMBEST POINT EVER MADE. I wish to throw sooooo many jokes at this post and I’m soooo tempted to take the piss (get it) but in fact I can’t help but feel pity for you (and your girlfriend) and just can’t stop laughing………..

  • Unit

    “Most American men tend to stereotype the world from the ones I’ve met”

    And then he follows with a string of stereotypes. Heh Heh.

  • GI Joe’s a Eunuch

    Jaakko you’re a typicall Finn. All Finns are like you :D

  • hungcuong

    when a finnish girl gets married to a man who has other nationality.how
    long does a man become a citizen of finland ?.
    Can a man living in Finland for 6 years for studying become a citizen of Finland?
    thank you so much
    sincerely

  • streykatt

    hello..
    I’m planning to be married in finland.
    if anyone knows info/links to refer to that has info about what my immediate rights are, i.e. health, education, etc., after marriage, I would greatly appreciate it!
    thanks!!

  • JG

    Streykatt, I don’t know much on the subject, but I searched a little on the internet for you as I am sleepless tonight. You might find it depends from which country you are a national of. But maybe look on the National Insurance Institute’s english pages: http://www.fpa.fi/in/internet/english.nsf, it might have some information. Also, try the Aliens Authority, http://www.uvi.fi/netcomm/Default.asp?language=EN. Don’t forget, I think even if you will marry a Finnish person, you might still need to apply for a permit to live in Finland if you are not a citizen in another Nordic country or the EU. I don’t think just by marrying to a Finn you get that right automatically, although I would have thought that they give you a permit rather easier in such a case.

    If you are coming from abroad, you may need to get proof you are not already married from your country’s appropriate authorities. You should check that with the Church (www.evl.fi, if you’re marrying there) or perhaps it is better to check with the Magistrate, http://www.maistraatti.fi/en/index.html which as even a section called marriage there in its English site.

    Don’t forget though, education up to and including university level is free in Finland. Although, you may not be entitled to the student grants and loans that are normally the way to support yourself through this.

    This website might also help you: http://www.infopankki.fi/, it has information for persons wanting to move here.

    Finally, good luck with your wedding!

  • DMAKI

    I am American with almost all Finn blood. I find this thread very interesting. I would say I am of the confident side-but parents were much more introverted. Culture or what. Never been to Finland but sister lived there for a year-so it sounds like my partying days. Do I find the idea of living with Finn woman appealing-sure. But the American life doesnt really think about heritage. Must be the melting pot deal.

  • maria

    Hi,
    QUICK QUESTION

    In which issue of Keskisuomalainen was it stated that the number of mixed-nationality marriages has risen by about one third in the past 10 years?

  • me

    Punter must be a jew/muslim, or someone who needs to be fitted for ring through the nose. You ever here of keeping yourself clean? that’s why God invented baths. No son of mine will ever be circumsised. i’m fully aware of what can happen, but if they can transplant organs they can take care of a foreskin problem. besides why are you even bringing that part of what he said up? your momma was to lazy to wash u so she had your “skin” chopped.you don’t speak for the US.

  • Karli

    Wow, it went from funny to hostile. Calm down!!! My Finnish bf and I do not fit the norm…I am not Russian, Thai OR Estonian…but I am from the United States. I would have to disagree with the negative comments about Finnish men–not only is my bf gorgeous, but he is the kindest, most considerate man I have EVER met. In my book, he’s a million times better than any American man. I love my country, but I REALLY love my Pexi.
    We are planning to marry, and the circumcision thing is one thing we will have to work out when we decide to have kids. It’s a regular part of my culture, but not his. We’ll work it out.
    By the way, what’s with all the really negative things about American men? I could hardly believe all the stereotypes I read. I may prefer one Finnish man to an American man, but it does not mean that all American men are jerk (or extremely patriotic, Bush lovers. Come on, you don’t honestly believe that, do you?). That’s a little ignorant, my friend.

  • sexy lady

    meeting and falling in love with one finnish man has removed all the negative stereotypes i’ve ever had about finnish men. it takes just the one, believe me, to see that everyone in the world is so beautiful and nice!

  • lee

    i want make everything finnish bush love of switzerland man,How i can do it….

  • pissu yakaa

    lets talk about divorce. how many …??

  • Trixa97

    I have just been married to a Finn – she is the most precious lady I have ever known! :D

  • Trixa07

    Every Pekka, Heikki, Jarno, Matti…and Jaakko are obviously the typical Finns! ;)

  • Trixa07

    Americans are proud and had done a lot of bad things in the history, just after Hitler!

  • Magnahero15

    Us Americans are like any other group of people. We’re like the EU, if Europe called every part in the EU ‘EU’.

  • Andy

    Well I’m a russian guy and planning to marry a finnish girl that I’m crazy in love with. Seems like we don’t fit in the statistics lol

  • Jivin2001

    Was engaged to a Swedish girl for a few months but that ended disastrously. She wanted to expatriate to the states originally, then changed her mind and wanted us to move to Norway. I think that in the end we both got cold feet and were just to afraid to leave either of our home countries. I still think about her a lot, and i can attest for Scandinavian women that they are far and away, the most beautiful in the world.

  • Jivin2001

    What the hell does antisemitism have to do with patriotic American men? You make about as much sense as a monkey on crack.

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