A total of 630 such tests were conducted in 2016, of which in two thirds of the cases conclusive evidence was found that applicant was in fact an adult. According to preliminary data from the Finnish Migration Board (Migri) more than 400 of last year's applicants posing as teenagers were fact adults. The percentage of investigated asylum seekers who were found to be adults, although stated otherwise, has thus risen compared with previous years.
Over the past two years, the Finnish Migration Board addressed about 3,500 applications from juvenile applicants, who arrived in Finland without their parents. Migri is reportedly still working on decisions for around 400 children and adolescents. Although a minor's application is always processed as urgent, Migri's consideration time for reaching a decision has spiked to an average of ten months.
The majority of adolescent asylum seekers who were granted asylum in Finland in 2016 were from Afghanistan (74 percent), Iraq (11 percent) and Somalia (6 percent).
In 2016, Finland also saw a significant landmark in demographic trends, when the number of births plunged below the number of deaths for the first time in 76 years and reached its lowest point in Finland's history as an independent nation. Since 1900, such adverse demographic trends have only occurred during the Finnish Civil War (1917-1918) and the Winter War (1939-1940).
Nevertheless, the country's population kept rising due to migration. In 2016, 32,376 people moved to Finland from abroad.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!