The metropolitan area has the largest concentration of people in Finland. The total number of inhabitants in the study area is over 1.6 million people (out of 5.2 million in the whole country). Of this, 1 million people live in the metropolitan area. The growth has been significant especially after the second world war and then levelling down in the seventies and eighties. In the 1990's the region was growing faster once again.
Helsinki region comprises about one third of the national GDP of Finland.
In addition to its administrative status as the capital city and home
for industry headquarters, the economy of the region is based on retail,
wholesale and private services. The region, therefore, has a surplus in
its trade with the rest of the country. While the traditional manufacturing
industries have been declining, the share of high-technology indus-tries
and services has been growing. The large and concentrated traditional
indus-tries such as metal and paper are not typically located in the region.
Consequently, the foreign exports are not so dominant as for the rest
of the country. As a big con-centration of population, the level of imports