7 myths about Åland
There are many statements about Åland that are not true - here we take a closer look at seven of the most common misconceptions. Did you know this about Åland?
1. You must be an Ålander to get a job
No, not at all. Åland needs you and your competence. The unemployment rate is low and we’re looking for people with the right competence. In other words, the employment situation is very good. There is a high demand for long-term personnel, especially in healthcare, IT, technology, law, services, education and childcare.
The unemployment rate is 2–4 percent. The employment rate is the high and the job opportunities are good.
2. You're not allowed to buy a house
You’re most welcome to buy a house in Åland. When you move to Åland you can buy a house on a planned housing area after applying for a land ownership permit. Most housing areas are surrounded by beautiful nature and some with a sea view and a private jetty. An apartment in a housing company is another option and for that no landownership permit is required.
3. Newcomers can't start a business
No problem, as a newcomer you can start your own business. Åland has a long tradition of entrepreneurship and new enterprisers are warmly welcomed. We’re looking forward to new business establishments and fresh ideas. Welcome to apply for a business permit!
Åland has over 2,600 active companies of which about 85 percent have less than four employees. There are many one-man businesses but there are also bigger companies operating on international markets.
4. Åland is an isolated island with poor connections
Åland with her 6,700 islands has a central location. There are about 30 daily ferry arrivals and regular flight connections. Whenever you feel like visiting a big city, you can easily take a morning ferry and return with an evening ferry.
Stockholm, Helsinki and Turku are within one-hour flight from Åland. A ferry crossing to Finland takes about five hours and two hours to Sweden.
5. Åland is stone dead when the summer is over
The summer is beautiful in Åland. Festivals and concerts follow one another and beaches lie within a stone’s throw. In summer you can spend most of your time in the water, but in wintertime you can go skating on it.
The sea and the forests are around the corner, and nature and outdoor activities are always at present. If you prefer indoor activities, the culture house Alandica tempts with concerts and events all year round.
Åland has the most sports facilities per capita in Finland and there are active associations and clubs for almost all interests and hobbies.
6. Is it even possible for non-natives to move to Åland?
Almost 36 percent of today’s Ålanders were born elsewhere than in Åland. Almost 50 percent of all 30–69 year-olds have moved to Åland, and over half of Mariehamn’s population of the same age group has moved from elsewhere. Most new inhabitants are from the mainland of Finland, Sweden or other Nordic countries, but there is a continuously increasing number of immigrants from countries outside the Nordics. In other words, you’re welcome to move to Åland.
7. Åland is dependent on subsidies from Finland
No, we aren’t. Like all Finns, we pay taxes, custom tariffs and other charges to the state of Finland. Ålanders contribute 0.64 percent of Finland’s tax revenues. We get back a so-called lump sum of 0.45 percent that balances the expenses the autonomous Åland has taken over from the state of Finland.