The total population amounts to 29,511 inhabitants (2018), of which almost half live in Mariehamn. In addition to Fast Åland, 65 islands are inhabited. From 1970-98, the population of Mariehamn and the rest of Mainland Åland increased, while it declined in the archipelago. However, the decline diminished in strength in the 1980s and has now almost ceased, mainly as a result of a conscious policy of preserving a living archipelago. Of the inhabitants, 94 percent are Swedish and 5 percent Finnish (immigrant from Finland) as their mother tongue.
The official language is Swedish. Finnish authorities are required to use the Swedish language in exchange of letters with Åland. About the dialects in Åland, see Ålandic dialects. The place names in Åland are almost exclusively Swedish. However, there are a few Finnish place names from the Middle Ages.
The Ålandic dialects occupy a middle position between the other Finnish Swedish goals and the Swedish ones.Obviously, the genuine dialects in Åland – just like the dialects in the neighboring parts of Åboland and Ostrobothnia, at least its southern part – have received a significantly larger number of linguistic influences from the west than the Finnish-Swedish dialects further east.
The landscape boundary between Åland and Southwest Finland coincides with the Shift, the wide sea bay between the eastern Åland and West Boland archipelago areas. The shift has also been considered as a dialect boundary. To put it bluntly, one can say that west of the Shift all short, pressure-strong syllables have been extended, while this east of the Shift has been to a different extent or not at all. This trend of extension is considered to be the hallmark of the Åland Islands in relation to the other Finnish-Swedish targets. However, a closer examination of the dialects on both sides of the Shift also reveals significant correspondences between the dialect areas. The waterways here have obviously facilitated the spread of linguistic and other cultural phenomena.
Of course, there are also boundaries within the Ålandic language area. According to Finnish dialect researcher Väinö Solstrand (1882-1940), three dialect areas can be distinguished: one east towards Brändö, Kumlinge and Kökar, one intermediate area with Vårdö, Sottunga, Föglö, Lumparland and Lemland and a third, western area with Fasta Åland and Eckerö. The classification can be discussed; even a division into only an eastern and a western dialect area can be defended. The dialects in western Åland show the greatest friendship with the upland dialects; this is especially true of the eceroma target, which has many language features in common with the dialect in Roslagen, such as the old initial h-bortfall. The genuine dialects in the east, for their part, show features that are common to, among other things. Åland and southern Ostrobothnia, such as ancient language diphthongs. Similarly, vocabulary differences can be observed between the western and eastern Åland. While the Western (and Swedish) goals e.g. the verb creep and adjective hilly, the dialects of the eastern vomit or runny nose .