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Statsrådet och ministerierna Media

Research study: Finns concerned about growing inequality between citizens

Government Communications Department
8.3.2016 11.21
Press release 99/2016

Finns are concerned about the growing inequality between people and residential areas in Finland. Only 24% of Finns agreed to some extent or fully with the statement that all Finnish citizens are equal. Well over half of all respondents felt that inequality between people brings a significant sense of insecurity. Similarly, most respondents believe that the growing disparities between residential areas is a mounting problem in Finland.

These are the results of a study conducted by the Finnish National Rescue Association. The study examined factors among Finns such as what helps strengthen or weaken their sense of security, coping during incidents and disruptions, views on the likelihood of different risk situations arising and endorsement of political decision making.

Role of the State is to guarantee safety and livelihood for its citizens

The majority of respondents were of the opinion that the State plays a key role in guaranteeing their physical safety (78% of respondents) and a livelihood (62% of respondents) for its citizens. However, one in three believed that the State's role in safeguarding physical safety and a livelihood will diminish in the coming years. 

The survey showed that a low educational level and low income were linked to a sense of insecurity and dissatisfaction. For example, the lower the level of education of the respondents, the more they believed that the Parliament fails to take proper care of the safety of the nation’s citizens. 

Most likely threat is a prolonged economic recession

The respondents were asked how likely it was that Finland would experience different threats over the next three years. The respondents believed (54% of respondents) that a prolonged economic recession is the greatest threat to security. They did not consider different global or environmental threats very likely. When assessing the security of society and one's own residential area, 89% of the respondents felt that Finland is a safe country.  

The study also examined how well Finnish people are prepared for different kinds of incidents and disruptions. The results show that people are not particularly well prepared for problems involving tap water, electricity, or food supplies, for instance. The respondents would manage the easiest without public transport (87% of respondents for a week or even longer) and least without tap water (22% for less than 24 hours).

Family and friends, home, livelihood, work and health bring a sense of security to Finns

Family, friends and other relations were among the most common factors that bring Finns a sense of security. Other factors related to security were the home, livelihood, work and health.

The data for the survey were collected in spring 2015, i.e. before the rise in the numbers of asylum seekers and the ensuing discussion on the impact migration has on security. The project was carried out as part of the implementation of the Government's 2014 plan for analysis, assessment and research.

Safe? Research report on the state of civil security in Finland (in Finnish).

Further information about the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities

Inquiries: Tuula Kekki, Researcher, Finnish National Rescue Association, tel. +358 40 157 7706 and Teija Mankkinen, Head of Research and Development, Finnish National Rescue Association, tel. +358 40 161 7787

English translation of the press release published on 8 March 2016