FSD2569 Rural Finland 2009: Citizens

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  • Kurunmäki, Seija (Kuule)
  • Leppänen, Anne (Kuule)
  • Hellström, Eeva (Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. Landmarks Programme)
  • Aho, Pauliina (Taloustutkimus)


image, rural areas, rural development, rural economics, rural environment, rural policy, rural sociology

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The survey studied public opinion and experiences of the countryside in Finland and beliefs about the significance, development and future of rural areas. The barometer was developed for the Landmarks Programme carried out by the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) to provide the programme with the latest information on the relationship of Finns to the countryside.

First, the respondents were asked how important various issues were for them to feel that their life is good (for instance, feeling safe, sufficient income, self-fullfilment, control over their own life, spacious housing, meaningful job, good social relations, easy travel to work, stress-free pace of life) and how satisfied were they with the state of these things in their own life at the time of the survey.

Views were probed on what kind of neighbourhood the respondents saw as providing a good life (living in a city, living in a rural area or alternating between living in a rural and an urban area, living in a neighbourhood that is neither rural nor urban). The respondents were asked which areas they saw as part of the countryside (e.g. holiday villages in rural areas, rural population centres, nature areas, rural areas dominated by agricultural areas) and whether they felt themselves to be city residents or rural residents.

The respondents were presented with a number of statements relating to the countryside, its image and future development and significance. Some questions covered what the respondents would like the countryside to be like in 2020 and what they believed the countryside would mean to them in 10 years. Further questions explored the respondents' neighbourhood of residence at the time of the survey and in future, and beliefs whether the significance of rural areas would grow or diminish in Finland.

Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, region of residence (NUTS3), education, economic activity and occupational status, household composition, number and age of children living at home, annual gross income of the household, type of accommodation, municipality type, R's Internet use, employment sector, employer size, ownership of car, home, holiday home and consumer durables, ownership and type of mobile phone.

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