FSD3217 European Social Survey 2016: Finnish Data

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  • Fitzgerald, Rory (City University. ESS ERIC Headquarters)
  • ESS Core Scientific Team
  • Ervasti, Heikki (University of Turku. Department of Social Research)


climate change, discrimination, energy, national identity, religion, social exclusion, social security benefits, trust, values, well-being (health)


The data charted attitudes, beliefs and behaviour of Finnish citizens. The survey consists of a core module repeated each collection round and rotating modules on different themes. The special themes of the 2016 collection round were climate change and well-being. The Finnish survey is funded by the Academy of Finland.

The first questions pertained to mass media, social trust (e.g. "Can people be trusted?"; "Do people help each other or only work for their own benefit?"), party preference and political participation in the previous 12 months, the state of Finnish society, national identity and European integration, immigration and multiculturalism, adoption rights of same-sex couples, and trust in institutions and decision-making bodies, such as the Parliament, the police, and the United Nations.

Views on well-being and equality were charted with questions about happiness, social relations, safety, and health. The respondents were also asked if they found themselves religious or part of a discriminated-against group, and the reasons for their discrimination were examined. It was also asked if the respondents felt that immigrants should be allowed or denied access to the country based on a variety of reasons (e.g. they had an education, they were Christian, their expertise was sought-after). Attitudes toward asylum seekers were also studied.

Views on climate change and global warming were charted with questions regarding energy efficient home appliances, energy consumption, energy availability and different energy sources, the effects of climate change, and actions required for hindering climate change.

The next theme pertained to society. Questions covered the acceptability of income disparity, the number of unemployed people, the standard of living that the unemployed and the retired have, social security benefits (their cost, their effect on equality in Finland, and if they make people lazy or unwilling to help each other), and the rights of immigrants. Some questions examined attitudes toward unemployment benefits and if they should be denied from unemployed persons who would not accept a job if offered to them. It was also asked whether a universal basic income system should be employed, and if the respondent would vote for or against a EU membership if a referendum were held.

The respondents' sociodemographic background information was charted thoroughly in this study. Among other things, they were asked about household composition, gender, age, marital status, type of residential area, the respondents' and their spouses' and parents' education level and occupation, household net income, and possible trade union membership.

One set of questions charted the respondents' values with 21 attitudinal statements based on the Schwartz Human Values Scale, and finally, the functionality of the survey and the response scales was examined with a set of test questions.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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