FSD3539 Welfare and Inequality in Finland 2020

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  • Kainulainen, Sakari (Diaconia University of Applied Sciences)
  • Kouvo, Antti (University of Eastern Finland)
  • Kujala, Pietari (University of Turku)
  • Niemelä, Mikko (University of Turku. Department of Social Research)
  • Saari, Juho (Tampere University)


quality of life, satisfaction, social disadvantage, social inequality, social security, social stratification, standard of living, well-being (health)


The survey charted Finnish opinions on and experiences of welfare and inequality. The study was part of a project entitled Tackling Inequalities in Time of Austerity (TITA) funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland (decision numbers: 293103 and 314250), as well as the Inequalities, Interventions and a New Welfare State (INVEST) project funded by the Academy of Finland (decision number: 320162).

First, the respondents were asked about their life satisfaction, mood, ability to achieve goals, perceived status in society and trust in other people. Feelings of loneliness, depression, failure, and happiness in the previous 12 months were also charted.

Regarding income and personal finance, net income of the household and the ease of covering usual expenses with the income were surveyed. The respondents were asked whether they had received social assistance (minimum income scheme) in the previous year.

The respondents' sense of safety was examined with questions on how often they interacted with or helped their neighbours, how safe they felt it was to walk outside in their own neighbourhood or in the population centre of the municipality late at night, and whether they had recently been concerned about becoming the victim of certain crimes (e.g. burglary, assault, sexual harassment). The respondents' views on how safe Finland is in general were also investigated.

A number of statements about social assistance and social security were presented (e.g. all Finns are treated equally, the funding of social security is not sustainable, and that EU membership is a disadvantage to social security). Finally, the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with statements about their own welfare and well-being, and how satisfied they were with their lives overall.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, household composition, household characteristics, housing tenure, type of accommodation, level of education, household income and expenses, and NUTS3 region of residence.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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