A generous social policy and social
legislation provides Finns with well-functioning
security systems, usually administered by the
municipalities. During the economic crisis in the 1990s,
the cost of welfare was cut, including the reduction in
unemployment benefits. Even during the 2008 economic
downturn, attempts have been made to reduce the state's
costs for social protection networks. Nevertheless,
Finland spends more money on welfare than most other EU
Health care is well developed and is largely financed
by public funds. Infant mortality in Finland is one of
the lowest in the world. A remaining public health
problem is that the proportion of alcoholics in the
population is relatively high. About 2,000 deaths per
year can be related to alcohol. However, overall alcohol
consumption has decreased in recent years, and the total
alcohol consumption in Finland is somewhere in the
middle compared to the rest of Europe. The main cause of
death is cardiovascular disease.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Finland, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Sickness insurance is financed through municipal tax
and by employers. It subsidizes both care and
pharmaceuticals and provides some compensation for sick
leave at work.
The pension system consists mainly of two parts, an
income-tested national pension to which all citizens are
entitled, and a pension part whose size depends on how
many years of service the person has. The retirement age
is 65, but since 2005, those aged between 63 and 68 can
choose to retire in retirement.
A debate has been going on for several years about
how Finland should be able to finance the large welfare
sector in the longer term, especially considering that
the proportion of older people in the population is
increasing. Votes have been raised to make more people
work longer. As the country's economy has faced more and
more challenges in the 2010s (see Finance), the
government has been trying to find ways to reduce both
long-term sick leave and early retirement, as well as
the cost of public employees (see Labor market). The
bourgeois government that took office in 2015 was one of
its main objectives to implement a major reform of the
country's health care with the aim of centralizing and
streamlining public health care and encouraging private
alternatives. However, it failed to push through the
Less class differences than before
Unlike Sweden, until the 1960s, Finland had virtually
no middle class. The majority of Finns were included in
the working class, while there was a small upper class
with a great influence in society. Nowadays, class
boundaries have started to be blurred, while the pay gap
between high and low income earners continues to be
The rapid urbanization that took off after World War
II has changed the family patterns. A Finnish family has
an average of 1.9 children. Only a few percent have four
children or more.
When a child is born, the mother can take leave for
three months (105 days). Thereafter and until the child
becomes nine months, there is parental leave for 158
days which can be taken out by the mother or father or
shared equally between the two parents. It is more
common for the mother to stay home with the children
than the father does.
The children bear either the mother's or the father's
last name or a combination of both. At marriage it is
common for the woman to take the husband's last name,
but a man can take his wife's last name if the couple so
wishes. The proportion of married couples has declined
since the 1960s, which is because more and more people
choose to live together without being married. At the
same time, divorce has become more common. Nowadays,
around half of all marriages dissolve.
First in Europe with female voting rights
In 1995, discrimination based on sexual orientation
was prohibited by law. Same-sex couples have since 2002
been allowed to register partnerships and since March 1,
2017 have the right to marry, but they are still not
allowed to adopt children. Instead, one party in the
couple relationship can adopt their partner's child,
so-called kinship adoption.
Finland was the first in Europe in 1906 to introduce
women's suffrage and the first in the world to allow
women to stand for election.
Women work almost as much as men, but they usually
have lower positions and lower wages, even though they
are generally at least as well educated as men. More
than half of the students in higher education are women.
In the case of inheritance, women and men have the
Young people release from their parents relatively
early and many move away from home before the age of 20.
Girls generally move slightly earlier than boys.
Discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin is
prohibited by law but still exists. For example, some
groups find it difficult to enter the labor market. One
group that is often discriminated against is the Roma.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
1 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
100.0 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
99.4 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
9.4 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
4,117 US dollars (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
42 percent (2018)
The Prime Minister announces his departure
Vanhanen states that he will resign as party leader at the Center's congress
in June 2010.
Prime Minister in windy weather
Prime Minister Vanhanen passes a vote of no confidence in Parliament, brought
by the Social Democrats. The background is a revelation that Vanhanen, like
other politicians from the Center and the Socialist Party, did not report all
election contributions. It appears that Vanhanen has received large sums from a
nonprofit foundation where he was chairman.
Folkstorm around the pension issue
Prime Minister Vanhanen faces fierce opposition when he proposes raising the
retirement age from 63 to 65. The union threatens a general strike and Vanhanen
is forced to withdraw the proposal. The government, trade unions and employers
decide to jointly formulate a proposal for pension reform.