Exclusion of youth is the greatest concern for Finns

Teemu Ullgrén
Many respondents worry about the social exclusion and marginalization of today’s young people.
Image: Teemu Ullgrén

The Finnish Red Cross commissioned a survey about the joys and concerns of people living in Finland. More than half of those who responded are worried about the growing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.

The people surveyed are most concerned about the social exclusion of young people. Two out of three respondents feel concerned about today’s young people. Those who are most concerned are usually aged over 50. The concern is also more widespread in northern Finland than it is in the southern more populated parts of the country.

A major topical concern is the current situation between Russia and Ukraine. Some 65 per cent of the people polled say they are very worried or rather worried about the situation. Most concerned are people in the 65+ age group. Of them, some 82 per cent are very worried or rather worried about Russia’s actions.Generally speaking, women expressed more worry than men, and people with further education expressed more worry than those less educated.

Some 65 per cent of the people surveyed are concerned about the growing economic gap. However, most of the Finns polled were not worried about their own finances, but did express concern for their health and that of the people they love.

On the other hand, climate change, immigration and extremism are also high on the list of what concerns Finnish people. Some seven per cent of those surveyed say they are very worried about immigration. Which is less than media reporting in Finland might have led us to believe.

The Joy of Volunteering

Voluntary work brings meaningful content and experience to many lives. A total of 63 per cent of Finns are prepared to do voluntary work. Most keen on volunteering are those aged between 15 and 24.People under 50 are more willing to get involved in volunteer work than those over 50.

Important sources of joy for Finns include their family, friends, nature and leisure time. Many of those surveyed said their work also gives them joy. Very few respondents feel gloomy or say they find little joy in their life.

The survey was undertaken in June 2014, by Taloustutkimus, and 1,085 Finns aged 15–79 years of age participated.