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FSD1111 Finnish Citizens' Attitudes towards Foreigners 1996

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Study title

Finnish Citizens' Attitudes towards Foreigners 1996

Dataset ID Number


Persistent identifier


Data Type



  • Söderling, Ismo (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)


The survey studied Finnish citizens' attitudes towards immigration. The respondents were asked to estimate the number of refugees and foreigners in Finland, and to name the three biggest refugee groups. They also estimated the amount of Finns and foreigners they assumed or hoped to live in Finland in 2030. They responded to various statements revolving round the following topics: Finnish society, the amount of immigrants in Finland, the reasons for immigration, attitudes towards foreigners, preservation of immigrants' culture, employment and foreigners, immigration and economics, own cultural identity and well-being, desire to increase or decrease expenses covered with taxes, EU and Finland, significant social objectives, religiousness, equality between men and women, and assistance between the different generations of the family.

The respondents were asked to describe their attitudes towards the different nationalities and their immigration to Finland, and to estimate what kind of consequences will result from the immigration. The respondents were asked whether they themselves were planning to move, and if so, where and why. In addition, they were asked who should get the job, and who will probably get it, if the two equally qualified applicants were a hetero and a homosexual, a man and a woman, an immigrant and a Finn by birth, a smoker and a non-smoker, or a person who had chosen non-military service and someone who had done his/her national service. Finally, the respondents were asked to name the most important characteristics of a "proper Finn".

Background variables included the respondent's sex, age, marital status, current place of residence, place of birth, opinion about the residential environment, education, spouse's and one's own occupation, quantity and quality of stays abroad, number of foreign acquaintances, religiousness, household income, number of household members, number of books read within the last year, estimated number of books R owns, time spent on reading daily newspapers, and political views.


attitudes; foreigners; immigrants; immigration; prejudice; refugees

Topic Classification


Individual datasets


Finnish Social Science Data Archive


The dataset is (B) available for research, teaching and study.

Data Collector

  • Söderling, Ismo (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)

Data Producers

  • Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute

Time Period Covered


Collection Dates

1995-12-01 – 1996-02-01



Geographical Coverage


Analysis/Observation Unit Type



Finns aged 18 - 75 living in Finland (excluding the Åland Islands)

Time Method


Sampling Procedure

Probability: Simple random

The sample was gathered by Statistics Finland. Sample size 1,500, number of respondents 778. Non-response was tested with 10 variables. Women and inhabitants of southern Finland were slightly overly represented, and Swedish speaking Finns under-represented (the form was not available in Swedish). As far as the other seven variables were concerned, there was no difference between the distribution of the respondents and that of the general population of the 18-75-year-olds (marital status, age, city dwellers, residents of the capital, senior secondary school/high school graduates, unemployment rate, voters of the left-wing parties).

Collection Mode

Self-administered questionnaire: Paper

Research Instrument

Structured questionnaire

Response Rate


Data File Language

Downloaded data package may contain different language versions of the same files.

The data files of this dataset are available in the following languages: Finnish and English.

FSD translates quantitative data into English on request, free of charge. More information on ordering data translation.

Number of Cases and Variables

252 variables and 755 cases.

Data Version


Completeness of Data and Restrictions

Non-response is not systematic.

Variables related to the place of residence and place of birth have been deleted.

Citation Requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical Citation

Söderling, Ismo (Family Federation of Finland): Finnish Citizens' Attitudes towards Foreigners 1996 [dataset]. Version 1.0 (2002-01-23). Finnish Social Science Data Archive [distributor]. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:fsd:T-FSD1111

Deposit Requirement

The user shall notify the archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.

Special Terms and Conditions for Access

Users of the data shall send Väestöliitto [Family Federation of Finland] a copy of all research publications based on or using the data. Publications shall be sent to the mail address: Väestöliitto, Väestöntutkimuslaitos, PL 849, 00101 HELSINKI, FINLAND.


The original data creators and the archive bear no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the reuse of the data.

Related Materials

Several lectures have been based on this data, for example the ones delivered at the World Population Conference in Beijing (1997), and the European Population Conference in the Hague (1999).

Related Publications

Söderling, Ismo (1996). Tervetuloa, mutta...: suomalaisten ulkomaalaisasenteet syksyllä 1995. Erikoisraportti. Monitori 3(4), 19-23.

Söderling, Ismo (1997). Maahanmuuttoasenteet ja elämänhallinta. Helsinki: Väestöliitto. Väestöntutkimuslaitoksen julkaisusarja; D30.

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