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FSD2927 Rural Finland 2013: Citizens

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Authors

  • Aho, Pauliina (Taloustutkimus)
  • Rahkonen, Juho (Taloustutkimus)

Keywords

businesses, countryside, rural areas, rural development, rural economics, rural environment, rural migration, rural planning, rural policy

Abstract

The survey studied public opinion and experiences of the countryside as well as beliefs about the significance, development and future of rural areas in Finland. The survey is a follow-up on the barometers conducted by the Landmarks Programme in 2009 and 2011.

First, the respondents were asked how firmly they connected certain qualities and issues to the countryside and to urban areas (e.g. good life, environmentally-friendly lifestyle). Images of the countryside were charted by asking what kinds of places corresponded to their view of the countryside and what kind of areas they saw as rural (e.g. holiday villages in rural areas, rural population centres, nature areas, rural areas dominated by agricultural areas). The experience of urban/rural identity was examined with questions on whether the respondents thought themselves as city or rural residents and how important this identity was. They were asked in what kind of a neighbourhood their homes, holiday homes, workplaces and most important childhood environment were located, and in what kind of a neighbourhood they would prefer to live.

The respondents were also asked about their habits of spending time in different kinds of neighbourhoods or places during their working time, weekends and holidays. Views were probed on the intentions to move to a more urban or rural setting within the following ten years. Reasons for the importance of different types of places (e.g. friends in other regions, spending holidays, telework) were studied. Opinions were also surveyed on how well the respondents had achieved certain states of things in their own life (e.g. life without stress, sustainable lifestyle, physical health, meaningful job).

One topic covered the significance of the countryside in the lives of the respondents at the time of the survey and what they believed the significance would be in ten years' time. Further questions explored their beliefs about whether the significance of rural areas would grow or diminish in Finland, and what they would like or believed the countryside to be like in 2025. The respondents were also presented with a number of statements relating to the countryside, its image, development and significance. Opinions on how rural areas should be or should not be developed were examined, as well as opinions on rural economics and the countryside as a business environment.

Background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, highest education, political party preference in parliamentary elections, attitudes towards new products, region (NUTS3) and major region (NUTS2) of residence, type of municipality, economic activity and occupational status, household composition, number and age of children living at home, annual gross income of the household, and type of housing.

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