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FSD3039 Welfare and Life Management in Rural and Urban Municipalities 2001

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Authors

  • Airio, Ilpo (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES). Welfare Research Group)
  • Heikkil√§, Matti (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES). Welfare Research Group)
  • Kainulainen, Sakari (Diaconia University of Applied Sciences)
  • Rintala, Taina (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES). Welfare Research Group)

Keywords

happiness, health, housing, internal migration, interpersonal trust, local government services, neighbourhoods, neighbours, place of residence, quality of life, residential mobility, rural areas, social interaction, urban areas, voluntary work, voting, well-being (society)

Abstract

The study charted the extent to which regional development differences in Finland affect the material welfare and other well-being of people. The study is a continuation of the research project Kahtiajakautuva Suomi? [Divided Finland?], which began in 2000.

The respondents were first asked about their housing and neighbourhood with questions charting housing tenure, type of neighbourhood, distance to municipal centre, and satisfaction with and security of the neighbourhood. The respondents' occupational status, economic activity, type of contract, and spouse's/partner's economic activity were charted. Relating to financial circumstances of the household, the respondents were asked what the gross monthly income of the household was, how much they received in transfer payments per month, whether any member of the household had received social assistance, whether the household had had problems with essential expenses, and how easy or difficult it was for the household to manage with the income.

Health was surveyed with questions about self-perceived health status, long-term disabilities and injuries, feelings of happiness and depression, and inpatient treatment received. Relating to relationships and interaction, the respondents were asked whether they had a friend they trusted, what their relationships with their family members were like, whether they felt lonely, to what extent they trusted people in general, and whether certain issues made life more difficult for the household (e.g. alcohol abuse, cheating, unsafety of the neighbourhood). The respondents' hobbies were investigated as well as their relations to neighbours and activity in the neighbourhood.

Interest in influencing decision-making was investigated by charting voting behaviour, satisfaction with politicians, and political party choice. The respondents were also asked how long they had lived in their municipality of residence, how many times they had moved to another municipality, and why they had or hadn't moved to another municipality. Opinions on the availability of various municipal services and satisfaction with public transport were surveyed. Views on own future and future of the municipality of residence were investigated by asking, among others, whether the respondents were planning on moving somewhere else and why, whether the current municipality of residence provided satisfactory opportunities, and how the municipality and own situation would develop in the future. Finally, satisfaction with life was charted.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, household composition, basic and vocational education, region, and municipality type (urban centres [40], urban areas [14], rural areas close to urban areas [160], rural heartland [145], and sparsely populated rural areas [93]).

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