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FSD3310 Welfare and Inequality in Finland 2016

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Authors

  • Kainulainen, Sakari (Diaconia University of Applied Sciences)
  • Niemelä, Mikko (University of Turku. Department of Social Research)

Keywords

costs, housing, income, satisfaction, social inequality, social security benefits, unemployment, well-being (health)

Abstract

The study charted Finnish opinions on and experiences of welfare and inequality as well as feelings of satisfaction and happiness. TThe study was as part of a project entitled Tackling Inequalities in Time of Austerity (TITA) funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland (decision number: 293103).

First, the respondents were asked about their life satisfaction, mood, ability to achieve things, perceived status in society and satisfaction with the status.

Regarding income and personal finance, net income of the household and the ease of covering usual expenses with the income was surveyed as well as the monthly costs incurred by debt. The respondents were asked whether their parents had been unemployed or received social security benefits when they were in their teens and whether the respondents themselves had received social assistance in the previous year.

Feelings of loneliness, depression, failure and happiness in the previous 12 months were charted. The respondents were asked how often they did things they enjoyed, how well they took care of their health, how much they were able to spend time with people they liked and how satisfied they were with their neighbourhood in terms of built and natural environment and access to services.

The respondents were asked how much they cared about the well-being of different groups (e.g. the homeless, immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, children in poor families, the elderly) and whether they, a family member or a friend had experienced challenging life circumstances (e.g. homelessness, substance abuse, over-indebtedness, disability). Trust in other people was charted.

Finally, the respondents were presented statements about whether the differences in income, health, neighbourhoods and education were too high in Finland. Two statements about social security benefits were also presented, and the respondents were asked how well they had achieved the things they had wanted to achieve.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, household composition, housing tenure, education, economic activity and choice of political party.

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