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indicator value unit
Population 5.4 mil.
Visitors per year 6.2 mil.
Renewable energy 24.48 %

How’s Life?

Finland performs well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Finland, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is 26 904 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 23 938 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn almost four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, 70% of people aged 15 to 64 in Finland have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 71% of men are in paid work, compared with 68% of women. People in Finland work 1 672 hours a year, less than the OECD average of 1 765 hours. Some 4% of employees work very long hours, much lower than the OECD average of 9%, with 6% of men working very long hours compared with just 2% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Finland, 84% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of women than of men, as 81% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 86% of women. Finland is a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system. The average student scored 529 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is much higher than the OECD average of 497 making Finland one of the strongest OECD countries in students’ skills. On average in Finland, girls outperformed boys by 27 points, considerably more than the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Finland is almost 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 77 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs –is 15.2 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Finland also does well in terms of water quality, as 95% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, more than the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Finland, where 93% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 69% during recent elections; slightly below the OECD average of 72%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 74% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 61%, slightly broader than the OECD average gap of 11 percentage points.

In general, Finns are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 81% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 76%.

For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.


OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Finland 2014

This 2014 Economic Survey of Finland examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters look at ageing and local public finances.

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Finland in Detail