Social inequality

Inequality is a global problem and a challenge in Finland as well. Growing inequality is a particular challenge to socially sustainable development, but it also impacts other dimensions of sustainability.

Equality is manifested in many ways in the society: income disparities, health, social exclusion, wellbeing and life satisfaction experiences, education, and faith in the future. The factors behind inequality may be an outcome of long-term trends or caused by unexpected, sudden events. The dimensions of inequality are also closely linked to each other and impact on matters such as peace in society, as well as human wellbeing, economy and employment. 

Indicators chosen by the network of experts

  1. Income disparities (Gini coefficient, low income rate, income development in the lowest and highest 10th percentile)
  2. Numbers and regional distribution of beneficiaries of basic social assistance
  3. Satisfaction with life among young adults (aged 18 to 25)
  4. Numbers of quota refugees and asylum seekers/positive decisions on asylum applications

Linkage to the objectives of Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development

Equal prospects for well-being
A participatory society for citizens
Sustainable employment
Sustainable society and local communities

Social inequality 2020
The number of people receiving long-term social assistance decreased before the coronavirus pandemic

12.4.2021 10.13
Inequality is a global problem. Growth of inequality particularly challenges socially sustainable development, while it also strongly affects other areas of sustainable development. Inequality is manifested in aspects such as income disparities, health, social exclusion, perceived wellbeing and life satisfaction, education, and confidence in the future and personal opportunities for influence. The factors behind inequality may be an outcome of long-term trends or caused by unexpected, sudden events. The different dimensions of inequality are also strongly interconnected and have an impact not only on people’s welfare, finances and employment but also on social peace.

Social inequality 2019
Income inequality has remained much the same, the number of basic social assistance recipients has continued to grow

19.3.2020 14.06
Inequality is a global problem and is also prevalent in Finland. Growth of inequality is a particular challenge for socially sustainable development, but it also has a strong impact on other areas of sustainable development.

Social inequality 2017
No significant change in income differences, the number of recipients of social assistance is highest in Uusimaa

13.6.2018 15.55
The indicators suggest that the sharp increase in income differences and growth in the share of persons living on low incomes has come to a halt and, in certain areas, begun to reverse itself. On the other hand, the differences continue to be big compared to the early 1990s.