Century comparisons

During her independence, Finland has changed considerably. Changes can be seen in the major policies of society as well as in small everyday matters. In the century comparisons we present the change with the help of figures from the early years of independence and the present day. The photos used in the comparisons are from the collections of Finnish museums.

In addition to the website, the comparisons appear on Statistics Finland’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, where they are found with the hashtag #centurycomparison.

Number of maternal deaths

1936
374
2015
2
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Kuolemansyyt vuosina 1936-1937 (Causes of death in 1936 to 1937), Table 1.
Statistics Finland. Causes of death. Reviews 2015, 7.

Women’s and men’s average height

In the 1910s
160.6 cm (W)
170.0 cm (M)
2014
165 cm (W)
179 cm (M)
Wilskman, Ivar. Tilastollisia tietoja Suomen koulunuorison ruumiillisesta kehityksestä, osa 2 (Statistical information on the physical development of Finnish schoolchildren, part 2), (Helsinki, 1920) and Tilastollisia tietoja Suomen kansan ruumiillisesta kehityksestä, osa 3 (Statistical information on the physical development of the Finnish population, part 3), (Helsinki, 1922).
National Institute for Health and Welfare. Health Behaviour and Health among the Finnish Adult Population, Spring 2014, Table 101.B.

Baltic herring catches

1917
11,824,108 kg
2016
136,308,000 kg
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1919, Table 88
Luke. Commercial marine fishery 2016.

Share of services in gross value added

1917
28.4%
2016*
70.2%
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016, Table 6.2.
Statistics Finland. Finland in Figures. Structural change of the economy.

Share of secondary production in gross value added

1917
22.9%
2016*
27.1%
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016, Table 6.2.
Statistics Finland. Finland in Figures. Structural change of the economy.

Share of primary production in gross value added

1917
48.6%
2016*
2.7%
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016, Table 6.2.
Statistics Finland. Finland in Figures. Structural change of the economy.

Central government debt per capita
(in 2016 money)

1917
EUR 96
2016
EUR 18,577
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1919, Table 211.
State Treasury. Statistical database. Central government debt

Consumption of electricity

1917
205 GWh
2016*
85,085 GWh
Statistics Finland. The use and sources of energy 1917-2007, Table 1.
Statistics Finland. Energy. Supplies and total consumption of electricity.

Share of persons that studied beyond basic education

1920
5%
(studies beyond elementary school)
2015
71%
(studies beyond basic education)
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1925, Table 18.
Statistics Finland. Education. Population aged 15 or over by level of education, municipality and sex.

Biggest cities

1917
Helsinki
Turku
Tampere
Vyborg
2016
Helsinki
Espoo
Tampere
Vantaa
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1919, Table 9.
Statistics Finland. Population structure. Population by sex and area.

Rooms (incl. kitchen) per dwelling

1917
2.4
2015
3.7
Heikkonen, Eero. Asuntopalvelukset Suomessa 1860-1965 (Housing in Finland, 1860-1965), p. 207 (Bank of Finland, 1971).
Statistics Finland. Statistics on dwellings and housing conditions.

Average size of household-dwelling units

1920
5.2 persons
2016
2.03 persons
Juntto, Anneli. Asuminen (Housing). In Suomen vuosisata (Finland’s century), (Statistics Finland, 2000).
Statistics Finland. Dwellings and housing conditions 2016, Appendix table 1.

Share of those starting middle school/upper secondary school in the age group

1920
around 7%
2015
52.5%
Lampinen, Osmo. Basic level of education. In Suomen vuosisata (Finland’s century), (Statistics Finland, 2000).
Statistics Finland. Education. Direct transition to further studies of completers of the 9th grade of comprehensive school.

Matriculation examinations

1917
1,138
2016
30,531
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1927, Table 181.
Statistics Finland. Education. Completers of matriculation examination in 2016.

Average age of persons entering into their first marriage

1917
25-29 (M)
20-24 (W)
2016
33,7 (M)
31,4 (W)
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Population changes in Finland in 1917 and 1918, page 20.
Statistics Finland. Changes in marital status.Average age of people entering into marriage and divorcing.

Reported measles cases

1920
13,180
2016
4
National Board of Health. Report of the National Board of Health in 1920.
National Institute for Health and Welfare. Statistical database on the register of infectious diseases (only in Finnish).

Number of motorcycles

1922
837
2016
265,960
Statistics Finland. Motor vehicle stock. Number of vehicles registered.

Number of merchant fleet vessels

1917
4,671 vessels
(4,003 of which sailing ships and 668 steamships)
2016
1,261 vessels

Average stay in a general hospital

1920
21.9 days
2015*
3l.5 days
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016. Table 19.13.

Number of prescriptions per inhabitant

1917
0.9
2015
10.2
National Board of Health. Report of the National Board of Health in 1917.
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016. Table 19.2.

Factories manufacturing matches

1917
10
2017
0
Board of Trade and Industry. Industrial statistics: in 1917. Table 4.
Statistics Finland. Business Register.

Share of forest industry products in exports

1920
94%
2016
22%
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016, Table 7.8.
Finnish Customs. Statistics. Exports by Products by Activity (CPA2008).

Share of exports to Russian in exports

1917
96.3%
2016
5.7%
Finnish Customs. Time series. Imports and exports in 1881 to 2016 by country.

Students at the University of Helsinki

1917
3,215
2016
32,031
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1920, Table 183.
Statistics Finland. University education. University students and qualifications.

Share of persons living in their place of birth

1920
72.2%
2016
44.1%
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1922, Table 20.
Statistics Finland. Population statistics.

Recorded consumption of beer per inhabitant

1917
10.5 litre
2016
75.1 litre
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1919, Table 235.
Valvira. Statistics on alcohol 2016.

Population density

1920
9.4 inhabitants per km²
2017
18.1 inhabitants per km²
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1965, Table 10.
Statistics Finland. Population structure. Population density by area.

Proportion of children (aged 0 to 14) in the population

1917
34.5%
2016
16.3%
Statistics Finland. Population structure. Population by age and sex.

Average number of children per woman

1917
3.71
2016
1.57
Statistics Finland. Births. Total fertility rate.

Children born

1917
81,046
2016
52,814
Statistics Finland. Births. Live births by sex.

Share of housing in private consumption

1920
9.2%
2015
28.2%

Share of food in private consumption

1920
47.6%
2015
11.2%

Share of persons working in service industries and administration

1920
10.9%
2016
73.7%

Share of persons working in manufacturing

1920
11.5%
2016
21.8%
Viljaa kootaan seipäälle

Share of persons working in agriculture and forestry

1920
70.1%
2016
4.1%

Average milk production of a milking cow

1917
1,894 litre
2016
8,406 litre
SCentral Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1925, Table 63.
Luke. Agricultural statistics. Total milk production.

Number of milking cows

1917
1,075,749
2016
275,375
Direction of the Agriculture. Agriculture and animal husbandry in Finland in 1918, p. 34.
Luke. Agricultural statistics. Number of livestock.

Imports of oranges to Finland

1917
26,655 kg
2016
29,145,113 kg
National Board of Customs. Finland's trade with foreign countries in 1917, Table 2a, Title VI.2.
Finnish Customs. Uljas database, Title 08051020.

Working days lost during labour disputes

1917
1,494,490
2015
108,911
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1920, Table 225.
Statistics Finland. Statistics on labour disputes. Labour disputes by industry in 2002 to 2015.
Aura-auto lumista tietä puhdistamassa

Ploughed roads in winter

1925
40 km
2015
79,300 km
Parkko, Sinikka. Road transport. In Suomen vuosisata (Finland's century), (Statistics Finland, 2000).
Finnish Transport Agency's information service.

Passenger rail transport

1920
775,488,000 km
2015
4,113,000,000 km
Finnish Transport Agency. Finnish railways statistics 2015, s. 51.

Number of horses

1917
270,553
2015
74,200
Direction of the Agriculture. Agriculture and animal husbandry in Finland in 1918, p. 33.
Hippolis, Finnish trotting and breeding association, Equestrian Federation of Finland & Natural Resources Institute Finland. Equine industry in figures, Table 1.

Number of air passengers

1924
269
2016
20,786,846
Oikarinen, Jukka. Air transport. In Suomen vuosisata (Finland’s century), (Statistics Finland, 2000).
Finavia. Passengers 2016.

Average annual temperature in Helsinki

1917
4.0 °C
2015
7.8 °C
Finnish Meteorological Institute. Annual statistics.

Number of cars

1922
1,754
2015
3,847,945
Statistics Finland. Motor vehicle stock. Number of vehicles registered.

Consumption of coffee per person

1917
1.72 kg
2015
9.9 kg
Central Statistical Office of Finland Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1922, Table 254.
Finnish Coffee Roasters Association. Coffee consumption.

Antal läkare

1917
645
2015
21,980
Central Statistical Office of Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1922, Table 196.
Statistics Finland. Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2016, Table 19.3.