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Press release 26.11.2008

Debts, dwellings and alcohol consumption have grown in a decade

Over the past decade, Finland's population has increased by 153,135 persons, or three per cent. At the end of 2007, the country had a population of 5,300,484. Men's and women's life expectancies have gone up by nearly 2.5 years in ten years. Boys born last year have a life expectancy of nearly 76 years and girls 83 years.

People in Finland live slightly more spaciously today than ten years ago. Last year, the area per person in dwellings was 38.3 m2 which is good 4 m2 more than in 1997. Over the same time period the number of dwellings has gone up by 13 per cent.

In ten years, the number of passenger cars has increased by over 600,000, or 32 per cent. At the end of last year, there were 2,570,356 registered passenger cars in Finland. The popularity of motor cycles has also grown hugely. Last year, registered motor cycles numbered 188,144, or as much as 174 per cent more than in 1997.

Households in Finland are getting more and more indebted. Their rate of indebtedness, that is, credits relative to disposable income, went up to 103 per cent last year, which is higher than ever before. In 1997, households' debts amounted to 59 per cent of their disposable income. Calculated per capita, households' housing loans amounted to EUR 11,700, and consumption and other credits additionally totalled EUR 4,600 per capita.

The consumption of alcohol has gone up by 1.8 litres, or 26 per cent, per capita in ten years. Converted to 100 per cent alcohol, the consumption reached a record amount of 8.7 litres per capita last year.

Last year, the number of children taken into custody was 10,207, which is 50 per cent higher than in 1997. Altogether 16,059 children, or over 4,000 more than ten years earlier were placed outside their own homes.

In 2007, offences known to the police numbered 814, 547, which is 13 per cent more than in 1997. Assaults increased by 39 per cent, rapes by 58 per cent and drunken driving cases by 27 per cent from ten years back. The number of offences involving narcotics was as much as 86 per cent higher last year than in 1997.

Statistical Yearbook of Finland reflects development in society

The above descriptions of development over a decade are based on statistical data from 1997 and 2007 in the Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2008 that has just been published. The Yearbook, published by Statistics Finland, is an extensive compilation of statistics describing society and its development in Finland. Apart from data on Finland, the book also contains abundant international comparison data. The Yearbook has been published since 1879.

The Yearbook is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing the publication in PDF format, all its tables in Excel format, as well as its thematic maps. The Yearbook is also available as an online service. The book is in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.

Source: Statistical Yearbook of Finland 2008. Statistics Finland
Price EUR 75 (EUR 65 as a permanent order)

Inquiries: Ms Eila Laakso +358 9 1734 2509

Director in charge: Ms Heli Mikkelä

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