This is archive content that is no longer updated.

Go to the up-to-date statistics page.

Municipal elections 2004 - who were the candidates and who were elected?

The majority were men and represented the large age groups

A total of 39,906 candidates were nominated in the municipal elections, which was 160 candidates more than in 2000. The highest numbers of candidates were nominated by the Centre Party (11,164), the Social Democratic Party (8,864), the Coalition Party (7,578) and the Left Alliance (4,280). Over 1,500 candidates were nominated by the Green League (1,836), the Swedish People's Party (1,493) and the Christian Democrats (1,727), while True Finns had 881 candidates and the Communist Party of Finland 325. For reasons of data protection, the candidates of small parties cannot be examined separately.

The majority, or 51.6 per cent, of the persons entitled to vote are women. Women make up 39.9 per cent of the candidates. The proportion of female candidates has risen by nearly 2 percentage points from the previous elections. Only the Green League has more female than male candidates (52.9 per cent). The Christian Democrats come next closest to a balanced situation with a 47.3 per cent proportion of female candidates. The proportion of women is around 40 per cent in the Coalition Party, the Centre Party and the Social Democratic Party. The percentage of female candidates is the highest in the region of Uusimaa, at 43.5 per cent, and the lowest in Lapland, at 37.0 per cent. Women make up 36.3 per cent of the elected councillors, which is 1.9 percentage points up from the previous elections.

Women's and men's proportions of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors in Municipal elections 2004

Women's and men's proportions of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors in Municipal elections 2004

  Women Men
Persons entitled to vote 51.6 48.4
Candidates 39.9 60.1
  Greens 52.9 47.1
  Christian Democrats 47.3 52.7
  Swedish People's Party 43.5 56.5
  Coalition Party 40.4 59.6
  Centre Party 39.7 60.3
  Social Democratic Party 39.2 60.8
  Left Alliance 36.1 63.9
  Others 35.4 64.6
  Communist Party 30.2 69.8
  True Finns 26.3 73.7
Elected councillors 36.3 63.7

Age distribution of persons entitled to vote by gender in Municipal elections 2004

Persons entitled to vote Candidates

The average age of persons entitled to vote is 48.3 years and that of candidates 46.7 years. Female candidates are, on average, 4.6 years younger than female voters, whereas male candidates are 1.3 years older than male voters. The number of male candidates is the highest in the 50 to 59-year-old age group, and that of female candidates in the 40 to 49-year-old age group. The number of representatives of the large age groups among the candidates clearly exceeds their proportion of the whole population. The numbers of candidates from the over 70-year-old and under 40-year-old age groups are lower than their proportion of the whole population.

The differences by party are fairly small: the average age of female candidates is 2 to 3 years lower than that of male candidates, with the exception of the Greens. The most male candidates represent the 50 to 59-year-old age group and the most female candidates the 40 to 49-year-old age group. The Social Democrat and the Christian Democrat candidates have the highest average age. The candidates of the Coalition Party and the Swedish People's Party are slightly younger. The Centre Party's candidates are, on average, somewhat younger than those of the Coalition Party and the Social Democratic Party. The Greens have the youngest candidates: the average age for men is 42.5 years and that for women 41.1. Indeed, the Greens have relatively the most candidates under 40 years of age and the least candidates over 60 years of age.

Age differences by region vary according to party. The Social Democratic Party has the oldest candidates in Kainuu and the youngest in Satakunta, while the Centre Party has the oldest candidates in Lapland and the youngest in Itä-Uusimaa. The Greens' oldest candidates are in Savo and the youngest in Central Ostrobothnia.

The Greens have relatively the highest number of candidates aged 30 to 39 and 20 to 29 and the lowest number of candidates aged 60 or over.

Proportions of male and female candidates by party in Municipal elections 2004

Social Democratic Party Centre Party
Coalition Party Christian Democrats
Greens Swedish People's Party

Age distribution of candidates and elected councillors by gender in Municipal elections 2004

Candidates Elected councillors

The average age of elected male councillors is 49.7 years and that of elected female councillors 46.1 years. Both are roughly one year higher than the average ages of candidates. The elected male councillors are, on average, 1.2 years older than their counterparts in the previous election, while the corresponding figure for elected female councillors is 0.6 years. Especially 50 to 50-year-old men had a strong representation among the elected councillors. The proportion of elected under 30-year-old male councillors was clearly lower than their proportion of candidates. The age distribution of elected female councillors was closer to that of the female candidates. Women aged 40 to 49 were elected the most, and they also made up most of the candidates.

Educational level of candidates high

The candidates differ clearly by their education from all persons entitled to vote. Of the candidates 79.5 per cent have attained a higher educational level than the basic level, while 62.6 per cent of all persons entitled to vote have some post basic level education. The Greens have the highest proportion, at 28.4 per cent, of candidates with academic degrees. The corresponding figure is 22.8 per cent for the Swedish People's Party, 19.1 per cent for the Coalition Party and 15.2 per cent for the Christian Democrats. The Social Democrats differ from the other parties in that only 7.2 per cent of its candidates have an academic degree. For the Greens the figure is nearly four times as high. In the Municipal elections, the educational level of the candidates reflects the differences in the educational structure of the areas. The proportion of the highly educated is usually double in Uusimaa when compared with the least educated areas.

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by level of education in Municipal elections 2004

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by level of education in Municipal elections 2004

  Higher-degree level tertiary education Lowest level of tertiary education Upper secondary level education Basic level
Persons entitled to vote 6.6 18.2 37.8 37.4
Candidates 11.9 27.9 39.7 20.5
  Greens 28.4 28.2 32.8 10.5
  Swedish People's Party 22.8 34.0 28.3 14.9
  Coalition Party 19.1 38.9 29.0 13.0
  Christian Democrats 15.2 28.8 38.0 18.0
  Others 10.9 27.0 37.8 24.3
  Centre Party 10.0 31.0 41.2 17.8
  Social Democratic Party 7.2 22.4 45.0 25.4
  Communist Party 5.9 13.9 44.6 35.7
  Left Alliance 4.5 13.5 50.8 31.2
  True Finns 2.6 13.5 45.4 38.5
ELECTED COUNCILLORS 15.1 31.7 35.8 17.4

The educational level of elected councillors is clearly higher than that of the candidates; 46.8 per cent of the elected councillors hold tertiary level qualifications and only 17.4 per cent have no vocational education.

Family situation in order

Only one-third of the persons entitled to vote live in the same household with their married spouse and children. Of the candidates 47.7 per cent live in such families. In addition, 18.9 per cent live together with just their spouse. The proportion of candidates living in married families has fallen by three percentage points from the previous elections. The proportion of those cohabiting has risen by two percentage points into 11.8 per cent. Single parents make up 7.1 per cent of the candidates. Singles, i.e. persons not belonging to families, make up 14.5 per cent.

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by family type in Municipal elections 2004

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by family type in Municipal elections 2004

  Married with children Married, no children Single parent with children Cohabiting couple No family
Persons entitled to vote 32.0 20.8 7.5 13.7 26.1
Candidates 47.7 18.9 7.1 11.8 14.5
  Centre Party 58.1 16.1 6.4 9.6 9.9
  Christian Democrats 55.2 21.4 5.9 3.3 14.3
  Swedish People's Party 53.2 17.2 6.6 11.8 11.3
  Coalition Party 50.8 19.3 5.6 10.4 13.9
  Others 42.4 18.1 8.8 12.5 18.3
  Social Democratic Party 41.0 22.9 7.7 13.5 14.9
  Greens 40.3 9.4 10.5 17.4 22.4
  True Finns 38.3 16.4 9.0 13.3 23.2
  Left Alliance 33.8 22.1 8.1 16.3 19.8
  Communist Party 19.1 20.3 12.0 16.0 32.6
ELECTED COUNCILLORS 56.4 20.6 5.0 9.0 9.1

Although the average age of the candidates is close to 50, surprisingly many still have children living at home. The percentages of married candidates living together with their spouse and children are 58.1 per cent for the Centre Party, 55.2 per cent for the Christian Democrats, 53.2 per cent for the Swedish People's Party, 50.8 per cent for the Coalition Party and 41 per cent for the Social Democrats. The proportion of candidates living in families with children has fallen by 3-4 percentage points from the previous elections, because the age structure of the candidates has become older. Cohabiting is the most common for the candidates of the Green League, the Left Alliance and the Communist Party, of whom about 16 to 17 per cent cohabit. The number of candidates not belonging to families was highest in the Communist Party.

Of the elected councillors 56.4 per cent live in families with both spouses and underage children. Married couples without children make up 20.6 per cent. Only 9.1 per cent of elected councillors do not belong to a family. The proportion of those cohabiting is 9 per cent and that of single parents 5 per cent.

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by number of biological children in Municipal elections 2004

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by number of biological children in Municipal elections 2004

  1 child 2 children 3 children 4+ children No children
Persons entitled to vote 16.2 27.3 13.9 7.7 35.0
Candidates 13.5 31.4 21.5 12.7 20.9
  Social Democrats 16.1 34.7 20.9 10.3 18.1
  Centre Party 11.1 29.3 23.7 16.4 19.6
  Left Alliance 15.9 31.9 19.7 11.3 21.2
  Others 14.3 31.6 20.9 11.9 21.3
  Coalition Party 13.1 34.0 21.5 9.9 21.5
  Christian Democrats 9.6 23.3 22.3 22.6 22.3
  Swedish People's Party 12.2 32.4 22.2 10.3 23.0
  True Finns 13.7 23.8 20.4 16.1 25.9
  Greens 15.3 28.2 16.4 8.2 31.9
  Communist Party 16.6 21.9 16.3 11.1 34.2
ELECTED COUNCILLORS 11.7 33.9 25.2 15.1 14.2

Family type does not reveal how many of the candidates have had children of their own, because in older families, in case of divorce, etc., children can live apart from the candidates. The number of biological children tells how many candidates have experience of their own children. Of all persons entitled to vote, 35 per cent do not have children of their own, while this is the case for 20.9 per cent of the candidates. The number of childless candidates varies from 18.1 per cent for the Social Democrats to 34.2 per cent for the Communist Party. The Greens (of whom 31.9 per cent are childless) have several young candidates, who may not have had children yet. Large families are the most numerous among Christian Democrat and Centre Party candidates. Of the Christian Democrat candidates 22.6 per cent have at least four children and of the Centre Party candidates 16.4 per cent have four or more children. Large families are rarer among the Green League and Coalition Party candidates. The candidates' number of children reflects the birth rate in the area, which means that the number of large families is highest in Ostrobothnia and Kainuu and the smallest families are found along the south coast in Varsinais-Suomi, Uusimaa, Kymenlaakso and South Karelia.

Of the candidates 79.1 per cent have biological children, whereas the corresponding percentage among persons entitled to vote is only 65.0. The proportion of childless candidates has grown by four percentage points from the previous Municipal elections.

Of elected councillors 85.8 per cent have biological children, 15.1 per cent have more than three biological children and only 14.2 per cent have no biological children.

Employment problems rare

Over one-half of those entitled to vote are employed (54.3%), 7.3 per cent are unemployed, 25.8 per cent are pensioners and 12.6 per cent are students or engaged in domestic work. The proportion of the employed has risen and that of the unemployed has fallen by a couple of percentage points from the previous elections. Clearly more of the candidates, at 74.4 per cent, are employed, slightly fewer, or 6.2 per cent, are unemployed and clearly fewer, or just 11.7 per cent, are pensioners. There are, however, more pensioners among the candidates than in the previous elections (the increase amounts to 3 percentage points).

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by main type of activity in Municipal elections 2004

Candidates by main type of activity by party in Municipal elections 2004

  Employed Unemployed Student Pensioner Other (housewife, etc.)
Persons entitled to vote 54.3 7.3 8.1 25.8 4.5
Candidates 74.4 6.2 5.4 11.7 2.4
  Swedish People's party 82.9 1.9 4.8 7.9 2.4
  Centre Party 79.3 4.2 4.9 9.4 2.1
  Coalition Party 78.9 3.1 5.6 10.0 2.4
  Social Democratic Party 73.9 7.3 3.8 13.4 1.7
  Greens 72.0 6.5 11.8 5.8 4.0
  Christian Democrats 69.6 6.6 7.8 12.8 3.2
  Others 65.6 9.7 5.9 15.4 3.5
  Left Alliance 64.7 11.1 5.3 16.4 2.5
  True Finns 54.7 14.6 4.5 21.7 4.4
  Communist Party 42.5 21.9 12.3 20.9 2.5
ELECTED COUNCILLORS 82.9 3.0 2.3 10.6 1.3

The numbers of employed candidates were the highest in the Swedish People's Party (82.9 per cent), the Centre Party (79.3 per cent) and the Coalition Party (78.9 per cent), all of which clearly exceed the Government's 75 per cent employment objective. In these parties also unemployment is rarer than average. The candidates of the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Christian Democrats have been affected by unemployment as often as the persons entitled to vote, whereas the candidates of the Communist Party, the True Finns and the Left Alliance have been have been unemployed more often than average. The Greens and the Communist Party have the highest relative numbers of student candidates (11.8 and 12.3 per cent, respectively). The proportion of pensioner candidates is highest among the True Finns and the Communist Party.

Of the elected councillors 82.9 per cent are employed, only 3 per cent are unemployed, 2.3 per cent are students and 10.6 per cent are pensioners. Of those entitled to vote 7.3 per cent are unemployed, which is two-and-a-half times more than of the elected councillors. The relative proportion of pensioners is also nearly two-and-a-half times higher among persons entitled to vote than among the elected councillors, and that of students is nearly four-fold.

In the region of Uusimaa the candidates' employment rate differs the least from that of their voters, the difference being just 14 percentage points. The difference between the candidates and voters is largest in South Savo, South Ostrobothnia and South Karelia, where the difference in the employment rate is about 26 percentage points. In South Ostrobothnia the candidates' employment rate is even better than in Uusimaa. The employment rate of elected councillors is clearly higher than that of candidates in all regions, and it is not under 75 per cent in any of the regions.

Employment rate of persons entitled to vote and candidates by region in Municipal elections 2004

Employment rate of persons entitled to vote and candidates by region in Municipal elections 2004

  Persons entitled to vote Candidates Elected councillors
Uusimaa 62.1 75.7 83.0
Itä-Uusimaa 60.6 81.7 85.3
Ostrobothnia 55.4 78.1 85.5
Varsinais-Suomi 54.9 78.2 86.3
Kanta-Häme 54.3 78.2 84.6
Pirkanmaa 53.8 72.6 83.5
Central Ostrobothnia 53.3 76.7 81.6
North Ostrobothnia 52.7 74.0 82.9
Päijät-Häme 52.6 73.5 82.6
South Orstobothnia 51.5 78.0 87.3
Kymenlaakso 50.6 75.0 82.8
Central Finland 50.6 70.2 80.4
Satakunta 50.5 75.1 83.2
South Karelia 49.0 74.8 83.6
Pohjois-Savo 48.8 69.3 79.8
Etelä-Savo 47.5 74.0 82.5
Lapland 47.1 69.2 76.4
North Karelia 46.3 69.9 80.5
Kainuu 44.0 63.0 78.7

Income higher than that of voters

The candidates are better educated and more often employed than voters in the area concerned. This partly explains why their average taxable income is generally much higher than that of persons entitled to vote. In the 2002 taxation the average income of persons entitled to vote was EUR 20,200, and that of candidates was EUR 29,500. Both the persons entitled to vote and the candidates had the highest income in the region of Uusimaa. The income differential between the candidates and the persons entitled to vote is at its highest in Kymenlaakso (EUR 9,700) and at its lowest in Central Finland (EUR 6,300).

The candidates' income varies by party from EUR 34,600 of the Coalition Party to EUR 17,100 of the Communist Party. The average income of the Centre Party and Social Democrat candidates is EUR 10,000 lower than that of the Coalition Party and Swedish People's Party candidates. The income of the Greens' younger and often student candidates is, on average, EUR 3,500 higher than that of the persons entitled to vote.

Average income (EUR) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in Municipal elections 2004

Average income (EUR) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in Municipal elections 2004

  Persons entitled to vote Candidates Elected councillors
Uusimaa 24,877 31,484 44,424
Itä-Uusimaa 22,661 29,522 35,068
Whole country 20,185 26,578 33,251
Varsinais-Suomi 19,940 27,111 33,133
Pirkanmaa 19,471 25,514 32,379
Kanta-Häme 19,282 28,508 40,983
Ostrobothnia 19,274 27,956 33,593
Kymenlaakso 19,230 28,918 37,231
Päijät-Häme 18,761 26,040 32,875
North Ostrobothnia 18,569 25,918 30,564
South Karelia 18,388 26,892 33,345
Satakunta 18,291 26,093 33,674
Central Finland 17,904 24,203 30,321
South Ostrobothnia 17,825 24,781 31,171
Central Ostrobothnia 17,623 25,252 30,450
Pohjois-Savo 17,377 24,242 30,099
Lapland 17,330 25,287 30,159
Etelä-Savo 16,916 24,469 29,658
North Karelia 16,421 23,674 31,639
Kainuu 16,318 23,162 28,660

The average incomes of the candidates and voters are closest to one another in Uusimaa, where the difference is just 27 per cent and the farthest apart in Kymenlaakso, where the average income of the candidates is 50 per cent higher than that of the voters in the region. In other regions the difference varies between 30 and 48 per cent.

The elected councillors' average incomes are also at the top of their regions. The differences between candidates and the persons entitled to vote are the biggest in Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme and Kymenlaakso. The average income of elected councillors in Kanta-Häme is more than double than that of the persons entitled to vote.

Candidates' average income by party compared to average income of persons entitled to vote by region in Municipal elections 2004

  Persons entitled to vote Candidates KESK SDP KOK LEFT GREENS KD RKP
Uusimaa 100.0 126.6 120.6 119.2 169.6 98.0 104.5 106.0 160.6
Varsinais-Suomi 100.0 136.0 124.3 130.7 177.6 109.9 114.2 127.5 144.8
Satakunta 100.0 142.7 139.6 138.3 178.1 116.8 112.7 130.9 -
Kanta-Häme 100.0 147.9 124.4 130.4 213.2 118.2 143.4 107.2 -
Pirkanmaa 100.0 131.0 125.0 127.9 166.6 112.6 111.6 122.0 -
Päijät-Häme 100.0 138.8 136.0 124.7 169.3 119.1 128.9 125.8 -
Kymenlaakso 100.0 150.4 129.9 144.3 203.4 101.6 120.7 121.1 184.1
South Karelia 100.0 146.3 138.5 145.8 167.6 151.3 121.6 143.6 -
Etelä-Savo 100.0 144.7 146.9 138.4 182.5 96.6 146.6 109.8 -
Pohjois-Savo 100.0 139.5 147.2 143.5 186.6 116.2 108.4 120.9 -
North Karelia 100.0 144.2 151.1 133.8 179.1 112.8 122.5 107.6 -
Central Finland 100.0 135.2 135.8 133.1 166.1 121.7 111.0 121.7 -
South Ostrobothnia 100.0 139.0 145.9 127.9 161.8 108.9 115.6 109.9 -
Ostrobothnia 100.0 145.1 128.5 138.7 173.9 128.8 139.2 118.2 161.6
Central Ostrobothnia 100.0 143.3 151.5 121.5 168.8 119.5 98.0 136.4 186.1
North Ostrobothnia 100.0 139.6 138.2 134.1 190.8 123.8 123.5 136.0 -
Kainuu 100.0 141.9 148.3 140.2 202.1 117.3 128.7 125.1 -
Lapland 100.0 145.9 149.0 150.9 179.2 125.5 142.5 125.1 -
Itä-Uusimaa 100.0 130.3 116.1 123.4 164.8 113.5 99.8 126.5 138.4

The Coalition Party candidates differ most from the voters in their area: the difference is the biggest in Kanta-Häme, where the candidates' average income is 2.1 times that of the voters. Coalition Party candidates' annual income is double than that of the voters also in Kymenlaakso, Kainuu and North Ostrobothnia.

The Social Democratic Party differs the most clearly from the voters in Lapland, where the difference is 51 per cent, and the least in Uusimaa, where it is 19 per cent. The Centre Party candidates have the largest difference, at 52 per cent, in Central Ostrobothnia and the smallest, at 16 per cent, in Itä-Uusimaa. At its highest the annual income of the Left Alliance and Green League candidates also exceeds the income of voters by 35 to 50 per cent. In some regions the income of these parties' candidates is, however, even lower than average for the region. This is the case for the Left Alliance in Etelä-Savo and Uusimaa and for the Greens in Central Ostrobothnia and Itä-Uusimaa. The average income of the Swedish People's Party candidates was 40 to 80 per cent higher than those of the voters, on average.

The average income of elected councillors was EUR 33,251. The Coalition Party councillors earn the most (EUR 46,952) followed by the Swedish People's Party councillors (EUR 38,878). The average annual income of the Social Democrat, Green League and Christian Democrat councillors ranges from EUR 29,761 to EUR 30,724. The average income of Left Alliance councillors was EUR 27,034. In all parties the average income of the elected councillors is clearly higher than that of candidates.

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by income bracket in Municipal elections 2004

Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by income bracket in Municipal elections 2004

  -8,999 9,000 - 16,999 19,000 - 26,999 27,000 - 41,999 42,000+
Persons entitled to vote 25.0 24.9 26.7 16.1 7.2
Candidates 13.1 18.2 29.6 26.0 13.2
  Coalition Party 11.7 12.5 23.0 29.1 23.8
  Swedish People's Party 10.6 13.3 25.3 28.8 22.0
  Social Democratic Party 9.1 17.6 34.6 28.9 9.9
  Centre Paty 13.5 18.6 30.2 25.4 12.3
  Greens 21.2 17.3 26.0 23.4 12.2
  Christian Democrats 16.7 22.3 31.0 20.3 9.7
  Left Alliance 13.3 23.4 33.8 23.8 5.8
ELECTED COUNCILLORS 6.6 13.2 27.7 32.0 20.5

Among the voters 23.3 per cent earn more than EUR 27,000. One-half of the Coalition Party and Swedish People's Party candidates exceed the EUR 27,000 threshold, and the corresponding figure for the Social Democrat candidates is 38.8 per cent, for the Centre Party candidates 37.7 per cent, for the Green League candidates 35.6, for the Christian Democrat candidates 30.0 per cent and for the Left Alliance candidates 29.6 per cent.

Of the elected councillors 20.5 per cent belong to the income bracket of those earning over EUR 42,000 and the income of 52.5 per cent exceeds EUR 27,500. Only 19.8 per cent earn less than EUR 17,000.

 


Last updated 12.10.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Municipal elections [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-1114. 2004, Municipal elections 2004 - who were the candidates and who were elected? . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.7.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kvaa/2004/kvaa_2004_2004-11-11_kat_005_en.html