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Poverty, marginalisation risks rising in Finland

Around 75 percent of households in Finland would be able to pay unexpected expenses, while 25 percent would not, Statistics Finland reports.

Helsingin Myllypuron elintarvikejakelussa jonottavia ihmisiä
File photo of food distribution queue in Helsinki's Myllypuro district on 8 February 2023. Image: Antti Kolppo / Yle
Yle News,

Nearly 900,000 people in Finland were at risk of falling into poverty or being marginalised in 2021, representing an increase of 117,000 people compared to the previous year, according to Statistics Finland data.

There were around 700,000 low-income earners in Finland in 2021, or just under 13 percent of households, according to the number-crunching agency.

People are considered at risk of poverty or marginalisation if they live in a low-income household, are underemployed, or suffer from serious material and social deprivation, according to Statistics Finland. One of these three factors can place individuals at risk for poverty or marginalisation, but they can also overlap, according to the agency.

Quarter of households couldn't handle unexpected expenses

Last year, around seven percent of households had difficulty or great difficulty in their ability to pay obligatory household expenses. That share increased slightly compared to 2021, however the agency noted that the situation has improved since the early 2000s.

The biggest increase of people having difficulty making ends meet was seen among single-parent households.

There are just under 2.9 million households in Finland, about 60 percent of which have enough money to put aside in savings, while 40 percent of them do not.

Meanwhile, around 75 percent of households would be able to pay unexpected expenses, while 25 percent would not, the agency said.

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