The new gender equality index, released by the European Institute for Gender Equality EIGE, ranks Finland in third place in terms of gender equality in the European Union. Just ahead of Finland in first and second place are Sweden and Denmark, respectively.
The new index measures gender equality on a scale of 1 to 100. Finland scored 73.4 points compared to the European average of 54. Sweden racked up 74.3 points and Denmark 73.6. In fourth place, the Netherlands trailed with 69.7 points.
The EU states with the lowest levels of gender equality were Romania and Bulgaria, who scored 35.3 and 37 points respectively.
The index reviewed gender equality in six areas: work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. In terms of work Finland topped other member states, but lagged behind the EU average with respect to health.
EIGE developed the index to encourage EU members to work towards improving gender equality. The new index is believed to be an improvement on similar tables used by organizations such as the United Nations, which however has better indicators for developing countries.
The results of the new index are based on three years of research involving sources such as Eurostat statistics from 2010. The index will be published in two-year intervals in the future.