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Friday’s papers: Median incomes, urban health and the Laestadian gathering

Women in Finland earn 78 cents on the euro, Åland residents are the country's healthiest and a fundamentalist religious group draws thousands during Pride Week.

Suviseura 2019 Muhoksella
Aerial view of the Suviseura campsite in Muhos. Image: Suviseurat/kuvapalvelu

The median monthly salary in 2018 for private sector workers was 3,278 euros, reports business daily Kauppalehti, drawing figures from Statistics Finland.

In the private sector, women make around 78 cents for every euro earned by men. The top tenth of employees earned monthly incomes of at least 5,653 euros, while the lowest tenth drew salaries of 2,186 euros or less.

Private sector workers can expect an annual wage increase of some 1.8 percent, according to KL.

Health rates by region

Finland’s healthiest residents live on the Åland Islands as well as along the country's coastal areas, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet, citing a new study by health watchdog THL which examined the incidence of serious illnesses across the country.

Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa are the healthiest cities whereas municipalities in northern Ostrobothnia and pockets of south-eastern Finland have the relatively highest disease rates in the country.

The THL said that while morbidity in the country has fallen by 16 percent over the past 20 years, regional differences are significant, owing to a combination of factors such as lifestyle, genetics and access to healthcare.

Laestadians congregate

Finland’s largest religious gathering known as the Summer Services (Suviseurat) starts on Friday in Muhos, a village south of Oulu, according to tabloid Iltalehti. Officials said they expect the event to trigger traffic jams in the area.

The conservative Laestadian event is expected to draw up to 85,000 visitors from 30 different countries to western Finland. The annual summer weekend festival, which is Finland’s second-largest regular event after the Turku music festival Ruisrock, dates back to 1906.

Laestadianism is a conservative Lutheran revival movement that started in Lapland in the mid-19th century and is currently the biggest revivalist movement in the Nordic countries.

About 90,000 conservative Laestadians live in Finland, according to figures from 2016.

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