A recent Taloustutkimus poll has found that 37 percent of Finnish respondents agreed with the statement that 2019 would be better for them personally than the year previous. Only 14 percent indicated that they thought the coming year would be worse.
The results were a part of a larger Gallup International poll that asked people in 50 countries two questions: "As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2019 will be better, worse or the same as 2018?" and "Do you expect the coming year of 2019 to be more peaceful, more troubled or the same?".
Gallup International commissioned the poll from October to December 2018. Close to 50,000 people were interviewed in total, for a margin of error between 3 and 5 percentage points.
The results put Finland squarely in the optimist camp in terms of future personal wellbeing.
"We've got a higher degree of optimism than the EU average," confirms Taloustutkimus' research director Juho Rahkonen.
Nine percentage points higher than EU average
Among the EU population, the poll suggests that only 28 percent on average believe that the next year will be better, while 29 percent believe it will be worse, and 35 percent say things will stay the same.
As a rule, optimism about the future is much higher in Asian and African countries with emerging economies, such as India and Ghana.
"The US is an interesting exception, as it is already a very rich country, and yet people there are optimistic. It's as if they seek something still better," Rahkonen says.
Respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 were most confident in the future in the Finnish sample, while those over 60 years of age were the most pessimistic. The size of the survey in Finland resulted in a 2.5 percentage point margin of error.
Predicting less peace in 2019
The Gallop poll also gauged whether people believed that the next 12 months will be more or less peaceful than 2018 has been.
In Finland, 65 percent of the poll respondents said that they feared that 2019 would be more troubled on the world stage.
Results from all 50 countries participating in the Gallup poll indicated that 27 percent of the respondents expected the world to be more peaceful in 2019, while 35 percent predicted more problems.
Confidence in peace was most pronounced in India, Ghana, Albania, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Protests in France may have contributed to 70 percent of respondents there reporting that they believe next year will be more troubled, edging out the fourth-place Finnish result for first place, followed by Hong Kong and Hungary.
An annual defence ministry-commissioned survey corroborates these latest poll results, as just under half of this autumn's respondents said that they believe that "Finland and Finns will be living in a more insecure world over the next five years when compared to today".