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Publication: Trust in firefighters, pharmacy workers high in reader survey

Regular polls gauging trustworthiness among a magazine's readers indicate that Finland's trust in politicians has faded since the turn of the century.

Firefighters enjoy public trust. Image: Fredrika Sundén / Yle

Firefighters top the latest Readers Digest survey of public trust in Finland, with 98 percent of respondents saying they trust firefighters highly or a good deal.

A recent poll has found that Finnish residents trust firefighters and pharmacy workers most among representatives of different professions. The poll was carried out by the Readers Digest magazine, together with the British market researcher Wyman Dillon.

The occupations that instil the least trust among Finns are phone sales and politics. Just 6 out of 100 had faith in the integrity of telemarketers, while 11 percent trusted politicians. Back in a 2002 survey, politicians in Finland still enjoyed the trust of 13 percent of respondents.

Other vocations that were at the top of the list include pilots, nurses and artisans like carpenters and seamstresses.

Jobs that came in at the bottom of the trustworthiness scale were investment advisers, car salesmen and trade union leaders. Similar opinion polls have produced equivalent results on both ends.

Differences between men and women

People's views of different professions are influenced by their gender and their age. Women were more trustful of lawyers, real estate brokers, union bosses and reporters. In contrast, men trust nursing staff and military officers more than women. 

Finnish residents over the age of 50 also tend to trust car salesmen, the police and meteorologists more than younger people. Younger residents have more faith in, for example, labour organisation leadership, than the over-50s.

The survey was conducted in late 2016, with close to 1,900 respondents from the Readers Digest customer register taking part. The margin of error was 2.2 percentage points in either direction, and as the participants were all chosen from the register, they can only be considered indicative of the magazine's readers, and not the general population.

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