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Report: Fewer younger candidates running in 2021 municipal election

The average age of a candidate in this year's municipal election is 50 years old.

Mies katselee kuntavaalien mainoksia Torniossa.
A voter considers the options in the city of Tornio, in Finnish Lapland. Image: Juuso Stoor / Yle

There are fewer younger candidates running in the 2021 municipal elections compared to previous polls, and the average age of candidates is rising, according to a report by Statistics Finland.

The data agency found that the average age of candidates standing for election in 2021 is 50 years old, which is about six months older than the average age in the previous election in 2017, and about two years older than the 2008 average.

The report also revealed that the proportion of candidates under the age of 30 has decreased since the last election, down to 8.5 percent from 8.9 percent in 2017.

This is despite the fact that there are 5 percent more candidates standing in this year's election than ran for office four years ago.

The All Points North podcast has reported extensively on the 2021 municipal election, including interviews in English with each of the nine main parliamentary party leaders. You can listen to the latest episode in this embedded player, via Yle Areena, on Spotify or via your favoured podcast provider.

Article continues after audio.

Furthermore, about one in four of the 35,000 candidates are aged under 40 years old, which is about one percentage point less than in the 2017 municipal elections.

Among Finland's parliamentary parties, the Green Party and Movement Now have the highest proportion of younger candidates.

As has traditionally been the case, more men than women are running for office in 2021. In total, 21,480 candidates in this election are male and 14,147 are female. The average age of a male candidate is 51 years old, while the average age of a female candidate is 48.3.

The party with the lowest proportion of female candidates is the Finns Party, with 21.5 percent, while the party with the highest proportion is the Greens, with 60 percent.

Statistics Finland also looked into candidates' annual earnings, and found that the average income was 28,425 euros per year.

"On average, the candidates of the [National] Coalition Party have the highest income, 33,932 euros per year, and the candidates of the Left Alliance, Finns Party and Christian Democrats have the lowest income of parliamentary parties, under 26,000 euros per year," the report stated.

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