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FSD3172 Finland 2014: Consumer Habits and Lifestyle


Koivula, Aki (University of Turku)
Räsänen, Pekka (University of Turku)
Sarpila, Outi (University of Turku)

Keywords: consumer goods, consumption, decision making, generations (age), health, household budgets, life styles, money, personal finance management, risk, safety and security, values

The survey studied the lifestyle and consumer habits of Finnish people. The respondents were asked to compare their lifestyle and consumer habits to the average consumer, and to give their opinions on consumption-related issues.

The respondents were asked to evaluate their life situation at the time of the survey, and five years to the future on several aspects of life, such as financial situation and general welfare. They were also asked to compare their expenditure and consumer behaviour (concerning e.g. food, housing, leisure activities, alcohol, travel) to those of the average consumer. Furthermore, the respondents were asked which things and household items they considered necessary and what they would have done had they had more money. The survey carried a set of attitudinal statements about consumption and lifestyle (e.g. "I don't care about fashion" and "One should avoid debt").

The respondents' opinions on using one's looks to gain advantages in life were measured. Some questions covered on what grounds respondents made decisions on economical, family or work matters. Questions on social integration measured how closely the respondents felt that they were a part of their family, workplace, Internet communities, Finnish society, European Union etc. The respondents were also asked which generation and social class they most closely identified with. Satisfaction, and happiness with one's life and health was charted.

Opinions on values were measured by asking the respondents to rate the importance of various things (e.g. self-respect, world peace, prosperity, independence). Furthermore, the respondents were asked about the safety and security of their own life, relationships, European integration, Finnish society, and the world. The respondents feelings of insecurity were measured by asking them about risks at the personal level (unemployment, gambling, casual sexual encounters, etc.), and at the level of society (immigration, different types of crime, terrorism, environmental problems, etc.).

The survey contained questions about the income, expenditure, savings and debts of the respondents and the household. Quickie loan and consumer credit use were charted as well as possible bad credit record. The respondents were asked about their methods of coping when short of money (borrowing, reducing expenditure, gambling, etc.)

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, household size, basic and vocational education, economic activity, occupation, party preference, experiences of unemployment, and financial circumstances as well as the number of children, occupations of the spouse and parents, and voting in elections.

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[Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format]

updated 2018-01-25