FSD Bulletin

Issue 23 (1/2008)
6.3.2008

ISSN 1795-5262

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FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


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Finnish Social Science Data Archive
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Finnish Youth Surveys Offer Recent Data on Attitudes of Young People

Hanna Marjamäki

The FSD data holdings include Finnish youth surveys, which are commissioned by the Advisory Council for Youth Affairs (Nuora). The surveys chart the development of the attitudes and expectations of Finnish young people aged between 15 and 29. The first youth survey was conducted in 1994 in the midst of an economic recession, motivated by the concern over high youth unemployment and its crippling effects on young people. Youth surveys conducted since 2001 are archived at the FSD.

The surveys contain regularly recurring questions, which enable the study of long-term attitude changes. The main themes have included attitudes to work and education. In addition, topical issues have always been included. Over the years the surveys have probed young people's opinions on issues such as spending habits, NATO and EU membership, political participation, entrepreneurship, safety and security, differences, tolerance, religiosity, and social activity. The interviews are conducted by telephone and the respondents are selected by random sampling.

The Finnish youth surveys archived at the FSD have been reused for instance in studies charting attitudes to entrepreneurship and participation in municipal decision-making. However, these versatile datasets have still much to offer, and they can be approached from several angles depending on the researcher and the scientific discipline. The most recent archived survey was conducted in 2007, which means that researchers have access to very current data on the opinions and attitudes of young people. The 2007 survey probed for instance young people's views on basic income paid to all citizens and the lowering of the voting age. Key themes included the future, social relationships, satisfaction with life, and relationship with society.