Author | Editor: Kuznar, L. (NSI, Inc.)
Two datasets on wealth and status distribution in Finland were analyzed: 2016 World Bank quintile and decile estimates of income, and International Labor Organization (ILO) income by occupation data for the years 2017 and 2011.
Finland is known as one of the world’s most equal societies, and the analyses conducted for this report reinforce this perception. The low levels of inequality, combined with cultural factors such as a tradition of cooperation and trust in government, most likely contribute to Finland’s social stability.
Significance for Risk Taking and Stability
The analyses in this report indicate that Finland is one of the least risk acceptant populations in the world. Consequently, people do not have reasons to challenge the Finnish status quo.
Implications for US Interests
Even though Finland maintains friendly relations with Russia and tries to moderate between Russia and the US and its European allies, Finland is an important check on Russian ambitions in the Scandinavian north. Therefore, Finland’s stability is an asset to US interests.
Implications for China’s Interests
China is beginning to develop trade ties with Finland and hopes to project its power into the Arctic. Therefore, Finnish stability serves China’s aspirations by providing a stable partner.
Implications for Russia’s Interests
Russia’s near-term primary interest in Finland is as a source for Russian energy exports. Despite Finland’s near total reliance on Russian energy (70%), Finland’s shift toward sustainable energy and the availability of energy on the open market makes Finland potentially independent of Russian influence. Therefore, Russia’s influence in Finland is likely to diminish. Finland’s positive relations with the EU, NATO, and the US are liabilities for Russia. Recently, Russia is suspected of cyberattacks and social media campaigns designed to sow discord in Finland.