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Published: 30 June 2008

Households profit from the use of welfare services provided by the society

Finnish households profited on average a good EUR 6,200 from the use of welfare services provided by the society in 2006 (Table). These welfare services include education, health care and social services. These services are funded from public sources. The customer does not pay anything or pays only a small user fee towards covering the costs of producing the services. User fees can be collected from the users of public health care and social services, but also these services are largely subsidised. On the other hand, the Finnish education system does not collect term fees. These data derive from the preliminary data on the use of welfare services extracted from Statistics Finland's Household Budget Survey.

In terms of value, education services make up the most significant part of welfare services, they account for nearly one-half of the total value of welfare services (47.3 per cent). The significance of public health care services is also great, 40 per cent of the total profits from welfare services come from the use of health care services. The proportion of social services is just under 13 per cent. In the field of social services, children's day care services and various home aid services for the elderly are the most significant services.

When assessing the significance of these services from the perspective of households' financial wellbeing, the profit from the use of the services can be proportioned to households' disposable income (income + income transfers - taxes). According to the Household Budget Survey, households' average disposable income was EUR 35,390 in 2006. When we add the value of the profits from the use of welfare services (a good EUR 6,200) to disposable income, the consumption potential of all households calculated in this was increased by a good 17 per cent, on the average.

Public welfare services are used proportionally the most by families with children, as the weight of education services is so high. In addition, day care services and health care services are important to families with children. Elderly households also make up a significant user group of welfare services. These households are relatively active users of health care services and various municipal care services. Relatively the least active users of welfare services are working-age households without children.

The data on welfare services are linked to the 2006 Household Budget Survey. Household Budget Survey data on the users of services had been combined with cost data from external sources and this has enabled a calculation of unit costs for the services produced. The user fees paid by households have been deducted from the unit costs.

Households' disposable income, consumption expenditure and imputed value of use of welfare services 2006

  All households One-person household, aged under 65 Married couple aged under 65*), no children Single-supporter household **) Family with children, two supporters **) Elderly household ***) Other households
Households, total 2,455,000 624,809 489,483 104,782 525,175 519,072 191,679
Average size of household 2.11 1.00 2.00 2.61 3.92 1.31 2.99
Consumption units in household, average 1.49 1.00 1.50 1.63 2.19 1.15 1.95
Consumption expenditure 30,247 19,281 36,914 26,674 47,531 18,090 36,490
Household's disposable income 35,390 20,999 45,865 27,279 52,743 22,480 47,396
Value of welfare services 6,214 3,281 4,057 12,752 12,527 3,644 7,399
Percentage share of welfare services of income 17.6 15.6 8.8 46.7 23.8 162 15.6

*) both aged under 65 **) children aged under 25 and dependant ***) all members aged over 65

Source: Household Budget Survey 2006, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Markku Lindqvist +358 9 1734 3418 and Mr Juha Nurmela +358 9 1734 2548,

Director in charge: Ms Riitta Harala


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Last updated 18.12.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Kotitalouksien kulutus [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3533. 2006. Helsinki: Tilastokeskus [referred: 3.3.2024].
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