MORE THAN A THIRD of Finns are worried about rising energy prices and the political and military threat posed by Russia, reveals a survey carried out for Helsingin Sanomat by Kantar Public.
Russia was identified as a cause of concern by 37 per cent, rising fuel and energy prices by 34 per cent, and climate change and environmental problems by 24 per cent of the respondents.
The respondents were asked to select from a 21-item list any number of factors that are of particular concern to them. Only three per cent of respondents said they are not concerned by any of the factors, whereas another two per cent said they are unable to comment on the issue.
Inflation, communicable diseases and epidemics, and the possibility that the war in Ukraine spreads to whole Europe were each identified as a particular concern by slightly over a fifth (21%) of respondents. The prevalent economic uncertainty appears to have given rise also to other woes, with 14 per cent of respondents voicing their concern about the possibility of an economic crisis or recession and 13 per cent about the indebtedness of Finland.
Finns, on the other hand, are largely unconcerned by either unemployment problems caused by advances in technological fields such as automation and robotics (0%), or mass unemployment (1%).
Russia was much more likely to be identified as a concern by over 50-year-olds than younger age groups, highlighted Helsingin Sanomat. While a half of respondents aged 60 years or older identified the country as their primary concern, the corresponding proportion among students was only a third.
Concerns about Russia were more prevalent among women (43%) than men (34%).
Concerns about soaring fuel and energy prices, meanwhile, correlated with the place of residence. While respondents from rural areas and outside the capital region identified the rising prices as a concern at a rate of 54 per cent, respondents from the capital region did so only at a rate of 20 per cent.
Ten per cent of respondents expressed their concern about growing social inequalities, uncontrolled immigration, and cyberattacks and data breaches.
Helsingin Sanomat also asked the respondents how concerned they are about the effects of rising interest rates and consumer prices on their own financial situation. More than half (54%) of respondents indicated that they are at least somewhat concerned about inflation and roughly a quarter that they are at least somewhat concerned about interest rates.
Such concerns were prevalent especially among young people, people from the political right, wage earners and the working class.
Kantar Public interviewed 1,050 people for the survey on 10–16 June.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT