Press release: E2 Research used exceptionally rich data to investigate - Young women in particular feel their sense of security has been shaken by the war in Ukraine
E2 Research used exceptionally rich data to investigate: Young women in particular feel their sense of security has been shaken by the war in Ukraine
More than half of 20–29-year-olds (53%) are concerned about their coping and mental well-being. Young people have traditional goals in life. At the top of the list are relationships, meaningful work, income, well-being and close friends. For less than 40%, having children is among the most important goals.
A majority (63%) of young adults feel that their sense of security has been undermined by the war in Ukraine. Young women (75%) are significantly more likely to feel this way than men of the same age (53%). The majority of young adults (77%) consider mental health problems to be the main cause of young people’s malaise. A third feel their lives are meaningless and fear loneliness.
The results are available in the final report of the Young People’s Good Life study. A questionnaire and group interviews were used to explore young adults' reasons for happiness and concern. The report also includes young people's views on the future of Finland and new information on the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The project was carried out by E2 Research. The work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Svenska Kulturfonden, STTK, Finnish Pension Alliance TELA, the City of Oulu, the University of Oulu, the City of Vaasa, Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK, the Väinö Tanner Foundation and the South Ostrobothnia Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The project was implemented with the participation of young adults. In addition to data from the whole country, the project also collected regional data from Vaasa, Oulu and Helsinki.
Young people want reasonable expectations, many experience discrimination
Young people interviewed for the study feel pressured to be successful. Subject to conflicting demands, they would like to see reasonable expectations in working life. One young person describes it this way:
You have to be the best at everything all the time, at work and in your studies. You can't let your parents or friends or anyone down.
Young people with an immigrant background and young people with physical disabilities and impairments interviewed experience discrimination in their everyday lives. A young person with an immigrant background states:
You notice you are different. The environment kind of reminds you that hey, you're different. Everyone looks at you. You're being followed, you're being stared at. People pay more attention to you.
Young people think Finland is being built on the terms of older generations
A majority of young adults (62%) think that Finland's future should be built on equality and equity. Based on the questionnaire and interview data, young people feel that Finland is being built on the terms of older generations and the power and economic elite. Half of young (51%) people feel that they have not been listened to enough in the decision-making process during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young people feel that the voices of disabled people, young people and immigrants are not heard enough in society.
Some of those interviewed question solidarity between generations and feel disappointed by the actions of older generations. One young person describes it this way:
How much resentment will today's young people feel towards older people and how many will want to help future pensioners? Many will probably want to leave because of the decisions that are currently being made that are clearly destroying the future of the young people of today.
COVID-19 has had negative and positive outcomes
The majority (82%) of young adults believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the malaise of their age group. Just under half (44%) feel that the COVID-19 pandemic has made them less confident about their future. On the other hand, some young people welcome the positive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of distance learning, new hobbies and a greater appreciation of their own lives.
Young people are willing to defend their country
Around half of young people (47%) would be willing to defend Finland with weapons if war broke out. The majority of men (63%) and just under a third of women (29%) feel this way. Most young people (79%) are willing to defend Finland with other than military means. The results are in line with other recent surveys.
Half of young adults (49%) feel that compulsory military service should apply to all Finnish citizens, regardless of gender. 38% disagree with this statement. More than half of men (58%) and just over a third of women (38%) support equal conscription.
The report is based on group interviews with 110 young people aged 20-29, conducted in Helsinki, Oulu and Vaasa. The interviewees included young people with a higher education or vocational education background, young people with an immigrant background, young people using support services and young people with physical disabilities. The report also uses questionnaire data (a nationally representative sample of young people aged 20-29, N=1,126). Interviews were conducted between October 2021 and February 2022. The questionnaire was carried out in March 2022.
The Young People’s Good Life project was carried out by E2 Research. The report “Sä teet tän elämän itelles”: Alle 30-vuotiaiden nuorten aikuisten näkemyksiä hyvästä elämästä (“You build your own life”: The views of young adults under 30 on good life) was written by Research Assistants Eija Eronen (Master of Social Sciences) and Vilma Niskanen (Master of Arts), Specialist Roosa Veijola (Master of Arts) and Programme Director Jenni Simonen (Doctor of Social Sciences).
The research findings will be published on May 2022, 13:00–14:15 as a hybrid event in Helsinki Central Library Oodi. You can attend by coming to Oodi or watching the stream on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/IpIouCoYOKs
Link to the project website: www.nuortenhyvaelama.com
The project on social media: @n_hyvalama (Twitter), @nuortenhyvaelama (Instagram)
M.Soc.Sc. Eija Eronen
Research Assistant at E2 Research
Tel. +358 503187458
D.Soc.Sc. Jenni Simonen
Programme Director at E2 Research
Tel. +358 503465021