Area Handbook for Finland

By Theodore L. Stoddard; William K. Carr et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
LIVING CONDITIONS

In early 1973 the population generally enjoyed a high standard of living. Public health, sanitation, and welfare programs, comparing favorably with those in most other Western countries, encompassed the entire population. The diet was nutritious, and a wide variety of food was available. Although there was a continuing housing shortage, government support and a number of housing programs had made comfortable housing widely available.

The country was rapidly moving toward greater urbanization (see ch. 3). Centers such as Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Jyväskylä were expanding steadily and attracting great numbers of young Finns who preferred the efficiency, convenience, and modernity of city life to the isolation of the countryside.

Finnish life style is conditioned by the climate. During the short summer there is a mass exodus to the countryside. The long winters are endured stoically with the help of a variety of outdoor athletic activities. Sports are widely enjoyed throughout the year, and participation is encouraged both by the educational system and by various government and social agencies. Music and the theater are also popular forms of recreation.


HEALTH

Food and Nutrition

In 1970, the most recent year for which statistics were available, the average Finn spent about 26 percent of his income on food and another 9 percent on beverages and tobacco. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, regulated as government monopolies, were relatively costly, and many Finns drank illegally produced alcoholic beverages.

The diet is simple and well prepared, although with a heavy emphasis on starches. Porridge, cereals, onion-flavored meatballs, soup, potatoes, bread, jam, and cheeses are common menu items. For festive meals there may be salmon or bits of smoked lamprey.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average person consumed 3,070 calories per day in 1970. The Finnish rate was considerably higher than the 2,500 calories judged sufficient by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a

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Area Handbook for Finland
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • COUNTRY SUMMARY vii
  • FINLAND - TABLE OF CONTENTS xi
  • Contents xii
  • Contents xiii
  • SECTION I. SOCIAL 1
  • Chapter 2 - HISTORICAL SETTING 9
  • Chapter 3 - ENVIRONMENT AND POPULATION 35
  • Chapter 4 - SOCIAL SYSTEM 49
  • Chapter 5 - LIVING CONDITIONS 57
  • Chapter 6 - RELIGIOUS LIFE 71
  • Chapter 7 - EDUCATION AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS 81
  • Chapter 8 - ARTISTIC AND INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT 97
  • SECTION II. POLITICAL 121
  • Chapter 10 - POLITICAL DYNAMICS, ATTITUDES, AND VALUES 139
  • Chapter 11 - FOREIGN RELATIONS 153
  • SECTION III. ECONOMIC 167
  • Chapter 13 - AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY 181
  • Chapter 14 - TRADE, TRANSPORTATION, AND SERVICES 193
  • SECTION IV. NATIONAL SECURITY 207
  • Chapter 16 - THE ARMED FORCES 213
  • Index 247
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