1. Advance voters in Municipal elections 2012

In the following, persons having voted in advance in the Municipal elections 2012 are examined according to various background information. The comparison group used is persons entitled to vote with their background information. The data on persons entitled to vote and advance voters derive from the voting register of the Election Information System of the Ministry of Justice. The background information is based on statistical data from Statistics Finland’s Population and Social Statistics Department, such as population, employment and family statistics and the Register of Completed Education and Degrees. The examination includes only advance voters and persons entitled to vote. Those having voted on the day of the election are not included, as information is not collected on them on the level of the whole country. Persons who are not advance voters are included either in those having voted on the day of the election or in those not having voted. For this reason, conclusions cannot be drawn on the voting turnout of different groups as a whole based on advance voting.

1.1. High age and small municipality of residence raised the probability of advance voting

In the Municipal elections 2012, a total of 1,062,190 persons entitled to vote cast their votes in advance. The advance voting percentage reported by Statistics Finland, 42.4 per cent, was obtained by calculating the share of advance voters among all persons who voted. Here, advance voters are viewed with respect to persons entitled to vote, in which case the advance voting turnout is 24.7 per cent. Women voted in advance more than men did: Of women entitled to vote, 26.6 per cent were advance voters and 22.6 per cent of men. The difference is over 114,000 in numbers, as 588,271 women and 473,919 men voted in advance.

The age of the person entitled to vote had the strongest effect on the probability of voting in advance. Advance voting was most common in the 65 to 74 age group. In this group, the share of advance voters among persons entitled to vote was 47.0 per cent. Advance voting was clearly more common than average also among those aged 75 or over. Of them, 41.6 per cent voted in advance. Younger age groups voted less often in advance. Of persons entitled to vote aged 18 to 24, 9.5 per cent voted in advance, 12.6 per cent of those aged 25 to 44, and 26.3 per cent of those aged 45 to 64. (Table 1.)

In small municipalities, votes were cast in advance clearly more often than in large ones. In municipalities with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants, the share of advance voters among persons entitled to vote was 36.8 per cent, while in municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants this share remained at 21.5 per cent. Advance voting was more general in smaller municipalities than in large ones for all age groups. In small municipalities with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants, young people aged 18 to 24 also voted in advance (voting turnout 18.5%) more actively than persons of the same age living in towns of over 100,000 inhabitants (9.8%). (Table 1.)

Table 1. Share of advance voters among persons entitled to vote by age and municipality of residence in Municipal elections 2012, %

Size of municipality 18 – 24
years
25 – 44
yeras
45 – 64
years
65 – 74
years 
75 –
years
Age
groups,
total
                 - 1,999 18.5 22.2 37.9 52.3 43.9 36.8
    2,000 -   4,999 12.7 16.2 32.7 48.4 43.4 31.7
    5,000 -   9,999 10.8 13.7 29.8 47.1 41.8 28.5
  10,000 - 19,999 9.4 12.8 28.6 47.3 42.4 27.0
  20,000 - 49,999 7.4 10.8 25.0 46.5 40.8 23.6
  50,000 - 99,999 9.0 12.7 27.9 49.4 42.1 25.9
100,000 - 9.8 12.7 22.7 45.5 40.9 21.5
Municipalities
total
9.5 12.6 26.3 47.0 41.6 24.7

One-half (49.8%) of advance voters were pensioners by their main type of activity. The group was formed of pensioners, 48.9 per cent, and those on unemployment pension, 0.8 per cent. Pensioners are clearly over-represented among advance voters, because relatively fewer persons entitled to vote are pensioners, in all 29.1 per cent. Groups with other main type of activity voted in advance less often than pensioners. Other groups' shares of advance voters also remained lower than their shares of persons entitled to vote. Although employed persons formed the majority, 54.1 per cent of all persons entitled to vote, only 40.3 per cent of them voted in advance. Among advance voters, students were also under-represented, as the share of students was 6.4 per cent of persons entitled to vote but 3.4 per cent of advance voters, and unemployed persons, whose share of persons entitled to vote was 5.9 per cent, but 4.3 per cent of advance voters. Just 2.1 per cent of advance voters were in the group 'other inactive population', while their share of persons entitled to vote was 4.1 per cent. As pensioners are strongly over-represented among advance voters, we will next examine the effect of other variables on advance voting separately as concerns employed persons, unemployed persons, pensioners, students and the other inactive population. (Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Persons entitled to vote and advance voters according to main type of activity in Municipal elections 2012, %

Figure 1. Persons entitled to vote and advance voters according to main type of activity in Municipal elections 2012, %

1.2. Employed and unemployed persons voted equally often in advance

Of employed persons entitled to vote, 18.4 per cent voted in advance. In all, 20.4 per cent of employed women and 16.4 per cent of men were advance voters. In turn, 18.2 per cent of unemployed persons voted in advance. The difference between unemployed men and women in advance voting was slightly smaller than for employed persons, because 19.8 per cent of unemployed women and 17.1 per cent of unemployed men voted in advance.

The probability of voting in advance grows for both employed and unemployed with the age of the person. The advance voting turnout of unemployed persons was, however, clearly lower than among employed persons in the youngest 18 to 24 age group. Of employed persons aged 18 to 24, 8.9 per cent voted in advance, while this was so for 6.1 per cent of unemployed persons of the same age. The shares of advance voters of the older 25 to 44 age group were also small: 12.6 per cent of employed persons and 11.6 per cent of unemployed persons of that age group voted in advance. In contrast, one-quarter of both employed (24.8%) and unemployed persons (25.6%) among persons aged 45 to 64 voted in advance. (Table 2.)

Advance voting by unemployed persons was divided by family status similarly as for employed persons. For both groups the probability of voting in advance grew with age regardless of the family status. Among both unemployed and employed persons, most active voters were those without a family and cohabiting and married persons. Employed persons without a family voted in advance slightly more often than unemployed persons without a family. In both groups, adult children living at home and those whose family status is unknown voted the least often in advance.

The difference between employed and unemployed persons in the advance voting activity was largest among those aged 25 or under. If 10.3 per cent of employed persons of that age without a family voted in advance, the advance voting of the corresponding unemployed group remained at 6.1 per cent. For those without a family, the advance voting difference between employed and unemployed persons evened out in older age groups. The advance voting turnout of employed young people aged under 25 living at home (9.3%) was also higher than that of unemployed young people aged under 25 living at home (6.5%). (Table 2.)

Table 2. Share of advance voters among persons entitled to vote according to main type of activity, family status and age in Municipal elections 2012, %

18 – 24
years 
25 – 44
years
45 – 64
years
65 – 
years 
Age
groups,
total 
Employed,
total
8.9 12.6 24.8 .. 18.4
 Married or
 cohabiting
7.2 11.6 24.1 .. 18.1
 Single parent 3.9 12.2 21.2 .. 17.3
 Without
 a family
10.3 15.1 28.3 .. 20.6
 Child
 living
 at home
9.3 16.5 28.5 .. 13.8
 Unknown 9.2 12.4 19.3 .. 14.4
Unemployed,
total
6.1 11.6 25.6 .. 18.2
 Married or
 cohabiting
5.1 10.8 26.3 .. 19.5
 Single parent 6.2 9.7 19.1 .. 14.0
 Without
 a family
6.1 12.6 25.8 .. 18.8
 Child
 living
 at home
6.5 14.8 27.0 .. 13.0
 Unknown 7.9 8.9 18.2 .. 11.8
Pensioners,
total
10.5 18.8 35.0 47.4 42.1
 Married or 
 cohabiting
5.9 16.3 37.9 48.4 46.1
 Single parent .. 15.2 26.8 32.8 31.0
 Without
 a family
12.2 20.5 32.7 41.8 39.5
 Child
 living
 at home
10.4 19.3 29.4 38.5 23.2
 Unknown 9.6 16.3 23.3 16.4 18.0
Students,
total
11.0 16.0 23.2 .. 13.1
 Married or
 cohabiting
10.2 13.6 21.3 .. 13.7
 Single parent 4.5 10.9 19.9 .. 11.8
 Without
 a family
12.7 18.3 28.0 .. 15.7
 Child
 living
 at home
10.6 22.1 30.0 .. 11.4
 Unknown 11.5 17.5 21.0 .. 14.6
Other
inactive
population,
total
7.4 9.4 20.3 .. 12.5
 Married or  
 cohabiting
5.4 10.5 22.9 .. 14.7
 Single parent 4.3 9.5 16.1 .. 10.8
 Without
 a family
7.7 8.7 20.4 .. 13.8
 Child
 living
 at home
8.2 9.2 20.8 .. 9.3
 Unknown 5.4 4.9 7.2 .. 5.7
Total 9.5 12.6 26.3 44.6 24.7
 Married or  
 cohabiting
7.6 11.6 25.9 48.1 25.4
 Single parent 4.4 11.6 21.1 32.9 18.8
 Without
 a family
10.5 14.9 28.5 41.8 27.6
 Child
 living
 at home
9.7 16.5 27.8 37.3 12.7
 Unknown 8.6 10.2 17.7 16.4 14.0

Examined by level of education, unemployed persons with higher university or doctorate level degrees (advance voting turnout 25.7%) and persons with lowest level tertiary qualifications or lower university degree (25.3%), were more active at advance voting than employed persons with similar education (23.6%, 21.6%). Those with lowest level tertiary qualifications were mainly representatives of older age groups, whose share among advance voters was in any case higher than average. Among both unemployed and employed persons, those with secondary and basic level education or those whose education is not known voted the least in advance. Of unemployed persons with secondary level education, 17.3 per cent had voted in advance, and this figure for employed persons was 16.2 per cent. The corresponding shares of those with basic level education or of persons whose education is not known were 15.3 per cent for unemployed and 14.7 per cent for employed persons. (Table 3.)

Table 3. Share of advance voters among persons entitled to vote according to main type of activity and level of education in Municipal elections 2012, %

Level of
education
Employed Unemployed Pensioners Students Other
inactive
population
Total 
Educational
total
18.4 18.2 42.1 13.1 12.5 24.7
Only
basic level
or not known
14.7 15.3 37.6 8.6 9.1 25.6
Secondary level 16.2 17.3 42.8 15.8 13.1 21.4
Lowest level tertiary
education or lower
university degree
21.6 25.3 53.5 23.4 18.9 28.4
Higher university or
doctorate level
degree
23.6 25.7 56.0 26.3 17.6 28.0

When examining the occupational status of those having voted, entrepreneurs voted slightly more often in advance than wage and salary earners. The share of entrepreneurs voting in advance was 20.6 per cent and that of wage and salary earners 18.1 per cent. The median income of employed persons having voted in advance, EUR 33,100, was in turn slightly higher than that of all employed persons entitled to vote, EUR 31,600. The median income of unemployed advance voters, EUR 14,200, was also higher than that of all unemployed persons entitled to vote, EUR 12,000. (Figure 2.)

1.3. Nearly one-half of advance voters pensioners

Of pensioners, 42.1 per cent voted in advance. In this examination, the group of pensioners is formed of those on old-age pension, unemployment pension and disability pension. As in the other groups, advance voting by pensioners was more probable among older age groups. Votes were cast in advance by 47.4 per cent of pensioners aged 65 or over, while this was the case for 10.5 per cent of young pensioners aged 18 to 24, for 18.8 per cent of those aged 25 to 44 and for 35.0 per cent of those aged 45 to 64. (Table 2.)

The differences of both sexes in advance voting turnout were smaller for pensioners than in the other groups. In all, 42.5 per cent of female pensioners and 41.7 per cent of male pensioners voted in advance. Of married or cohabiting pensioners, 46.1 per cent voted in advance, while this was so for 39.5 per cent of those without a family. (Table 2).

The median income of advance voting pensioners was EUR 17,800 and thus EUR 1,700 higher than that of all pensioners entitled to vote, EUR 16,100. The income level of advance voters was higher than that of persons entitled to vote for employed, unemployed, pensioners, students and the inactive population. The combined median income of advance voters was, however, lower than that of all persons entitled to vote. This is explained by the lower than average income level of the over-represented group in advance voters, pensioners, which reduces the median income of the whole group of advance voters.

Figure 2. Median income of advance voters and persons entitled to vote by main type of activity in Municipal elections 2012,  EUR

Figure 2. Median income of advance voters and persons entitled to vote by main type of activity in Municipal elections 2012,  EUR

Advance voting is more common for pensioners with tertiary level qualifications. Votes were cast in advance by 56.0 per cent of those with higher university degrees or doctorate level degrees. The respective share was 53.5 per cent among the attainers of the lowest tertiary level qualifications or of lower university degrees. Pensioners with basic level education (37.6%) and secondary level education (42.8%) voted the least often in advance. (Table 3.) Pensioners with tertiary level education voted in advance more actively than those with basic or secondary level education in all age groups.

1.4. Advance voting of students low

Of all students, 13.1 per cent voted in advance. The advance voting turnout of students was clearly lower than that of pensioners (42.1%), employed persons (18.4%) and unemployed persons (18.2%). Only the other inactive population voted slightly less often in advance than students did (12.5%). (Table 2.)

As in the other groups, the probability of advance voting grew for students slightly along with the higher age of the person entitled to vote. Of students aged 18 to 24, 11.0 per cent were advance voters. In five-year age groups older than this, advance voting varied from 15.3 per cent among those aged 30 to 34 to 17.2 per cent among those aged 40 to 44.

Among female students, 14.1 per cent were advance voters, while this was so for 12.0 per cent of male students. Advance voting was most general for those with higher university or doctorate degrees (26.3%) and for those with lowest tertiary level education or lower university degrees (23.4%). The share of advance voters was 15.8 per cent for those with secondary level education and just 8.6 per cent for those with basic level education or for persons with missing information on qualifications. (Table 3.)

1.5. Other inactive population voted in advance the least often

Of the other inactive population, 12.5 per cent voted in advance. The group "other inactive population" here consists of persons who are outside the labour force and do not belong to students or pensioners. Those on family leaves form around one-half of this group. In this analysis, conscripts and those in non-military service are also included in the other inactive population.

In all, 11.4 per cent of such men and 13.5 per cent of such women voted in advance. The age was the most determining factor for the advance voting turnout of the other inactive population as well. Of the group aged under 25, 7.4 per cent voted in advance, while the figure was 20.3 per cent among those aged 45 to 64. The advance voting turnout of the oldest age groups in the other inactive population remained, however, far behind the active advance voting of older employed and unemployed age groups. (Table 2.)

Adult children in the other inactive population living at home voted the least in advance, as 9.3 per cent of both women and men voted in advance. Most active voters among the inactive population were those married or cohabiting, of whom 14.7 per cent voted in advance. Of the other inactive population without a family, 13.8 per cent voted in advance.

1.6. Age had more effect on advance voting than foreign background

Origin had a strong effect on the probability of advance voting. Of persons whose both parents were born abroad, 10.2 per cent voted in advance. Persons whose one parent was born abroad and the other in Finland voted slightly more often, i.e. 13.6 per cent. However, the difference was clear to persons whose parents were born in Finland. Of them, 25.5 per cent voted in advance.

Table 4. Share of advance voters among persons entitled to vote by age and origin in Municipal elections 2012, %

Origin 18 – 24
years 
25 – 34
years
35 – 44
years
45 – 65
years 
65 –
years
Age
groups
total 
Total 9.5 11.8 13.6 26.3 44.6 24.7
Parents from
Finland
9.6 12.2 14.0 27.1 44.9 25.5
One of the
parents born
abroad
7.4 10.5 12.8 25.6 45.0 13.6
Parents born
abroad
8.4 7.1 8.0 11.4 26.3 10.2

Advance voting was lowest among young adults aged 18 to 24 and for those persons whose both parents were born abroad. Of persons aged 18 to 24 whose both parents were born abroad, 8.4 per cent voted in advance. Of persons in the same age group with one parent who was born abroad, 7.4 per cent voted in advance. In this age group, the difference between advance voting by those with foreign background and Finnish background was relatively small. Only slightly more of children aged 18 to 24 of Finnish-born parents voted in advance, 9.6 per cent.

Foreign background had more effect on advance voting turnout in older age groups. High age, which usually increased the probability of advance voting, had not as strong influence on advance voting by persons with foreign background as on others. The advance voting turnout of persons with foreign background, whose both parents were born abroad, did not yet rise much in the 45 to 64 age group, but remained at 11.4 per cent. At its highest, the advance voting turnout of this group was just 26.3 per cent among those aged over 65. Advance voting was clearly most common among persons aged over 65 whose parents were born in Finland. Of them, 44.9 per cent voted in advance.


Source: Municipal Elections 2012, Review of advance voting and women's and men's success in the elections, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Miina Keski-Petäjä 09 1734 3240, Jaana Asikainen 09 1734 3506, vaalit@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 2.4.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Municipal elections [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-1114. 2012, 1. Advance voters in Municipal elections 2012 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 14.12.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kvaa/2012/kvaa_2012_2013-03-14_kat_001_en.html