1. Background analysis of candidates and elected councillors in Municipal elections 2017

In the following review, background information of persons entitled to vote and of the candidates nominated by the parties are examined. The data on persons entitled to vote derive from the voting register established on 22 February 2017 and the data on the candidates from the candidate register set up on 9 March 2017. The data on the elected councillors are based on the result confirmed on 12 April 2017. The background data are based on Statistics Finland’s statistical data, such as population, employment and family statistics and the Register of Completed Education and Degrees.

The candidates differ by age structure and sex from all persons entitled to vote. Considerably fewer of the candidates are aged 30 or under and 70 or over than the persons entitled to vote, and more of the candidates are men than women. This should be taken into consideration when comparing the candidates with persons entitled to vote. In the tables and figures of this analysis, the data are not age-standardised. Standardisation would slightly lower the difference between the candidates and those entitled to vote, for example, when comparing the level of education, main type of activity, family status and socio-economic group among the candidates and persons entitled to vote.

Only the parliamentary parties are specified in the following examination. The candidates nominated by other parties and constituency associations are presented as one category “Others”.

1.1. Summary

Number of candidates and elected councillors decreases, average age increases

The number of candidates in the Municipal elections has been declining for a long time. Now, 33,618 candidates were nominated in the Municipal elections, which is 3,500 fewer than in 2012 and 6,100 fewer than in the 2000 elections. Only the Green League and the Christian Democrats in Finland were able to nominate more candidates than in the 2012 elections. Just like in previous years, the Centre Party of Finland has most candidates even though its number of the candidates has also declined from previous years.

The number of elected councillors decreased by nearly 700 from the previous elections. The number of elected councillors fell because of municipal mergers that had taken place between the elections. In 2012, councillors were elected for 304 municipal councils, now there are nine fewer municipalities. All in all, the number of elected councillors decreased by seven per cent. The number of elected councillors decreased more than average for the Finns Party, the Coalition Party and the Centre Party. The Green League, the Left Alliance and the Christian Democrats, in turn, increased their number of councillors.

The proportion of female candidates has remained at around 40 per cent already for a long time. Only the Green League has more female than male candidates. Around 58 per cent of its candidates are women. Among the parliamentary parties, the Finns Party has the least female candidates, 25 per cent. Women make up 39 per cent of the elected councillors. The share of women among elected councillors increased by nearly three percentage points from the previous elections.

Candidates are, on average, close on one year younger than persons entitled to vote The average age of the candidates has, however, risen faster than that of persons entitled to vote. Since 2000, the average age of the candidates has risen by 3.6 years. Over the same period, the average age of persons entitled to vote has risen by nearly three years. The average age of those elected to municipal councils is around 50. In the previous elections in 2012, the average age of elected councillors was exactly 50. The average age of elected councillors has risen by around one year from the 2008 elections.


Fourty-four per cent of council seats went to other than current councillors

Among all the candidates nominated by the parties over one-half were also candidates in the 2012 Municipal elections, primarily as candidates for the same party. Since the last elections, the Green League has renewed its list of candidates the most, 60 per cent of their candidates were not candidates in the previous Municipal elections.

Around one-fifth of the candidates are current councillors. The Centre Party has the most current councillors on its list, around 28 per cent of the party's candidates. Altogether, 162 of the candidates are Members of Parliament. Forty-four per cent of the members of the new councils were not municipal councillors at the time of the elections.

Centre Party candidates and elected councillors dominate in small municipalities measured by population with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. In municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants as many as 40 per cent of all candidates were nominated by the Centre Party. In small municipalities, one-half of council seats go to the Centre Party. In the largest municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants, the party distribution is clearly more even and no party has over 20 per cent of the candidates. However, in these municipalities one-quarter of elected councillors are Coalition Party candidates.


Persons with foreign background under-represented

Compared with persons entitled to vote, persons with foreign background are under-represented among candidates and elected councillors. Persons of foreign background, that is, persons, whose both parents were born abroad, represent close on six per cent of those entitled to vote, slightly over two per cent of candidates and 0.7 per cent of elected councillors. Since 2008, the share of elected councillors of foreign background has grown from 0.3 to 0.7 per cent. The highest proportions of candidates with foreign background were nominated by the Swedish People's Party (4.2%) and the least by the Centre Party (1.2%). The Green League has the largest share of persons with foreign background among their elected councillors (1.7%) and the Centre Party has the lowest share (0.2%).

Examined by native language, the result is similar. Clearly fewer candidates and elected councillors than persons entitled to vote speak a foreign-language as their native language. There are 727 foreign-language speaking candidates and only 66 elected councillors. The largest group of foreign-language speaking candidates is formed by Russian speakers, 164 candidates, and the second largest by Estonian speakers, 72 candidates. The only group of foreign-language speakers that exceeded the limit of ten persons was those speaking Somali with 11 elected councillors.

There are citizens from over 60 different countries among the candidates even though the share of foreign citizens among all candidates is under one per cent. Four per cent of all persons entitled to vote are foreign citizens. Of the candidates, 263 persons are foreign citizens. Seventeen of the elected councillors are foreign citizens.

A person can have more than one nationality. There are 462 candidates that are Finnish citizens with citizenship in another country as well. They represent 1.4 per cent of all candidates. Among all persons entitled to vote, around 1.7 per cent have dual citizenship. Forty-eight persons with dual citizenship were elected as councillors.


Candidates and elected councillors are more highly educated and more actively in working life

As regards education, candidates differ clearly from persons entitled to vote. Nearly 90 per cent of the candidates have completed post-comprehensive level qualifications while 73 per cent of those entitled to vote have done so. This is largely explained by the different age structure of people entitled to vote and the candidates. The educational level is highest for the Green League candidates. More than one-half of them have tertiary level qualifications, while this is so for one-third of all candidates and one fifth of all persons entitled to vote.

Persons elected to municipals councils are more highly educated than those entitled to vote and the candidates. Of those elected, around 40 per cent have tertiary level qualifications and around nine per cent only have basic level of education.

The difference in the age structure between the candidates, elected councillors and persons entitled to vote is also reflected in the difference between the labour market position of candidates, elected councillors and persons entitled to vote: over 80 per cent of elected councillors, nearly 70 per cent of candidates and around one-half of those entitled to vote are employed. Nearly 30 per cent of those entitled to vote are, in turn, retired, while this is the case for 17 per cent of candidates and 12 per cent of elected councillors. The employment rate is calculated as the share of employed persons in working-age population aged 18 to 64. The employment rate of elected councillors is high, 89 per cent for the whole country. It is eleven percentage points higher than that of candidates and good 20 per cent more than that of persons entitled to vote.

Viewed by socio-economic group, there are more self-employed persons among the candidates and elected councillors than among persons entitled to vote. The share of self-employed persons among employed elected councillors is 20 per cent, 16.5 per cent among candidates and 10.5 per cent among persons entitled to vote. Most self-employed persons are found among Centre Party candidates, nearly 30 per cent, of whom more than one-half are farmers and forestry entrepreneurs. Among Coalition Party candidates good one-fifth are also self-employed.

The local government sector employs candidates and elected councillors more than persons entitled to vote. Thirty-seven per cent of employed elected councillors work in the local government sector, and around 31 per cent of candidates. Among persons entitled to vote, 23 per cent work in the local government sector. Wage and salary earners in the central government sector are candidates particularly in larger municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants. In them, more than ten per cent of employed candidates work in the central government sector, while 6.5 per cent of all candidates and 5.8 per cent of persons entitled to vote work for the central government sector. In these municipalities, one-fifth of elected councillors work in the central government sector.


Over 40 per cent of elected councillors are parents of a family with children

The candidates and elected councillors also differ in their family status from the persons entitled to vote: considerably more of elected councillors (40%) and candidates (36%) are parents of a family with children than among persons entitled to vote (23%). Around 12 per cent of elected councillors and less than 20 per cent of candidates live alone, while around one-quarter of persons entitled to vote live alone. Differences in the family status are explained by the fact that the age structure of the candidates and persons entitled to vote differ from each other.

The current family status does not reveal how many of the candidates and of those entitled to vote have or have had children of their own. This can, however, be examined based on the number of children recorded in the Finnish Population Information System. Candidates and elected councillors have more children than average. Of the candidates, 78 per cent have children and 85 per cent of elected councillors. The corresponding share for persons entitled to vote is 65 per cent. The elected councillors have, on average, 2.3 children, candidates 2.0 and persons entitled to vote 1.5 children. Among elected councillors, Christian Democrats have the most children, on average, three and Green councillors have the least, 1.8 children.


Candidates and elected councillors from the Coalition Party have the highest income

Candidates and elected councillors are highly educated and a larger share of them are also working than among persons entitled to vote. This also partially explains that the candidates’ and elected councillors’ income level is higher than that of persons entitled to vote. The median for the disposable monetary income of all elected councillors is EUR 30,000 per year. The median for disposable monetary income among candidates in 2015 was EUR 26,100, while that of all persons entitled to vote was EUR 5,600 lower. Disposable monetary income refers to the monetary income after taxes that consists of earned income, property income, and transfer income.

The candidates’ income varies by party from EUR 31,200 in the Coalition Party to EUR 22,200 in the Finns Party. When the population entitled to vote is arranged according to income and divided into ten equal parts, the income deciles of the population entitled to vote are generated. Each of these has slightly under 440,000 persons. The highest-income decile of the population entitled to vote has at least EUR 38,000 at their disposal and the lowest income decile at most EUR 8,250 per year.

Future councillors from the Coalition Party have the highest income. On average, they have EUR 36,700 per year at their disposal. The councillors elected among Finns Party candidates have the lowest income. The median for their disposable monetary income is around EUR 27,400 per year.

Among all candidates, 18 per cent belong to the highest income decile and of the elected councillors around 28 per cent. Those representing the Coalition Party and the Swedish People's Party belong to the higher end of the income distribution both among the candidates and elected councillors. Of those elected from the Coalition Party, 46 per cent belong to the highest income decile and around one-third of elected councillors from the Swedish People's Party.

One-tenth of all persons entitled to vote thus belong to the lowest income decile. Of the candidates, slightly fewer, around six per cent, belong to this decile. Only among female candidates nominated by constituency associations and other parties over ten per cent belong to the lowest income decile. For other parties, the shares fluctuate between 2.6 and nine per cent.

Around three per cent of elected councillors belong to the lowest income decile. Most elected councillors belonging to the lowest income decile are found in parties outside the Parliament and in constituency associations, 5.5 per cent. The Christian Democrats have the least elected councillors belonging to the lowest income decile, 1.6 per cent.


1.2. Candidates, elected councillors and persons entitled to vote by sex

The Green League increased its council seats by three-thirds, the Finns Party lost one-third

A total of 33,618 candidates were nominated for the Municipal elections. This is 3,506 fewer candidates than in 2012. Nearly all parties have a lower number of candidates than in the previous Municipal elections. Only the Green League and the Christian Democrats were able to nominate more candidates than in the 2012 elections. In the 2012 elections, the Green League had 2,299 candidates, now in the 2017 elections three hundred more, that is, 2,600 candidates. The Christian Democrats increased their number of candidates by around one hundred. The number of candidates decreased most in the National Coalition Party both in terms of number and in relative terms. As in previous years, the Centre Party of Finland (7,461) had the most candidates, even though its number of candidates is also lower than in the previous election. (Table 1)

A total of 8,999 councillors were elected to the municipal councils of Mainland Finland. This is 674 fewer councillors than in 2012. The number of elected councillors fell because of municipal mergers that had taken place between the elections. In 2012, councillors were elected for 304 municipal councils, now there are nine fewer municipalities.

All in all, the number of elected councillors decreased by seven per cent. The number of elected councillors decreased more than average for the Finns Party, the Coalition Party and the Centre Party. The Green League, the Left Alliance and the Christian Democrats, in turn, increased their number of councillors. Representatives of the constituency associations and smaller parties also increased their number of seats. The Green League is the clear winner of the elections and increased its number of elected councillors by close on 66 per cent. Correspondingly, the Finns Party lost more than one-third of its seats.

The Centre Party still has the most council seats. Nearly one-third of the councils in Mainland Finland are dominated by the Centre Party. The Social Democratic Party has the second most council seats (18.8%) and the Coalition Party has the third most (17.9%). The winner of the elections, the Green League, increased its share of council sears with 2.6 percentage points from 3.3 to 5.9 per cent. The Finns Party’s share of council seats decreased by 3.8 percentage points from 12.4 to 8.6 per cent.

Table 1. Number of candidates and elected councillors by party in Municipal elections 2008, 2012 and 2017

Party  Number of
candidates
Change
from the
previous
elections, %
Number
of
elected
councillors
Change
from the
previous
elections, %
2008   2012    2017   2012 2017   2008   2012    2017   2012 2017  
Total 38,509 37,124 33,618 -3.6 -9.4 10,412 9,674 8,999 -7.1 -7.0
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
9,977 8,401 7,461 –15.8 –11.2 3,518 3,077 2,824 -12.5 -8.2
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
7,628 6,874 5,739 –9.9 –16.5 2,020 1,735 1,490 -14.1 -14.1
Finns
Party
PS
1,840 4,394 3,831 138.8 -12.8 443 1,195 770 169.8 -35.6
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
7,702 6,986 6,132 -9.3 -12.2 2,066 1,729 1,697 -16.3 -1.9
Green
League
VIHR
2,192 2,299 2,600 4.9 13.1 370 323 534 -12.7 65.3
Left
Alliance
VAS
4,112 3,506 3,203 -14.7 -8.6 833 640 658 -23.2 2.8
Swedish
People's
Party
in Finland
RKP
1,407 1,350 1,324 -4.1 -1.9 511 480 471 -6.1 -1.9
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
1,921 1,870 1,971 -2.7 5.4 351 300 316 -14.5 5.3
Others 1,730 1,444 1,357 -16.5 -6.0 300 195 239 -35.0 22.6

The share of women among elected councillors increased but is still under 40 per cent

Women make up 39.9 per cent of the candidates. The majority, or 51.2 per cent, of the persons entitled to vote are women. The proportion of female candidates rose by one percentage point from the 2012 Municipal elections. Only the Green League has more female than male candidates. Of its candidates, 57.9 per cent are women. Christian Democrats had the second most female candidates, where the share of women was 46.7 per cent and the Swedish People's Party had the third most, 43.7 per cent. The share of female candidates is around 40 per cent in the Social Democratic Party, the Left Alliance, the Centre Party, and the National Coalition Party. The Finns Party has the least female candidates, 25 per cent of candidates. (Figure 1)

Women make up 39 per cent of the elected councillors. The share of women among elected councillors increased by nearly three percentage points from the previous elections. Altogether, 3,959 persons were elected to municipal council who are not municipal councillors at the moment. Slightly more of them were women (44%).

Figure 1. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 1. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

A distinct majority of the elected Green League councillors are women, around 68 per cent. The Christian Democrats (46.5%) and the Social Democratic Party (44.4%) also have more elected women than average. Least women were elected to municipal councils from the Finns Party. Only slightly over one-fifth of elected Finns Party councillors are women. (Figure 2)

Figure 2. Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors (by party) by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 2. Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors (by party) by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Women’s share of all candidates has remained at around 40 per cent throughout the 2000s. Among most parties, the share of female candidates has remained more or less on the same level. Only the Green League and the Left Alliance have clearly increased their share of female candidates in recent years. In the Green League, the share of female candidates has increased by seven percentage points from 2000 and in the Left Alliance by 5.6 percentage points. (Table 2)

The share of women has always been slightly higher among candidates than among elected councillors. In previous municipal elections in the 2000s, the share of women among elected councillors has been three to four percentage points lower than among candidates. Now, in the 2017 elections, the difference contracted by less than one percentage point.

Women have been the majority among Green League candidates and elected councillors throughout the 2000’s. Already in the 2012 elections, the share of elected women was as high as now (68%). From the previous elections, the Christian Democrats raised the share of women the most, almost by eight percentage points. The Left Alliance also raised their share of elected women by more than average and climbed above the average share of women in council seats. The Social Democratic Party and the Swedish People’s Party also had more than average women among their elected councillors.

Table 2. Women's proportion of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in Municipal elections 2000 to 2017, %

2000   2004   2008   2012    2017  
Persons
entitled
to vote
51.8 51.6 51.5 51.4 51.2
Candi-
dates
Elected
councillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
councillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
councillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
councillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
councillors
Total 38.2 34.4 39.9 36.4 40.4 36.7 38.8 36.2 39.9 39.0
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
38.2 30.9 39.7 33.7 40.3 34.1 39.8 35.1 39.7 36.1
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
39.1 35.4 40.4 35.0 40.3 35.9 39.1 35.7 39.0 35.9
Finns
Party
PS
28.8 15.6 26.3 18.9 25.7 20.8 23.3 23.2 25.2 21.8
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
37.7 38.1 39.2 39.7 40.8 41.0 40.4 41.7 40.9 44.4
Green
League
VIHR
50.7 58.9 52.9 62.7 56.8 64.3 56.8 68.1 57.9 67.8
Left
Alliance
VAS
34.2 32.3 36.1 33.9 36.6 32.4 37.9 35.8 39.8 40.4
Swedish
People's
Party in
Finland
RKP
39.9 34.6 43.5 37.9 42.9 38.2 43.5 38.3 43.7 40.1
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
46.9 38.6 47.2 45.3 48.2 43.0 45.3 38.7 46.7 46.5
Others 32.0 30.9 34.6 31.5 33.6 34.0 32.8 29.7 33.8 31.0

The percentage of female candidates is highest in the region of Uusimaa (43.4%) and lowest in Central Ostrobothnia (35.7%). In addition to Uusimaa, only the regions of Varsinais-Suomi, Kanta-Häme and Ostrobothnia have more female candidates than average. (Figure 3)

Most women were elected into municipal councils in Uusimaa. Of the future councillors in municipal councils in Uusimaa, 46 per cent are women. Also in Kanta-Häme, Varsinais-Suomi, Kymenlaakso and Päijät-Häme the share of women among elected councillors reached over 40 per cent.

The share of women among elected councillors is smallest in the regions of Central Ostrobothnia (28.7%) and South Ostrobothnia (30.5%). In these regions, also clearly fewer women were elected than were standing as candidates. By contrast, for example, in Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme and North Karelia, the share of elected women was higher than their share of candidates.

Figure 3. Women’s share of candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 3. Women’s share of candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Around 44 per cent of elected councillors are new

Of all the candidates nominated by the parties, over one-half of the candidates were also candidates in the 2012 Municipal elections. Of all candidates, 2.6 per cent were candidates for some other party in the previous elections and around 46 per cent of the candidates were new candidates. The Green League has the most new candidates, among whose candidates 60 per cent are new. Among the candidates of the Social Democratic Party, nearly 60 per cent were also nominated in the previous elections either as candidates for the Social Democratic Party or for some other party. In both elections, close on three per cent of candidates has changed parties. (Figure 4)

Around one-fifth of all the candidates are current councillors. The Centre Party has most current councillors on its list, around 28 per cent of the party's candidates and the Green League has the least, close on nine per cent. Altogether 162 of the candidates are Members of Parliament.

Figure 4. Share of candidates nominated in the 2012 election and new candidates by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 4. Share of candidates nominated in the 2012 election and new candidates by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Altogether 8,999 councillors were elected to municipal councils of whom 3,959 or nearly 44 per cent were not municipal councillors at the time of the elections. Naturally, the parties that increased their number of seats have the largest share of new councillors. Among the Green League’s elected councillors, 66 per cent were other than current municipal councillors. Even though the Finns Party lost 425 council seats, the share of new councillors among all elected Finns Party councillors is close to 40 per cent. (Figure 5)

Figure 5. Proportion of new councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 5. Proportion of new councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

1.3. Age structure

The Left Alliance has the oldest councillors, the Green League the youngest

The average age of the candidates is now almost one year higher than in the previous elections and around 3.6 years older than the candidates in 2000. Female candidates are around three years younger than male candidates. The average age of male candidates is now 50.7 years and that of female candidates 47.8. Female candidates are, on average, four years younger than women entitles to vote, whereas male candidates two years older than men entitled to vote. The average age of persons entitled to vote has risen by close on one year since the previous elections and by nearly three years from 2000. On the day of the election, the average age of persons entitled to vote is now 48.9 for men and 51.5 for women. (Table 3)

The sex and age structure of candidates is very different from that of persons entitled to vote (Figures 6 and 7). The age pyramid of neither group is no longer a pyramid as the name indicates: the age structure of persons entitled to vote rather resembles a tower and that of candidates a one sided gyroscope, from which the missing of the youngest and oldest age groups as well as the dominance of men are visible. Most male candidates represent the age group of those aged 50 to 64 and most female candidates the age group of those aged 40 to 54.

Figure 6. Age distribution and average age of persons entitled to vote by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 6. Age distribution and average age of persons entitled to vote by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 7. Age distribution and average age of candidates by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 7. Age distribution and average age of candidates by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

The average age of the persons elected to municipal councils is around 50. In the previous elections in 2012 the average age of elected councillors was exactly 50. The average age of elected councillors has risen by around one year from the 2008 elections. The average age of elected men is 51.8 years and they are around one year older than men who stood as candidates. Elected women are on average four years younger than elected men. The average are of elected women is 47.7 years, which is almost the same as the average age of women who stood as candidates. Men elected as councillors concentrate on the age group 60 to 64. Their share is around nine per cent of all councillors. The biggest group of women is aged 40 to 44 with a 5.6 per cent share. (Figure 8)

Figure 8. Age distribution and average age of elected councillors by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 8. Age distribution and average age of elected councillors by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Examined by party, the Christian Democrats has the oldest candidates: Nearly 40 per cent of their candidates are aged 60 or over and the average age is 52.2 years. The Green League has the youngest candidates. Almost 45 per cent of them are aged under 40, and the average age of the candidates is 43.8 years. Around 29 per cent of all candidates are aged under 40 and around 31 per cent are aged 60 or over. (Figure 9, Table 3)

Around one-quarter of the elected councillors are aged under 40 and close on one-third are aged 60 or over. The oldest elected councillors are The Left Alliance’s male candidates, on average 56. The women elected from the Green League’s list are, in turn, the youngest - their average age is 42. (Table 3)

Figure 9. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by age group in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 9. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by age group in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Table 3. Average age of candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017

Total    Men  Women  
Persons
entitled
to vote
50.3 48.9 51.5
Candidates  Elected
councillors
Candidates  Elected
councillors
Candidates  Elected
councillors
Total 49.5 50.2 50.7 51.8 47.8 47.7
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
49.5 50.1 50.9 51.3 47.5 48.0
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
49.0 49.2 49.8 50.5 47.6 47.0
Finns
Party
PS
49.8 48.8 50.4 50.0 47.9 44.5
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
51.4 52.5 52.7 54.7 49.7 49.9
Green
League
VIHR
43.8 42.7 44.6 44.2 43.1 42.0
Left
Alliance
VAS
50.4 53.1 51.9 55.9 48.2 49.1
Swedish
People's
Party
in Finland
RKP
47.9 49.7 49.2 51.4 46.2 47.1
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
52.2 52.8 52.4 53.6 51.9 51.8
Others 48.9 52.0 49.7 53.0 47.2 49.8

Women’s enthusiasm to stand as candidates decreases after the age of 40

Altogether 0.9 per cent of men and 0.6 per cent of women are nominated as candidates. In all age groups, fewer women are nominated than men. The share of candidates of the age group raises sharply for women to about the age of 40 and for men to the age of 50. At about the age of 40 women’s participation rate is only slightly lower than men’s but the difference grows after that. While women’s participation rate makes a downturn after the age of 40, men’s participation rate only drops at the age of 70 to the same level as for 40-year-old men.

The proportion of male candidates per age group is at its highest in ages 58 to 64, when around 1.4 to 1.5 per cent of each 1-year age group are candidates. Among women, most stand as candidates between the ages 40 to 50, 0.9 to 1.1 per cent of the age group. (Figure 10)

The share of elected councillors in the age groups resemble the share of candidates in the age groups. It is likely that the share of elected councillors is larger, the larger the proportion of the age group that stood as candidates. Relative to the size of the age group, most men became elected among those aged slightly over 60. Among women, most became elected to councils at the age of slightly over 40.

Figure 10. Share of candidates and elected councillors in the age group by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 10. Share of candidates and elected councillors in the age group by sex in the Municipal elections 2017, %

The Centre Party in majority in small municipalities

The Centre Party candidates dominate in small municipalities measured by population with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. In municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants as many as 40 per cent of all candidates were nominated by the Centre Party. In municipalities of this size category, the Social Democratic Party and the National Coalition Party have nominated the second and third most candidates. In large municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants the proportion of the Centre Party is slightly over ten per cent of all candidates. (Table 4)

In larger municipalities no party reaches as large a share of the candidates as the Centre Party does in small municipalities. In municipalities with 20,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, the Social Democratic Party’s share of candidates is good one-fifth and the National Coalition Party’s close on one-fifth.

In the largest municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants the party distribution of candidates is considerably more even: the Coalition Party and the Social Democratic Party have nominated the most candidates, that is, both parties have a proportion of 15.5 per cent. Large cities also have more than average candidates from the Green League, the Left Alliance and the Communist Party of Finland. The share of the Finns Party candidates does not vary much by the size of the municipality.

In municipalities with under 20,000 inhabitants the Centre Party gained most seats in municipal councils. In municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants as many as one-half of elected councillors were from the Centre Party and in municipalities with 5,000 to 19,999 inhabitants one-third. In medium-sized municipalities with 20,000 to 99,999 inhabitants the Social Democratic Party was the winner. In these municipalities around one-quarter of elected councillors represent the Social Democratic Party. In the largest municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants most candidates from the Coalition Party were elected as councillors.

Table 4. Party distribution of candidates and elected councillors by size of municipality in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Total   Size category of municipality (population at the end of 2016)
- 4,999  5,000 - 9,999   10,000 - 19,999  20,000 - 99,999  100,000+  
Party Candi-
dates
Elected
coun-
cillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
coun-
cillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
coun-
cillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
coun-
cillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
coun-
cillors
Candi-
dates
Elected
coun-
cillors
Total   100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
22.2 31.4 40.0 49.3 28.5 34.8 23.0 28.1 15.4 17.5 10.5 10.0
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
17.1 16.6 15.0 12.9 16.1 14.2 17.9 16.7 19.1 20.5 15.5 24.6
Finns
Party
PS
11.4 8.6 13.3 8.4 10.0 7.5 12.3 9.3 10.7 9.3 11.6 8.5
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
18.2 18.9 14.2 14.0 17.6 17.2 19.1 20.1 21.8 24.6 15.5 19.4
Green
League
VIHR
7.7 5.9 2.4 1.7 4.1 3.2 5.7 5.4 10.2 10.0 13.9 19.1
Left
Alliance
VAS
9.5 7.3 6.0 5.6 9.2 7.6 8.1 6.4 10.5 8.6 12.7 10.4
Swedish
People's
Party in
Finland
RKP
3.9 5.2 1.3 1.7 5.8 9.0 5.5 8.3 2.9 3.5 4.7 2.8
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
5.9 3.5 3.6 2.7 4.8 3.2 6.1 4.2 6.4 4.2 7.9 3.4
Others 4.0 2.7 4.4 3.7 3.8 3.3 2.2 1.5 2.9 1.9 7.6 1.8

1.4. Foreign background

Less than one per cent of elected councillors are foreign-language speakers

The language distribution among the candidates mirrors, by and large, the language distribution of the population in the regions. The proportion of Swedish-speaking candidates (5.6 %) slightly exceeds their proportion of persons entitled to vote (4.7 %). Swedish-speaking people are more active in the region of Uusimaa, where their proportion of the candidates is 13.4 per cent and that of the persons entitled to vote is 8.0 per cent.

In all, 5.7 per cent of all persons entitled to vote speak another language than Finland's national languages. Considerably fewer of the candidates, just 2.2 per cent are foreign-language speakers. The share of foreign-language speakers among candidates has, however, grown slightly from the 2012 elections when the share of foreign-language speaking candidates of all candidates was 1.8 per cent.

Among all candidates, the under-representation of foreign-language speakers is 3.5 percentage points. This means that there are fewer foreign-language speaking candidates than foreign-language speaking persons entitled to vote. The under-representation is highest in areas where the population share of foreign-language speakers is largest, i.e. in Uusimaa - especially in the Greater Helsinki region - and in Varsinais-Suomi. In Uusimaa, the share of foreign-language speakers is 7.1 and in Varsinais-Suomi 3.7 percentage points lower than among persons entitled to vote. (Table 5)

Of those elected to municipal councils less than one per cent are foreign-language speakers, which is less than stood as candidates and considerably less than among persons entitled to vote. Most foreign-language speakers were elected to councils in the Helsinki region. Here, five per cent of the new council members are foreign-language speakers. No foreign-language speakers were elected to the municipal councils in South Karelia, North Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and Kainuu.

More Swedish speakers were elected to municipal councils (6.5%) than their share among candidates or persons entitled to vote. Most Swedish speakers were elected in Ostrobothnia, where 67 per cent of elected councillors are Swedish-speaking. Around one-half of persons entitled to vote in Ostrobothnia are Swedish-speaking. Also in Uusimaa, more than double the amount of Swedish speakers were elected as councillors (17.7%) compared to their share of persons entitled to vote. By contrast, in Central Ostrobothnia, the share of Swedish-speaking councillors (5.1%) was smaller than their share of the population (9.2%).

Table 5. Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by native language by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Region  Persons entitled
to vote
Candidates   Elected councillors 
Finnish/
Sami  
Swedish Other
language
Finnish/
Sami
Swedish   Other
language
Finnish/
Sami
Swedish   Other
language
MAINLAND
FINLAND
89.6 4.7 5.7 92.2 5.6 2.2 92.7 6.5 0.7
Uusimaa 81.1 8.0 10.9 82.8 13.4 3.8 80.3 17.7 2.0
   - Greater
     Helsinki
     region
80.9 5.6 13.5 82.9 11.6 5.5 81.7 13.4 5.0
Varsinais-Suomi 88.7 5.7 5.7 91.1 6.9 2.0 93.5 5.8 0.7
Satakunta 96.9 0.3 2.7 98.5 0.3 1.2 99.4 0.2 0.4
Kanta-Häme 96.3 0.4 3.4 98.7 0.4 0.9 99.2 0.6 0.3
Pirkanmaa 95.7 0.4 4.0 98.1 0.3 1.6 99.2 0.4 0.4
Päijät-Häme 95.6 0.3 4.1 98.3 0.2 1.5 99.3 0.0 0.7
Kymenlaakso 94.2 0.8 5.0 95.7 1.3 3.0 97.6 2.0 0.4
South Karelia 94.8 0.2 5.0 96.7 0.0 3.3 100.0 0.0 0.0
Etelä Savo 97.3 0.2 2.6 98.0 0.0 2.0 99.2 0.0 0.8
Pohjois Savo 97.5 0.1 2.4 97.9 0.3 1.8 99.2 0.6 0.2
North Karelia 96.8 0.1 3.1 97.9 0.2 1.9 99.2 0.0 0.8
Central Finland 97.1 0.2 2.7 98.1 0.0 1.9 99.0 0.0 1.0
South
Ostrobothnia
97.7 0.3 1.9 98.1 0.3 1.6 100.0 0.0 0.0
Ostrobothnia 45.5 49.5 5.1 44.4 51.7 3.9 30.9 67.4 1.7
Central
Ostrobothnia
88.5 9.2 2.3 89.9 8.6 1.5 94.9 5.1 0.0
North
Ostrobothnia
97.6 0.2 2.2 98.5 0.4 1.1 99.2 0.1 0.7
Kainuu 97.7 0.1 2.2 97.9 0.2 1.9 100.0 0.0 0.0
Lapland 97.6 0.2 2.2 98.4 0.2 1.4 99.6 0.0 0.4

Of national language speakers, there are more Sami speakers as candidates than average. Of Sami speakers entitled to vote, 2.5 per cent stand as candidates. Of all persons entitled to vote, on average, 0.8 per cent are candidates. (Table 6)

Foreign-language speakers are considerably less often candidates. Of the candidates, 727 are foreign-language speakers. It is 0.3 per cent of the foreign-language speakers entitled to vote. The largest foreign-language speaking group among candidates is Russian speakers, 164 candidates, and the second largest is Estonian speakers, 72 candidates. (Table 6)

Altogether, 66 foreign-language speakers were elected to councils. The only group of foreign-language speakers that exceeded the limit of ten persons was those speaking Somali with 11 elected councillors.

Table 6. Persons entitled to vote and candidates by native language, largest language groups specified, in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Language  Persons
entitled
to vote
Candidates
Number % of
persons
entitled
to vote
All languages
in total
4,390,971 33,607 0.8
Finnish 3,930,811 30,965 0.8
Swedish 208,424 1,877 0.9
Sami 1,458 36 2.5
Foreign-language
speakers in total.
250,278 727 0.3
Russian 57,531 164 0.3
Estonian 39,122 72 0.2
Arabic 10,489 44 0.4
English 14,058 40 0.3
Kurdish 8,057 40 0.5
Turkish 5,380 39 0.7
Somali 10,199 31 0.3
Persian 6,267 22 0.4
Spanish 5,969 21 0.4
German 5,425 21 0.4
Bosnian 1,476 16 1.1
Albanian 3,228 14 0.4
French 6,013 12 0.2
Hungarian 2,383 12 0.5
Dutch 1,442 12 0.8
Portuguese 1,907 11 0.6

The Green League has the most foreign-language speaking candidates, 4.2 per cent of candidates and Christian Democrats has the second most, 3.4 per cent. The Centre Party has the lowest share of foreign-language speaking candidates, 1.3 per cent.

Also in terms of elected councillors, the Green League and the Centre Party have the most foreign-language speakers. By contrast, the Christian Democrats have the second lowest share of elected foreign-language speakers (1.3%) even though the party had the second most foreign-language speaking candidates after the Green League. (Figure 11)

Figure 11. Foreign-language speakers' share of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 11. Foreign-language speakers' share of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Candidates of foreign background still relatively rare

The foreign background of the population can also be examined by the person's origin. Of the persons entitled to vote, 94.1 and of candidates 97.8 per cent are of Finnish background, that is persons of whose parents at least one was born in Finland. Thus, close on six per cent of persons entitled to vote and good two per cent of candidates are of foreign background. The share of persons with foreign background among persons entitled to vote has grown more than among candidates since 2008. (Table 7)

Second generation immigrants, or those who were themselves born in Finland, but whose parents were born abroad, are still fairly few among both persons entitled to vote (0.2%), candidates (0.1%) and elected councillors.
First generation immigrants (the person and parents both born abroad) are clearly under-represented both among the candidates and elected councillors. Of all persons entitled to vote, 5.7 per cent belong to this group, while this is so for 2.2 per cent of candidates and 0.7 per cent of elected councillors. Since 2008, the share of elected councillors of foreign background has grown from 0.3 to 0.7 per cent.

Table 7. Proportion of persons with foreign background (persons whose both parents were born abroad) among persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Persons
entitled
to vote
Candidates    Elected
councillors   
Persons % Persons %   Persons %  
2008
Total 4,196,522 100.0 38,505 100.0 10,412 100.0
Persons
with Finnish
background
4,061,481 96.8 37,929 98.5 10,373 99.6
Parents
born abroad,
person
in Finland
3,212 0.1 30 0.1 6 0.1
Parents
born abroad,
person
born abroad
131,829 3.1 546 1.4 33 0.3
2012
Total 4,303,061 100.0 37,124 100.0 9,674 100.0
Persons
with Finnish
background
4,111,553 95.6 36,402 98.1 9,624 99.5
Parents
born abroad,
person
in Finland
5,086 0.1 31 0.1 5 0.1
Parents
born abroad,
person
born abroad
186,422 4.3 691 1.9 45 0.5
2017
Total 4,394,748 100.0 33,618 100.0 8,999 100.0
Persons
with Finnish
background
4,135,837 94.1 32,862 97.8 8,933 99.3
Parents
born abroad,
person
in Finland
9,512 0.2 23 0.1 4 0.0
Parents
born abroad,
person
born abroad
249,399 5.7 733 2.2 62 0.7

Examined by party, the number of candidates with foreign background is highest in the Swedish People's Party, 4.2 per cent of the candidates, and lowest in the Centre Party (1.2%) and the Coalition Party (1.8%). The Green League, the Christian Democrats, the Communist Party, and the Left Alliance also have more than average candidates with foreign background. (Figure 12)

The Green League has the largest share of persons with foreign background among their elected councillors (1.7%) and the Swedish People’s Party has the second most (1.5%). Least councillors of foreign background were elected from the Centre Party, 0.2 per cent of elected councillors.

Figure 12. Proportion of persons with foreign background (persons whose both parents were born abroad) among persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 12. Proportion of persons with foreign background (persons whose both parents were born abroad) among persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Number of candidates with dual citizenship 462

There are citizens from over 60 different countries among the candidates even though the share of foreign citizens among all candidates is under one per cent. Four per cent of all persons entitled to vote are foreign citizens. Of the candidates, 263 persons are foreign citizens. The biggest nationality group is Estonian with 50 candidates, the second largest are Swedish with 30 and Russian with 28 candidates.

There are 462 candidates that are Finnish citizens with citizenship in another country as well. They represent 1.4 per cent of all candidates. Of all persons entitled to vote, there are nearly 75,000 persons with dual citizenship or 1.7 per cent. Among the candidates the most common second citizenship is Russian, 105 persons and Swedish, 58 persons.

Seventeen of the elected councillors are foreign citizens. Altogether 48 persons, who in addition to Finnish citizenship also hold the citizenship of some other country were elected to municipal councils.

Table 8. Persons entitled to vote and candidates by nationality in the Municipal elections 2017

Nationality   Persons
entitled to vote
Candidates   
1st nationality 2nd nationality 1st nationality 2nd nationality
All
nationalities
4,391,009 74,733 33,618 462
Finnish
citizens
4,217,752 .. 33,355 ..
Foreign
citizens
173,257 74,733 263 462
Russian 22,637 22,266 28 105
Swedish 6,293 4,309 30 58
Turkish 3,383 2,254 .. 37
Iranian 2,101 3,100 .. 25
Estonian 40,290 3,260 50 19
German 3,763 1,595 .. 17
Afghan 2,262 1,885 .. 10
Dutch 1,249 303 10 ..

1.5. Educational level

Over one-half of councillors in Uusimaa have tertiary level qualifications

As regards education, candidates differ clearly from persons entitled to vote. Nearly 90 per cent of the candidates have completed post-comprehensive level qualifications while 73 per cent of those entitled to vote have done so. This is partially explained by the fact that there are very few representatives of the oldest age groups among the candidates whose educational level is usually lower than for younger persons. Of persons entitled to vote, 31 per cent have at least lowest level tertiary education and of the candidates this is so for 46 per cent. (Figure 13)

The educational level is highest for the Green League candidates. More than one-half of them have tertiary level qualifications, while this is so for one-third of all candidates and around one fifth of all persons entitled to vote. Swedish People's Party, Coalition Party and Christian Democrat candidates also have more tertiary level qualifications than average for the candidates.

Persons elected to municipals councils are more highly educated than those entitled to vote and the candidates. Of those elected, around 40 per cent have tertiary level qualifications and around nine per cent only have basic level of education.

Figure 13. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by educational level in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 13. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by educational level in the Municipal elections 2017, %

The educational level of the candidates reflects the differences in the educational structure of different areas. In the region of Uusimaa, the proportion of highly educated is higher than in the rest of the country among the persons entitled to vote, the candidates and elected councillors (Figure 14).
In Uusimaa, over 40 per cent of candidates have tertiary level qualifications. In other regions, the share of candidates with tertiary level qualifications is below 35 per cent.
Among those elected to councils in the municipalities of Uusimaa, a considerably larger share have tertiary level qualifications. Of those elected to councils in Uusimaa, 54 per cent have tertiary level qualifications, while in other regions the shares are over ten percentage points lower.

Figure 14. Proportion of persons with tertiary level qualifications among persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 14. Proportion of persons with tertiary level qualifications among persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

1.6. Labour market position

A majority of elected councillors in working life

Sixty-eight per cent of the candidates are employed, and the proportion of unemployed persons is the same as among persons entitled to vote, slightly over eight per cent. In turn, there are clearly fewer pensioners among the candidates, only close on 17 per cent. When looking at working-age population (aged 18 to 64), 78 per cent of the candidates are employed, while the proportion of employed persons is ten percentage points lower among all persons entitled to vote. Distinctly more of the persons entitled to vote of this age are students and other inactive population than among the candidates. (Figure 15)

Around one-half of persons entitled to vote, are working, eight per cent are unemployed and close on 30 per cent are pensioners. Seven per cent of persons entitled to vote are studying and around four per cent are otherwise in the inactive population.

The number of employed persons is highest among the Coalition Party, Swedish People's Party and Centre Party candidates, of whom around 75 per cent are working. In these parties unemployment is rarer than average. The Green League has most students, as nine per cent of their candidates are students. The Christian Democrats, Left Alliance and Finns Party have the most retired candidates, as over one-fifth of their candidates are pensioners.

A larger share of those elected to councils (over 80%) are in working life, i.e. employed, than among candidates. Twelve per cent of elected councillors are retired and four per cent are unemployed.

Figure 15. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by main type of activity in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 15. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by main type of activity in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Employment rate of elected councillors nearly 90 per cent

The employment rate is calculated as the ratio of employed persons aged 18 to 64 to the population of the same age. Of all candidates aged 18 to 64, altogether 78 per cent are employed. The employment rate of persons entitled to vote is ten percentage points lower. The employment rates of the candidates resemble the general employment rates in the regions. Where the employment rate of the total population is high, the employment rate of the candidates is also at a high level there. Ostrobothnia has the highest employment rate of total population, 73.5 per cent, and there over 83 per cent of the candidates are working. Correspondingly in North Karelia where the general employment rate is lowest in the country, the employment rate of candidates is also lower than the average. (Figure 16, Table 9)

The employment rates of the candidates are closest to those entitled to vote in Uusimaa and Central Finland, where the employment rate of the candidates is 7.8 percentage points higher than that of persons entitled to vote. The difference between employment rates is largest in Päijät-Häme, that is, 13.6 percentage points. There the employment rate of the candidates is 79.5 per cent and that of persons entitled to vote 65.8 per cent.

The employment rate of elected councillors is 89 per cent for the whole country. It is eleven percentage points higher than that of candidates and good 20 per cent more than that of persons entitled to vote. Regional variations were also high. The employment rate of elected councillors varies from 93 per cent in Kanta-Häme to 84 per cent in Central Finland.

Figure 16. Employment rate of persons entitled to vote, candidates (aged 18 to 64) and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 16. Employment rate of persons entitled to vote, candidates (aged 18 to 64) and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Table 9. Employment rate of persons entitled to vote, candidates (aged 18 to 64) and elected councillors by sex and by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Region Total    Men   Women 
Persons
entitled
to vote  
Candidates   Elected
councillors  
Persons
entitled
to vote  
Candidates   Elected
councillors  
Persons
entitled
to vote  
Candidates  Elected
councillors  
Mainland
Finalnd
67.8 77.6 88.8 66.2 76.8 88.7 69.3 78.7 89.0
Uusimaa 71.3 79.1 90.6 70.3 79.6 90.2 72.3 78.4 90.7
Varsinais-Suomi 67.8 77.8 88.4 66.1 76.3 87.6 69.4 79.7 89.4
Satakunta 66.9 78.6 89.5 65.3 77.5 87.9 68.7 80.2 91.6
Kanta-Häme 69.8 80.9 92.6 68.6 79.2 93.0 71.0 83.1 92.3
Pirkanmaa 66.4 77.0 90.1 64.9 76.4 91.7 68.1 77.8 87.9
Päijät-Häme 65.8 79.5 85.1 64.6 78.3 85.1 67.1 81.3 85.1
Kymenlaakso 63.5 72.4 89.7 61.3 72.7 89.8 65.8 71.9 89.4
South
Karelia
65.1 77.5 91.0 62.9 76.9 92.2 67.5 78.4 89.0
Etelä
Savo
64.8 77.1 88.4 62.0 77.7 88.8 67.8 76.3 87.1
Pohjois
Savo
64.8 77.8 90.9 62.6 77.1 90.0 67.1 78.7 91.4
North
Karelia
61.4 73.0 84.7 58.7 69.8 80.9 64.3 78.2 90.4
Central
Finland
63.8 71.5 83.8 62.4 71,0 85.3 65.1 72.3 82.1
South
Ostrobothnia
69.1 82.5 90.0 67.6 81.8 91.5 70.6 83.7 87.5
Ostrobothnia 73.5 83.2 91.4 72.3 82.0 89.8 74.8 84.8 93.5
Central
Ostrobothnia
70.2 80.3 89.2 69.8 80.5 89.9 70.5 80.0 85.7
North
Ostrobothnia
64.5 76.7 88.5 63.4 74.9 88.9 65.6 79.2 88.0
Kainuu 62.6 74.3 85.1 58.9 73.9 83.3 66.7 74.8 87.5
Lapland 63.9 74.3 86.9 61.0 72.4 86.3 67.0 76.9 88.8

The Centre Party and Coalition Party have the most self-employed candidates

Of all employed candidates nearly 30 per cent and of employed persons entitled to vote around 20 per cent are upper-level employees. Most salaried employees, nearly one-half of employed candidates, are found in the Green League. Also in the Swedish People’s Party and the Coalition Party, nearly 40 per cent of candidates are upper-level employees. The number of salaried employees is lowest among the candidates of the Finns Party (13.5%) and the Left Alliance (19.6%). (Figure 17)

Of all employed candidates, 16.4 per cent are self-employed and of all persons entitled to vote 10.5 per cent. The most self-employed persons are found among Centre Party candidates (28.4%) of whom more than one-half are farmers and forestry entrepreneurs. Among the Coalition Party candidates good one-fifth are also self-employed, however, focusing more on other self-employed persons than farmers and forestry entrepreneurs. The proportion of workers is highest among the Finns Party and Left Alliance candidates, good one-third, and among the Social Democrats, about 31 per cent.

Of the elected councillors nearly 60 per cent are upper-level employees, 14 per cent are workers, nine per cent are farmers and forestry entrepreneurs, and 11 per cent are other entrepreneurs.

Figure 17. Employed persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by socio-economic position in the Municipal elections 2017, %

 Figure 17. Employed persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by socio-economic position in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Public sector employs candidates and elected councillors more than persons entitled to vote

Of the candidates 78 per cent are employed. Around 46 per cent of them are private sector wage and salary earners, 16 per cent are self-employed, 6.5 per cent work for central government and 31 per cent for local government. Employer type varies significantly by party. The share of private sector wage and salary earners is highest among the Left Alliance, Finns Party and Social Democratic Party candidates, of whom more than one-half work in the private sector. The lowest proportion of private sector wage and salary earners is found among the Centre Party candidates (36%).

Thirty per cent of the Centre Party candidates are entrepreneurs, the majority of whom work in agriculture. The Social Democratic Party has the least self-employed persons (5.2%). The public sector employs the most Green League candidates: 36 per cent of the candidates receive their pay from local government and 9.4 per cent from central government. The next highest proportion of public sector employees is found among the Social Democrats, of whom 39 per cent are employed by local and 5.5 per cent by central government. The share of public sector candidates is lowest for the Finns Party of whom fewer than 30 per cent work in the public sector. (Figure 18)

Of elected councillors, 37 per cent work in the local government sector. All in all, 7.5 per cent of elected councillors work in the central government sector, 36 per cent in the private sector and 20 per cent as entrepreneurs.

Figure 18. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by employer sector in Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 18. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by employer sector in Municipal elections 2017, %

The public sector employs candidates and elected councillors most in the largest municipalities with over 50,000 inhabitants. In these municipalities, around 40 per cent of the candidates or even more work in the local or central government sector and slightly under 60 per cent of elected councillors. In these municipalities, especially the share of those working in the central government sector is higher than in smaller municipalities. In small municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, the share of self-employed persons among employed candidates is nearly one-quarter and clearly over one-quarter of elected councillors. (Table 10)

Table 10. Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by employer’s sector and size of municipality in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Size category
of municipality
Total    Public sector   Private
sector  
Self-employed
persons 
Total    Local
government  
Central
government 
Persons entitled to vote
Total 100.0 28.9 23.1 5.8 60.4 10.5
            -1,999 100.0 30.1 26.9 3.2 46.7 22.8
    2,000-4,999 100.0 29.8 26.7 3.2 49.2 20.7
    5,000-9,999 100.0 29.4 25.5 3.9 54.2 16.2
10,000-19,999 100.0 28.5 24.7 3.8 57.9 13.5
20,000-49,999 100.0 27.9 23.4 4.5 61.6 10.3
50,000-99,999 100.0 32.5 26.3 6.2 57.9 9.5
         100,000+ 100.0 27.9 20.3 7.7 64.6 7.5
Candidates
Total 100.0 37.8 31.3 6.5 45.6 16.4
            -1,999 100.0 37.8 33.8 4.0 35.6 26.6
    2,000-4,999 100.0 35.6 31.1 4.4 39.7 24.6
    5,000-9,999 100.0 35.5 30.7 4.8 43.0 21.4
10,000-19,999 100.0 37.6 32.7 4.9 44.5 17.9
20,000-49,999 100.0 37.2 30.9 6.3 49.7 13.0
50,000-99,999 100.0 43.1 34.8 8.3 45.0 11.8
         100,000+ 100.0 39.7 28.6 11.1 51.7 8.4
Elected councillors
Total 100.0 44.5 37.0 7.5 35.6 19.9
            -1,999 100.0 39.5 34.4 5.0 31.3 29.2
    2,000-4,999 100.0 39.0 34.4 4.6 33.0 28.0
    5,000-9,999 100.0 40.3 34.3 6.0 36.5 23.1
10,000-19,999 100.0 45.5 40.2 5.3 36.1 18.4
20,000-49,999 100.0 46.5 37.8 8.7 39.1 14.4
50,000-99,999 100.0 58.3 47.2 11.1 31.3 10.4
         100,000+ 100.0 56.9 35.1 21.7 37.5 5.6

1.7. Family status

Over 40 per cent of elected councillors are parents of a family with children

The candidates also differ in their family status from the persons entitled to vote: considerably more (36%) of the candidates are parents of a family with children than among persons entitled to vote (23%) and fewer candidates live alone (18%) than among persons entitled to vote (25%). Fewer of the candidates are young people living at home. Differences in the family status are explained by the fact that the age structure of the candidates and persons entitled to vote differs from each other. Both the bottom and top ends of the age range are missing among the candidates. For a majority of those entitled to vote, children have already moved from home, while most candidates are at an age when children are still living at home. (Figure 19, Table 11)

The Green League has the most candidates that are parents of a family with children, close on 45 per cent. Among the Coalition Party and Centre Party candidates, nearly 40 per cent are parents of a family with children, The Left Alliance has the least candidates that still have children aged under 18 living at home. The Swedish People’s Party has the most young people aged under 25 still living at home (5.4%) and the Finns Party has the most persons living alone (24%) among their candidates.

Of the elected councillors, nearly 42 per cent are parents of a family with children, which is more than the average for candidates and persons entitled to vote. By contrast, there are clearly fewer persons living alone among the elected councillors (11.8%) than among persons entitled to vote of whom nearly one-quarter are living alone. The Green League has the most candidates that are parents of a family, nearly 60 per cent. The Left Alliance has the least candidates that are parents of a family, around 28 per cent. This is mainly explained by the big age difference between elected councillors: The future councillors of the Green League are on average ten years younger than those of the Left Alliance.

Figure 19. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by family status in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 19. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by family status in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Table 11. Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party and by family status in the Municipal elections 2017, %

 Party  All
total 
Families with children
(aged under 18)
Childless
couple 
Living
alone  
Youth
living
at home 
Other
Parent of a
married/
cohabiting
family   
Single-
supporter
household   
Persons
entitled
to vote
100.0 20.4 2.7 37.7 24.6 5.3 9.3
Candidates 100.0 31.8 4.1 37.0 18.3 2.4 6.4
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
100.0 35.8 3.3 37.2 14.0 2.9 6.8
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
100.0 36.0 4.0 36.6 14.5 3.3 5.5
Finns
Party
PS
100.0 29.2 4.3 32.5 24.4 1.4 8.3
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
100.0 28.4 4.2 41.7 19.3 1.6 4.8
Green
League
VIHR
100.0 37.3 7.3 26.3 19.7 28 6.7
Left
Alliance
VAS
100.0 22.4 4.6 40.4 24.3 1.1 7.2
Swedish
People's
Party
in Finland
RKP
100.0 34.1 3.2 35.9 14.7 5.4 6.8
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
100.0 30.4 2.8 42.9 17.0 1.5 5.4
Others 100.0 25.8 4.1 34.5 24.9 2.0 8.6
Elected
councillors
100.0 38.4 3.2 40.3 11.8 1.5 4.8
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
100.0 41.1 2.4 38.5 10.5 1.8 5.7
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
100.0 43.2 2.9 37.7 9.4 2.3 4.4
Finns
Party
PS
100.0 40.1 4.0 34.5 15.6 0.7 5.2
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
100.0 31.6 3.1 46.8 14.0 1.1 3.4
Green
League
VIHR
100.0 49.3 8.6 24.2 11.2 1.3 5.4
Left
Alliance
VAS
100.0 24.0 3.8 51.0 16.3 0.2 4.7
Swedish
People's
Party
in Finland
RKP
100.0 37.4 2.3 42.0 10.6 2.5 5.1
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
100.0 36.1 1.6 52.2 7.0 1.3 1.9
Others 100.0 39.9 2.5 38.7 10.9 0.8 7.1

1.8. Number of children

Candidates and elected councillors have more children than average

Family status does not reveal how many of the candidates have or have had children of their own, because in older families, children may have already moved away from home and in family break-ups, children may live with their other parent. This can, however, be examined based on the number of children recorded in the Finnish Population Information System.

Candidates and elected councillors have more children than average. Of the candidates, 78 per cent have children and 85 per cent of elected councillors. The corresponding share for persons entitled to vote is 65 per cent. Children are the most numerous among the Christian Democrats, of whom 22 per cent have at least four children, and among the Centre Party candidates, of whom 17 per cent have four or more children. Large families are rarer for the Green League candidates (Figure 20).

In all, 35 per cent of the persons entitled to vote and 22 per cent of the candidates have never had children of their own. The proportion of childless candidates varies from 18 per cent for the Social Democrats to 30 per cent for the Green League. Of elected councillors, 15 per cent have no children.

Figure 20. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by number of children in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 20. Persons entitled to vote, candidates (by party) and elected councillors by number of children in the Municipal elections 2017, %

On average, the candidates have two children. All persons entitled to vote have an average of 1.5 children. The number of children is highest among the Christian Democrat candidates, i.e. 2.4 children and lowest among the Green League candidates, 1.6 children. Men entitled to vote have slightly fewer children than women, but there are not much of a difference between sexes among the candidates. (Table 12)

Elected councillors have an average of 2.3 children. Among elected councillors, Christian Democrats have the most children, on average, three and Green councillors have the least, 1.8 children.

Table 12. Persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party and by number of children (on average) in the Municipal elections 2017

Total  Men  Women 
Persons
entitled
to vote
1.5 1.4 1.6
Candidates Elected
councillors
Candidates Elected
councillors
Candidates Elected
councillors
Total 2.0 2.3 2.0 2.3 2.0 2.2
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
2.3 2.7 2.4 2.7 2.3 2.5
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
2.0 2.2 2.0 2.2 1.9 2.1
Finns
Party
PS
1.9 2.2 1.9 2.2 2.1 2.1
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
1.9 2.1 1.9 2.1 2.0 2.1
Green
League
VIHR
1.6 1.8 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.9
Left
Alliance
VAS
1.8 2.1 1.7 2.1 1.8 2.0
Swedish
People's
Party
in Finland
RKP
1.9 2.1 1.8 2.0 1.9 2.1
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
2.4 3.0 2.4 3.1 2.3 2.8
Others 1.7 2.3 1.7 2.2 1.8 2.5

1.9. Income level

Income level of the candidates and elected councillors higher than that of persons entitled to vote

The following examines the persons entitled to vote, the candidates and the elected councillors by their disposable income. The income data derive from the latest taxation data from 2015. Disposable monetary income refers to the monetary income after taxes that consists of earned income, property income, and transfer income.

Candidates and elected councillors are more highly educated and a larger share of them are also working than among persons entitled to vote. This partly explains why their income level is also higher than that of persons entitled to vote. The median disposable income of persons entitled to vote was EUR 20,500 in 2015, while that of candidates was EUR 26,100 and EUR 30,300 for elected councillors. The candidates' disposable income is, on average, 27 per cent higher than that of persons entitled to vote. Disposable income is highest in Uusimaa both for persons entitled to vote (EUR 22,900 per year), candidates (EUR 28,300 per year) and elected councillors (EUR 35,600 per year). (Figure 21, Table 13)

The income differential between the candidates and persons entitled to vote is largest in South Ostrobothnia, South Karelia and Ostrobothnia, where the median income of the candidates is over EUR 6,500 higher than that of persons entitled to vote. The income differential is smallest in Lapland, North Karelia, Uusimaa and Central Finland, under EUR 5,500.

 Figure 21. Median disposable income (EUR per year) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017

 Figure 21. Median disposable income (EUR per year) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017

Table 13. Median disposable income (EUR per year) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by region in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Region  Persons
entitled
to vote  
Candidates  Elected
councillors 
Total  Men  Women  Total  Men  Women  Total  Men  Women 
Mainland
Finland
20,503 22,131 19,293 26,076 26,586 25,450 30,310 31,354 29,047
Uusimaa 22,916 26,636 21,631 28,296 29,134 27,020 35,633 37,525 34,172
Varsinais-Suomi 20,061 21,634 18,913 26,420 26,719 26,080 31,374 32,233 30,132
Satakunta 19,605 21,541 18,114 25,987 27,058 24,781 30,457 32,019 28,001
Kanta-Häme 20,680 22,507 19,274 27,081 27,036 27,280 30,432 30,999 29,754
Pirkanmaa 19,951 21,736 18,686 26,151 26,846 25,416 30,745 32,238 29,053
Päijät-Häme 19,363 21,159 18,144 25,886 26,588 25,062 29,612 31,635 27,387
Kymenlaakso 19,741 21,861 18,155 25,794 26,730 24,607 30,284 32,119 28,908
South
Karelia
19,490 21,524 18,009 26,291 28,001 24,248 31,648 32,834 29,758
Etelä
Savo
18,649 19,698 17,757 24,926 25,411 24,222 27,891 27,814 28,284
Pohjois
Savo
19,082 20,279 18,119 24,755 25,067 24,265 29,241 30,021 28,237
North
Karelia
18,162 19,052 17,468 23,424 23,465 23,142 27,937 27,711 28,084
Central
Finland
19,071 20,633 17,919 24,521 24,972 23,655 27,721 28,110 27,229
South
Ostrobothnia
19,352 20,737 18,268 26,330 26,610 26,092 30,433 31,861 27,915
Ostrobothnia 20,507 22,662 18,794 27,192 28,217 26,154 30,811 31,648 29,455
Central
Ostrobothnia
19,878 22,036 18,232 25,529 25,673 25,505 29,022 29,904 26,949
North
Ostrobothnia
19,954 21,455 18,794 25,887 26,164 25,525 29,871 30,928 28,185
Kainuu 18,693 19,606 17,874 24,241 24,553 23,713 28,856 28,052 29,885
Lapland 19,510 20,538 18,717 24,536 24,816 24,091 28,829 30,243 27,212

Candidates and elected councillors from the National Coalition Party have the highest income

The candidates’ income varies by party from EUR 31,200 in the Coalition Party to EUR 22,000 in the Finns Party. The median income of candidates from the Swedish People’s Party is EUR 29,500, EUR 26,900 for the Centre Party and EUR 26,600 for the Social Democratic Party. Compared with persons entitled to vote, the candidates of the Coalition Party have over EUR 10,000 more at their disposal per year. The candidates for the Finns Party are closest to persons entitled to vote in terms of their income level. Their annual disposable income is EUR 1,700 higher than that of persons entitled to vote. (Figure 22, Table 14)

The median disposable income of elected councillors is EUR 30,000 per year, which is around EUR 10,000 more than the median income of persons entitled to vote. The future councillors from the Coalition Party have the highest income. On average, they have EUR 36,700 per year at their disposal. The councillors elected among Finns Party candidates have the lowest income. The median for their disposable monetary income is around EUR 27,400 per year.

Figure 22. Median disposable income (EUR) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017

 Figure 22. Median disposable income (EUR) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017

Table 14. Median disposable income (EUR per year) of persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017

Median income (EUR/year)  
Total   Men   Women  
Persons
entitled
to vote
20,503 22,131 19,293
Candidates Elected
councillors
Candidates Elected
councillors
Candidates Elected
councillors
Total 26,076 30,310 26,586 31,355 25,450 29,047
Centre
Party of
Finland
KESK
26,932 29,871 27,687 31,359 26,089 28,209
National
Coalition
Party
KOK
31,190 36,724 32,789 38,902 29,328 33,631
Finns
Party
PS
22,225 27,365 22,534 27,365 21,550 27,374
Finnish
Social
Democratic
Party
SDP
26,552 29,245 26,974 29,746 25,943 28,387
Green
League
VIHR
25,478 30,131 25,557 31,660 25,450 29,261
Left
Alliance
VAS
23,102 27,701 23,410 28,740 22,750 26,560
Swedish
People's
Party
in Finland
RKP
29,483 32,202 31,130 34,358 27,585 30,550
Christian
Democrats
in Finland
KD
23,610 29,960 24,668 31,085 23,002 28,909
Others 22,199 29,121 21,399 28,720 22,956 30,029

When the population entitled to vote is arranged according to income and divided into ten equal parts, the income deciles of the population entitled to vote are generated. Each of these has slightly under 440,000 persons. The highest income decile of the population entitled to vote has at least EUR 38,000 at their disposal and the lowest income decile at most EUR 8,250.

Among all candidates, 18 per cent belong to the highest income decile and of the elected councillors around 28 per cent. Both among the candidates and elected councillors, those representing the Coalition Party and the Swedish People's Party belong to the higher end of the income distribution. Of those elected from the Coalition Party, 46 per cent belong to the highest income decile and around one-third of elected councillors from the Swedish People's Party.

Figure 23. Proportion of persons belonging to the highest income decile among candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 23. Proportion of persons belonging to the highest income decile among candidates and elected councillors by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Around six per cent of candidates belong to the lowest income decile. Of the candidates of parties outside the Parliament and constituency associations, close on ten per cent belong to the lowest- income decile, and of the Swedish People's Party candidates slightly under nine per cent. The Finnish Social Democrats have the least candidates belonging to the lowest-income decile, only 3.4 per cent. (Figure 24)

Around three per cent of elected councillors belong to the lowest income decile. Most elected councillors belonging to the lowest income decile are found in parties outside the Parliament and constituency associations, 5.5 per cent. The Christian Democrats have the least elected councillors belonging to the lowest income decile, 1.6 per cent.

Figure 24. Candidates and elected councillors belonging to the lowest income decile by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Figure 24. Candidates and elected councillors belonging to the lowest income decile by party in the Municipal elections 2017, %

Source: Municipal Elections 2017, background analysis of candidates and elected representatives, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Sami Fredriksson 029 551 2696, Kaija Ruotsalainen 029 551 3599, Jaana Asikainen 029 551 3506, vaalit@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 27.4.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Municipal elections [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-1114. 2017, 1. Background analysis of candidates and elected councillors in Municipal elections 2017 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.5.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kvaa/2017/kvaa_2017_2017-04-27_kat_001_en.html

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