1. Economic dependency ratio was 142 in 2016

According to the data of Statistics Finland's employment statistics, the economic dependency ratio was 142 in 2016. This means that there were 142 non-employed persons per one hundred employed persons in 2016. In 2015, the dependency ratio was 143. There were 2,250,000 working persons aged 18 to 64 in 2016 of whom 2,016,000 were wage and salary earners and 234,000 were entrepreneurs. There were a total of 356,000 unemployed persons and 2,872,000 persons in the inactive population.

Economic dependency ratio in 1990 to 2016

Economic dependency ratio in 1990 to 2016

The economic dependency ratio refers to the ratio of the number of employed persons to unemployed persons and persons in the inactive population. The inactive population includes persons aged 0 to 14, students and pupils, conscripts and those in non-military service, pensioners and others in the inactive population.

When the number of employed rises relative to the number of unemployed and persons in the inactive population, the economic dependency ratio falls. Correspondingly, when the number of unemployed and persons in the inactive population grows relative to the number of employed, the economic dependency ratio grows. The variation of the economic dependency ratio may be influenced by the growing number of pensioners and the employment situation. There has been great variation in the economic dependency ratio in the past few decades. During the recession in the 1990s, the economic dependency ratio was high. It was at its highest in 1993, when there were 172 non-employed persons per one hundred employed persons. The economic dependency ratio was at its lowest in 1989 (112).

1.1 Number of employed in the population was 2,276,000 and that of persons in the inactive population was 3,228,000

In 2016, a total of 356,000 persons were unemployed. The number of unemployed decreased by 19,000 from the year before. Of those in the inactive population, 1,390,000 were pensioners, 408,000 students and pupils, 894,000 were aged 0 to 14, and 7,300 were conscripts and in the non-military service.

The share of unemployed persons aged 18 to 64 of the correspondingly aged labour force was 13.6 per cent in 2016. The figure fell by 0.8 percentage points from the previous year. The share of unemployed was 12.2 per cent for women and 15.1 per cent for men.

Population by main type of activity in 1990 to 2016

Population by main type of activity in 1990 to 2016

The weakening of the economic dependency ratio is influenced by the share of unemployed persons as well as by the ageing of the population and thus, by the number of pensioners. In 2016, Finland had 1,390,000 pensioners. In 2015, the number of pensioners was 1,368,000. The number of pensioners grew by 22,000 persons in a year.

1.2 Economic dependency ratios lowest in the regions of Åland, Uusimaa and Ostrobothnia

In the comparison between regions, the economic dependency ratio was lowest in Åland in 2016. In the region, there 100 unemployed and persons in the inactive population per one hundred employed persons. In Åland, there were 14,600 employed and 550 unemployed persons. On the regional level, the economic dependency ratio was also low in the region of Uusimaa, where the economic dependency ratio was 117 and in Ostrobothnia, where it was 134. The economic dependency ratios in 2016 were highest in the following regions: North Karelia (176), Kymenlaakso (173), and Kainuu (172). There were 59,500 employed and 13,200 unemployed persons in North Karelia. In 2016, the share of unemployed persons in the labour force was highest in North Karelia (18.3%) and lowest in Åland (3.7%).

Economic dependency ratio by region in 2016

Economic dependency ratio by region in 2016

1.3 Share of pensioners largest in the region of Etelä-Savo

The growing number of pensioners is visible in all regions. There is great variation in the share of pensioners between the regions. In 2016, the share of pensioners in the population of the region was highest in Etelä-Savo (34.3%) and lowest in Uusimaa (19.8%). The number of pensioners was 51,000 in Etelä-Savo and 324,000 in Uusimaa in 2016.

Share of pensioners by region in 2005 and 2016, %

Share of pensioners by region in 2005 and 2016, %

Source: Employment Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Netta Hiitola 029 551 3552, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 16.2.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Background information on unemployed persons 2016, 1. Economic dependency ratio was 142 in 2016 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 24.7.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/2016/03/tyokay_2016_03_2018-02-16_kat_001_en.html