Published: 20 May 2010

The first phase of the recession lowered real income of high and low-income households

The recession that started in the latter half of 2008 claimed nearly 15 per cent of households’ property income and almost seven per cent of their entrepreneurial income compared with the income accumulation in the previous year, but wage and salary income still grew by around one per cent. According to Statistics Finland's income distribution statistics, measured by the median of households’ disposable income the average income level remained almost unchanged.

Real change in households’ disposable income by income decile in 2008, %

Real change in households’ disposable income by income decile in 2008, %

The income level weakened at the extreme ends of the income distribution. The income of the highest-income households decreased most and the share of the richest income decile in all income declined for the first time since 2002, mostly due to reduction in sales profits. On the other hand, the income of the lowest-income decile diminished due to real weakening of basic social security and rise in housing costs.

The strong fall in property and entrepreneurial income resulted in lowering of income in entrepreneur households in 2008. However, entrepreneurs’ income has grown in the 2000s faster than that of other socio-economic groups. The income of unemployed persons diminished by 3.5 per cent in 2008. Over the 2000s the livelihood of the groups living mostly on income transfers, unemployed persons and students, has fallen even more behind the level of the average income earner. Even so, the income of students rose by 4.5 per cent in 2008.

The average income level among those living in rental households is clearly lower and growth in income slower than among those living in owner-occupied dwellings. In 2008 the housing expenditure burden, or the share of housing costs of disposable monetary income, was 20 per cent, on average. For those living in rental dwellings the burden was, on average, 27 per cent, for those living in indebted owner-occupied dwellings 15 per cent and for those living in debt-free owner-occupied dwellings eight per cent. The burden is highest for the lowest-income earners and it falls when income grows: in the lowest income decile the burden was, on average, 40 per cent of income, in the highest eight per cent. Inclusion of instalment of housing loans increased the burden most in the highest income group, to 14 per cent, on average.

A comparison of housing conditions in 29 European countries shows that Finland belongs to countries with bigger than average rental markets with its around 34 share. The share of rental dwellings is higher than this in ten countries. The share is biggest in Germany where every second household lived in rented housing. Finland’s average housing expenditure burden was the tenth lowest in Europe.

Average income in households by different income definitions 2000-2008, in 2008 value of money

Corrected on 20 May 2010 at 13.30. The corrections are indicated in red, were previously 2 483 000 and 2 513 000.
  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Disposable household income Mean 32 100 32 400 33 200 34 300 35 900 36 800 37 300 38 300 37 700
Median 26 400 27 300 28 200 29 000 29 500 30 900 31 100 31 300 31 200
Disposable income per consumption unit* Mean 20 900 21 000 21 600 22 400 23 400 23 900 24 300 25 100 24 800
Median 18 100 18 500 19 200 19 700 20 500 21 200 21 300 21 700 22 000
Disposable household cash income Mean 29 100 29 400 30 000 30 900 32 500 33 300 34 000 35 300 34 800
Median 23 500 24 300 25 200 25 800 26 400 27 600 28 000 28 300 28 400
Disposable cash income per consumption unit Mean 18 800 19 100 19 400 20 100 21 100 21 500 22 100 23 100 22 800
Median 16 300 16 700 17 100 17 600 18 300 19 000 19 200 19 800 20 100
Households Number 2 373 000 2 381 500 2 397 500 2 405 000 2 415 000 2 435 000 2 455 000 2 483 500 2 513 500
  • *Consumption units: the 1. adult of the household 1,0 - other aged 14 or older 0,5 - persons aged 0 - 13 0,3 (= so called OECD modified equivalence scale)

Source: Income Distribution Statistics 2008, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Juha Honkkila (09) 1734 3651, Hannele Sauli (09) 1734 3497, toimeentulo.tilastokeskus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 20.5.2010

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Income distribution statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1331. 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.9.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tjt/2008/tjt_2008_2010-05-20_tie_001_en.html