The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe composed of 19 regions with nearly one third of the country lying within the Arctic Circle. More than 90% of Finland’s 5.5 million inhabitants are ethnically Finnish with a growing immigrant population exceeding 8%. More than 85% of the population live in urban centers with under 15% residing in rural communities. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is also the most populous city and home to more than 650,000 people, with the surrounding urban area home to a further 1.3 million people.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Finland since the 1960s.
While Finland has an unemployment rate around 7%, youth experience an unemployment rate around 20%, while 30% are low-income earners. In addition, almost 5% of young people aged 15-24 are not in education, employment, or training, equating to around 50,000 people. Youth unemployment is linked to long-term reductions in wages, increased chances of subsequent periods of unemployment and risk of poverty, as well as poorer physical and mental outcomes in adulthood.