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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Political and economic situation


1.3.Population: demographic situation, languages and religions

1.3.4Political and economic situation

Last update: 27 November 2023

Political situation

The highest decision-making authority in Finland is the Parliament. There are 200 Members of Parliament. In 2019 the Parliament consisted of 9 parties or groups.

Members of Parliament are elected every fourth year. After the elections and possible changes in the Government there are no major policy-shifts expected related to education. Political consensus on the commonly agreed goals of education has a long tradition in Finland. This has made long-term planning and development possible.

There are 19 ministers in the Government in 2019. The Minister of Education for the period 2019-2023 is Ms Li Anderson. She represents the Left Alliance.

Economic situation

In the Bank of Finland’s December 2020 forecast, the crisis caused by COVID-19 is not expected to be as deep as the global financial crisis and recovery is expected to be faster. Although both recessions have had a broad-ranging impact, in the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic it is mainly service industries that have suffered. According to the forecast, the current crisis will result in temporarily slower economic growth in the next few years, but in the medium term the economy will see a return to the growth rates that preceded the crisis. However, the crisis may leave longer-lasting scars than anticipated in such areas as employment, capital stock and productivity, through a number of channels. Examples might be the hysteresis effects of long-term unemployment, low levels of investment and a slowdown in the reallocation of resources.

Expenditure on education

The allocation on central government funds to different purposes depends on political decisions, economic structure and economic cycles. The total expenditure on education was 13.5 billion euros in 2019 which was on the level with the year before. The share of total public expenditure devoted to education was 10.6%. 

The expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP was 5.7 in 2016. The share has decreased during recent years.

Current expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP, %









Educational attainment level of the adult population

Around 72% of the population aged 15 or over had completed a qualification after compulsory basic education in 2017. The share of persons with an educational qualification grew by one percentage point from the year before. Persons aged 40 to 44 had the highest level of education as 87% of them had completed a qualification.


Education attainment level of the population aged 15 or over in 2019

basic education level


upper secondary level


tertiary level


Source: Statistics Finland Educational structure of population 2021


The share of persons having completed only the basic level of education was 26% in 2019. Upper secondary level qualifications were held by 42% and tertiary level qualifications by 32% of the population aged 15 or over.