Finns divided over Swedish language and gay marriage


Demoting Swedish as an official language and legalising gay marriage are the two most divisive issues in Finland, according to a recent survey.

The Fragmented Finland Survey questioned respondents about how they felt about same-sex couples being given the right to marry. Just over a third of respondents said they were strongly for gay marriage, while nearly a quarter said they were strongly against the idea.

However, in a sign of the times, there was a notable divide in the opinions of the different age groups. The majority of participants under the age of 50 supported gay marriage, while 57 per cent of those over 65 were opposed to it.

Obligatory Swedish study in Finland’s schools has been a strongly-debated topic for some time, and the study’s results prove Finns remain divided on the issue. The survey, which was provocatively phrased: “Swedish should no longer be Finland’s second official language”, found that a third of respondents feel it should no longer be classed as an official language. However, around half of those questioned were either strongly or somewhat in favour of things remaining as they are.

The study, which was conducted by pollster Taloustutkimus for the country’s public broadcasting company Yle, questioned more than 1,000 people.

Responding to the statement: “Women in Finland still don’t have equality with men”, it found that male-female equality was a major issue, with 75 per cent of females considering it important, in comparison with just 51 per cent of males.

Meanwhile, 59 per cent of participants considered reducing energy consumption to fight climate change as important. Almost as many believed doing so would prove successful.