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EACEA National Policies Platform



Last update: 28 May 2023

Youth Policy in Finland

Finland is famous for a variety of reasons, one of those being that the country has its own law to respect the rights of young people. The Youth Act promotes social inclusion, opportunities to participate in the decision-making over matters of concern, development of individuals' abilities, improvement of living conditions, and access to free-time hobbies and youth work — to name a few. The Government Decree supports the implementation of the act by, for example, specifying the allocation of the duties involved at the national, regional and local levels.

The National Youth Work and Policy Programme has its basis in the Youth Act, but it is also informed by the Government Programme. The Government Programme for the year 2019-2023 'Inclusive and competent Finland – a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society' includes the pledge for fair and equal treatment across generations and highlights participation and inclusion. The social inclusion and participation of children and young people will be promoted with digital means, and efforts will be made to improve their media literacy. According to the Government Programme, 'the main themes for the national programme for youth work and youth policy are to prevent social exclusion and bolster inclusion among young people.' Due to the Parliamentary Elections on April 2023, the next National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme will be adopted by the new Government and published in 2024. The preparation of the next programme will be directed by the Ministerial Working Group on Child and Youth Policy. For that perspective, all the Youth Wiki chapters will be updated in 2023–2024. 

In addition, the Government has launched a national cross-administrative democracy programme extending until 2025. One of the key priorities of the democracy programme is to develop school teaching and other school practices, as well as to support children’s and young people’s ability to have a say in their local environment and society. (For more information, see Youth Wiki/Finland 5.5 National strategy to increase youth participation). 

There have been also some structural changes related to the organisation of public services in Finland. The responsibility for organising public health care services, social welfare services and rescue services has been transferred from municipalities to wellbeing services counties from January 2023. The key objective of the reform has been to improve the availability and quality of basic public services throughout Finland, to reinforce primary level services and to shift the emphasis towards preventive work. For more information, see Youth Wiki/Finland 7.2 Administration and governance. 

Ratio of young people in the total population on 1st January

Ratio of men and women in the youth population

Statistic references


Ratio (%) of young people in the total population (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_020 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].

Absolute number of young people on 1 January for the age group 15-29 (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_010 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].

Ratio (%) of men and women in the youth population (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_020 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].

Young immigrants from non-EU countries (2016): Eurostat, yth_demo_070 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].