Willingness to defend the country 

Updated: 9.12.2016 - Next update: 15.12.2017
   
 
 
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Citizens’ willingness to defend Finland has decreased from the past year

‘If Finland were attacked, should Finns, in your opinion, take up arms to defend themselves in all situations, even if the outcome seemed uncertain.’

Out of the entire population, 71 per cent say yes to the question; a year ago the same number was 78 per cent. Sixty-four per cent (73% in 2015) of women and 79 per cent of men (84%) think so. One fifth take the opposite view, 16 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women.

When analysed according to age groups the most negative views are held by those between 25 to 35 years of age, 31 per cent.


Source:
Finnish Social Science Data Archive and Advisory Board for Defence Information


Description of indicator

From the year 1970 onwards, ABDI Surveys have charted the willingness to defend the country with the question ”If Finland were attacked, should Finns, in your opinion, take up arms to defend themselves in all situations, even if the outcome seemed uncertain?” The annual surveys, conducted by the Advisory Board for Defence Information, focus on security and foreign policy and national defence, charting Finnish public opinion on these issues. FSD collections cover data from 1992.

The indicator data are based on ABDI research reports and mainly originate from surveys conducted in the autumn. The year 1970 and 1971 surveys were conducted by the predecessor of ABDI, the Planning Board for Psychological Defence. About a thousand people living in Finland aged 15 - 74 (79) respond to the survey annually. The sample is weighted to represent the Finnish population.

The question on the willingness to defend the country was originally a translation from a question used in Sweden. Styrelsen för psykologiskt försvar has been using the question its surveys in Sweden since the year 1952. In 2009, the Styrelsen was integrated into Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap MSB which has continued the surveys. The reports are published online: www.msb.se