In Finland, a quarter of people with disabilities are at risk of poverty or exclusion, according to the latest living conditions statistics from Statistics Finland. Those with disabilities are more likely to experience low income, underemployment, and severe material and social deprivation than the general population. The risk of poverty or exclusion is primarily due to low income for the majority of people with disabilities. Among working-age individuals with disabilities, underemployment is as common as low income.
Around half of those with disabilities are of retirement age, but a significant proportion of working-age individuals with disabilities are not in the workforce. People with disabilities experience serious material and social deprivation at a higher rate than the general population, with 6.1% reporting this issue compared to only 1.3% of the rest of the population aged 16 and over.
In addition, disabilities can lead to feelings of exclusion from society or social relationships. Almost one-third of working-age people with disabilities experience feelings of exclusion compared to around one-sixth of the general population. For all people with disabilities, experiences of exclusion are much more common than for the general population. Among people aged over 84, more than half have serious disabilities, which are most commonly related to mobility. Meanwhile, for those aged 16-34, more than 5% experience significant difficulties with memory or concentration. For the entire population aged 16 and over, the most common disabilities relate to memory and concentration.
The results highlight the need for more inclusive policies and practices to address the socioeconomic disparities faced by people with disabilities in Finland. To improve the situation, policymakers should take steps to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, address the root causes of poverty and exclusion, and improve accessibility to education, healthcare, and other public services. Ultimately, creating a more inclusive society will benefit everyone and help Finland reach its goals of reducing poverty and promoting social cohesion.
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