Economic dependency ratio

Updated: 8 Apr 2021
Next update: 16 Dec 2021

Population structure is measured with the so-called economic dependency ratio which gives the numbers of persons unemployed or outside the labour force per one employed persons.

The employed labour force comprises all persons between 18-74 who were employed during the reference week and were neither registered as unemployed jobseekers at the labour exhange office nor undergoing military or non-military service.

The unemployed labour force comprises persons aged 15-74 who were unemployed on the last working day of the year. Data on unemployment are obtained from the Ministry of Labour's register on job applicants.

Persons outside the labour force: 0-14-year-olds, students, pupils, pensioners, conscripts, conscientious objectors and others outside the labour force.

A student or a pupil is a person over 15 who is studying full-time in an educational institution and is neither gainfully employed nor unemployed.

Pensioners comprise all persons who according to the data of the Social Insurance Institution or the Centre for Pensions receive a pension (excl. those receiving family pension or part-time pension) and are not gainfully employed. All persons over 74 are also classified as pensioners. In addition, some persons have been classified as pensioners on the basis of pension income.


Economic dependency ratio was 133 in 2019

According to the data of Statistics Finland's employment statistics, the economic dependency ratio was 133 in 2019. This means that there were 133 non-employed persons per one hundred employed persons in 2019. In 2018, the dependency ratio was 132. In total, there were 2,341,000 employed persons aged 18 to 64 in 2019 of which 2,103,000 were wage and salary earners and 238,000 self-employed persons. There were 257,000 unemployed persons and 2,894,000 persons in the inactive population.

The economic dependency ratio refers to the ratio of the number of employed persons to unemployed persons and persons in the inactive population. The inactive population includes persons aged 0 to 14, students and pupils, conscripts and those in non-military service, pensioners and others in the inactive population.

In 2019, a total of 257,000 persons were unemployed. The number of unemployed grew by 1,000 from the year before. Of those in the inactive population, 1,437,000 were pensioners, 401,000 students and pupils, 871,000 were aged 0 to 14, and 7,400 were conscripts and in the non-military service.

According to the employment statistics, the share of unemployed persons aged 18 to 64 in the labour force was 9.9 per cent in 2019. From the previous year, the share grew by 0.1 percentage points. The share of unemployed was 8.4 per cent for women and 11.3 per cent for men.

The weakening of the economic dependency ratio is influenced by the share of unemployed persons as well as by the ageing of the population and thus, by the number of pensioners. In 2019, Finland had 1,437,000 pensioners. In 2018, the number of pensioners was 1,430,000. The number of pensioners grew by 7,000 persons in a year.