Three out of four Finns have a positive attitude towards art

yleisöä Elojazzissa 2018

Almost three out of four Finns have a positive attitude towards art. Only 3% have a negative attitude. The results are based on a May 2020 survey on cultural attitudes.

The survey conducted by Taloustutkimus was commissioned by the Oulu Culture Events Association’s Municipality of Experiences and Events project and BusinessOulu’s event and marketing unit and the Arctic Pulse project.

“With the survey, we wanted to find out what kinds of issues related to people’s attitudes and images the cultural sector needs to take into account in its development work. Such a positive general attitude towards art will, of course, give a boost to those of us in the field, but it will also provide important information for municipal and state decision-making. Culture has a strong impact on people’s daily lives, ”says Pia Alatorvinen, Executive Director of Oulu Culture Events Association.

“When working in the cultural sector, complaints about how taxpayers’ money is used, for example in connection with the bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026, sometimes reaches us in very large volumes. It is positive to get evidence that the people of North Ostrobothnia, however, have just as positive an attitude towards culture as others, says Taina Ronkainen, project coordinator of the Arctic Pulse project, which focuses on the promotion of northern music.

Eight out of ten see culture as a way to promote people’s well-being. More than seven in ten feel that culture is important to the reputation of cities and municipalities and creates opportunities and additional income for cities and municipalities as well as the region’s business community. Equally many also feel that culture is a communal element that increases understanding between people. Six out of ten Finns are proud of the level of Finnish culture and feel that culture creates moments of celebration for them. Half of Finns feel that culture is an essential part of their identity or everyday life or that cultural education should be increased at school. Four out of ten believe that culture should, as a general rule, be free for all. Less than one in five feels that culture is mainly an economic burden on cities and municipalities. Only one in ten think that culture is elitist or that it belongs only to the elite.

The youngest respondents consider the impact of culture on well-being and municipal reputation to be important. For them, culture is also part of everyday life and they are more likely than others to think that culture should be free. Women feel more positively towards culture than men. The most popular forms of culture are movies, public art, non-art museums, light music concerts and gigs, and art museums.

The target group of the survey was Finns aged 16-79. The data collection was carried out in the Internet panel of Taloustutkimus in May 2020. There were a total of 823 respondents, of which 177 were from Northern Ostrobothnia. The statistical margin of error in the results is on average about +3 percentage points. The results of the Northern Ostrobothnia as a Province of Culture study will be published in two parts.


Additional information:

Oulu Culture Events Association, Executive Director Pia Alatorvinen,, + 358 44 723 2676

BusinessOulu, project coordinator Taina Ronkainen,, + 358 40 6211249

Taloustutkimus, Timo Myllymäki,, +358 10 7585 441.


The Municipality of Experiences and Events project is a Northern Ostrobothnia-wide event development project implemented by the Oulu Culture Events Association. The Centre for Economic Development of Northern Ostrobothnia has granted funding for the project for 2019–2021 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The Arctic Pulse project, funded by Interreg Nord, brings together the culture of northern Finland, Sweden and Norway under one brand, with music at the forefront. Oulu’s share is coordinated by BusinessOulu’s event and marketing unit in 2019–21.