There are at least five ways to measure and assess participation in cultural life: household expenditure resulting from the purchase of cultural goods and services, level of participation (how often people visit cultural and art institutions and events), pursuit of amateur activity (yes / no), domestic leisure time use, time used for listening to music, reading etc., and audiences / sales / box office figures in terms of how many visitors different cultural and art institutions attract. The problem is, that statistical information is lacking from 2009 onwards.
Household consumption of culture
Statistics Finland delineates from household consumption survey data two different subsets of cultural household expenditure. The wider is labelled “culture and leisure-time consumption” and the narrower labelled “culture and media consumption”. Household surveys on cultural spending include items such as books, newspapers and journals, PC- and media equipment, programmes and discs, games, schoolbooks, encyclopaedias, and photography services. The latest consumption figures from Statistics Finland date to 2012 (new release is upcoming in 2017).
Households’ expectations on consumption possibilities have an effect on their consumption. According to the balance figures of the Statistics Finland Consumer Survey in 2012, expectations were still positive in 2012, but much more pessimistic than in 2006, which were affected by the general uncertainty of the economic situation in 2012. Despite the uncertainty, more money was used on transport and culture and recreation in 2012 than in 2006. The real growth of consumption expenditure was directed to these two categories in most socio-economic groups. Excluding unemployed households, more money was spent on communications in 2012 than in 2006.
Level of cultural participation
Table 22 presents some participation data. The intervals in time series are unequal because time use surveys are carried out irregularly. It seems, however, that during the last ten years visiting intensity has somewhat increased and “never visiting” has decreased more significantly. The factors causing these trends are most likely increased urbanisation and enhanced and diversified supply of festival and summer events.
Table 22: Visits to concerts, cinema, theatre, opera, art exhibitions / museums in 1981, 1991, 1999 and 2009 in a sample of Finnish population 10-64+years of age
|Visited cinema||During last 12 months||Not during last 12 months||Visited sometimes earlier||Visited never||Total|
|Visited art exhib. / art museums|
|Visited historical museum|
Source: Finnish Official Statistics, Time use study, (net publication), ISSN=1799-5639. Helsinki: Statistics Finland: http://www.stat.fi/til/akay/tau.html.
During the last ten years visiting intensity has somewhat increased and “never visiting” has decreased more significantly. The factors causing these trends are most likely increased urbanisation and enhanced arts education.
Amateur pursuit of arts
Weak trends can also be observed in the case amateur activity (Table 23). The most distinct growth can be noticed in the case of writing, photography and video shooting. The increase in amateur authorship might be due to an increased number of small publishing houses where professional authors might find new commercial publication opportunities. New digital equipment, lowering of technology prices and the easy transmission of pictorial material through the Internet and mobile phones probably explains the increased interest in photography and video-making.
Table 23: Amateur art and creative cultural activities in %, 1981, 1991, 1999 and 2009 in surveys of population 10-64 years of age *
|Pursued activity||Plays a musical instrument||Amateur singing||Pursues visual arts||Writes short stories, poems, novels , etc.||Acts in a theatre club or in an amateur theatre||Pursues dancing||Pursues photographing||Pursues video making|
Source: Finnish Official Statistics, Time use study, (net publication), ISSN=1799-5639.Helsinki: Statistics Finland: http://www.stat.fi/til/akay/tau.html.
* Yes / no response to question “Do you pursue xxx activity?”
Leisure time use of culture at home
Table 24 provides data on three main leisure time uses of culture at home. There has been a significant decline in the percentages for listening to the radio and reading in the 10 year period.
Table 24: Daily use of time for cultural and media activities in 1979, 1987, 1999 and 2009 in survey of population 10-64 years of age
|Daily time use in hours and minutes||Share (%) of those who participated the activity|
|Listening to the radio||0.08||0.10||0.04||0.03||17.8||20.1||10.5||6.7|
Source: Finnish Official Statistics, time use-study, net publication, ISSN=1799-5639, Helsinki: Statistics Finland, http://www.stat.fi/til/akay/2009/02/akay_2009_02_2011-02-17_tau_001_fi.html.
Note: The respondents of the survey monitored their predefined daily activities for a time span of two days.
Table 25 bears witness that leisure time use of the computer has substantially increased during the last ten years. The present use might be even higher because, according to an international comparative survey, 82% of the Finnish respondents of 16-75 years of age had used the Internet during the preceding three months. In this measure, Finland was among the seven top European countries.
Table 26 takes us closer to more specific cultural uses of the computer. The two most frequently adopted categories of “cultural use” of the Internet are online distribution of digital cultural products and communicating through social media. In the Table the most popular cultural uses are in italics.
Table 25: Frequency of using computer in leisure time in 1999 and 2009, % of the survey respondents of 20-64 years of age
|Year||Daily||In several days of a week||Once, twice in a week||At least once in a month||> Once, twice a week||Never||Total|
Table 26: Expressed purposes of Internet use in Finland as a percentage of Internet users, 2009
|Internet used for:||%|
|E-mail sending / receiving||91|
|Retrieving information on goods and services||86|
|Reading net newspapers / magazines||77|
|Browsing travel and accommodation websites||68|
|Retrieving information on sickness, nutrition or health||68|
|Retrieving information from web sites of public authorities||55|
|Listening to internet radio / watching internet TV||47|
|Listening online or loading down music from the net pages||42|
|Filling in official forms online||38|
|Retrieving information on education and training||38|
|Sending / reading instant messages||37|
|Chatting or writing messages on discussion boards||33|
|Looking for a job or sending job applications||29|
|Using browser based news feedsfor reading new contents on websites||22|
|Buying second hand goods at online auctions or flea markets||20|
|Availing of Internet for phone calls||17|
|Selling own possessions, goods or services e.g by auction||16|
|Studying by taking online courses||16|
|Playing online games||14|
|Subscribing net publications or news services||12|
|Using P2P file sharing for downloading film, music etc.||8|
|Establishing and maintaining a blog of one’s own||5|
Source: Finnish Official Statistics, time use-study, net publication, ISSN=1799-5639, Helsinki: Statistics Finland, http://www.stat.fi/til/akay/2009/02/akay_2009_02_2011-02-17_tau_001_fi.html
Audiences / Sales / box office figures
Tables 27-32 provide short time series of the supply and demand changes in performing arts, museums and in film production and book publishing. Because time intervals are irregular and the supply and demand measures rough, one cannot make any reliable observations about business fluctuations – especially as some of the tops and dips in performing arts and museums are due to opening of a new house and closing performances because of repairs. Still, one can propose an observation that may have relevance from the point of view of cultural policies. Despite the above mentioned irregularities the aggregate supply (performances) and demand (sold tickets) vary in performing arts and the museum sector rather little in observation time or, in other terms, the systems are immune to any “creative destruction”. This stability is probably due to the formula-based public support system. In book publishing the digit publication seems to imbalance the system, although greater losses are caused by the end of “the Harry Potter effect”. In the cinema sector we can notice some audience competition between foreign and domestic films, where domestic films are gaining ground. Also, in cinema the admissions have risen considerably from 2014 to 2015. One of the reasons might be the success of some domestic films (especially Luokkakokous/Reunion) in 2015, which drew large audiences. According to the Finnish Film Foundation, domestic films sold a new record amount of tickets (total of 2 600 000) in 2015. Domestic films are currently enjoying an upswing in Finland as the previous record was from as recently as 2012 when domestic films had a total of 2 357 000 cinema admissions. The market share of domestic films, one third of all admissions, is also one of the best in Europe.
The Film Foundation attributes this success to the revitalization of Finnish cinema network through digitalization and the diverse domestic film output, made possible through public funding.
Table 27: Performances and ticket sales of the main theatres (The National Theatre and receivers of formula-based subsidy), 1991, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010-2012
|Year||Number of theatres||
|1991||54||11 871||2 290 000|
|1995||53||11 879||2 287 000|
|2000||49||12 133||2 206 000|
|2005||47||11 368||2 154 000|
|2010||48||11 095||2 187 000|
|2011||47||11 625||2 249 000|
|2012||47||11 244||2 107 000|
Source: Statistics Finland, Kulttuuritilastot / Cultural Statistics 2013, 86.
Table 28: Professionally managed museums (administrative units*) and their visitors in 1993, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010-2015
|1993||125||3 600 000|
|1995||134||3 995 000|
|2000||155||4 881 000|
|2005||165||4 340 000|
|2010||158||4 869 000|
|2011||156||4 985 417|
|2012||154||5 254 171|
|2013||154||5 451 635|
|2014||152||5 445 468|
|2015||150||5 605 374|
Source: http://www.museotilasto.fi, Statistics Finland, Kulttuuritilastot / Cultural Statistics 2013, 45; Statistics Finland, Kulttuuritilastot / Cultural Statistics 2001, 136.
* One unit can administer several museum sites.
Table 29: Major symphony orchestras*: concerts and audience in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010-2013
|Year||Number of orchestras||Symphony concerts and other performances*|
|Number of performances||Visits|
|1990||30||1 565||684 075|
|1995||27||1 596||714 063|
|2000||27||1 456||775 726|
|2005||28||1 593||828 095|
|2010||28||1 789||667 373|
|2011||29||1 761||796 856|
|2012||29||1 835||851 439|
Source: Statistics Finland, Kulttuuritilastot / Cultural Statistics 2013, 113.
* The performances of the National Opera are not included in the statistics.
Table 30: Cinemas and their audiences in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2004 and 2010-2015
|Number of screens||264||343||289||283||284||282||294||311|
|Finnish feature films released||14||9||23||30||36||36||34||37|
|Cinema admissions, millions||6.2||7.1||7.6||7.1||8.4||7.7||7.3||8.7|
|Admissions per capita||1.2||1.4||1.4||1.3||1.5||1.4||1.3||1.6|
|Share (%) of domestic film viewers||14||15||27||17||28||23||28||30|
|Box office receipts, in million EUR||30.6||46.6||66.0||65.0||78.8||74.5||71.8||89.9|
|Average ticket price in EUR||4.9||6.6||8.7||9.0||9.4||9.6||9.8||10.3|
Source: Finnish Film Foundation Facts and Figures 2015, 19; Statistics Finland, Cultural Statistics 2013, 130.
Table 31: Book sales by genre in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 in million EUR
|Children’s and books for young people||28||36||43||34|
Source: The Finnish Book Publishers’ Association, http://tilastointi.kustantajat.fi/WebReport.aspx?DetailedReportsArea=True&language=ENG
Table 32: Retail net sale (without VAT) of printed and digital books, in thousand EUR, by main genre, 2009–2012
|Fiction total||45 052||+5.4||41 728||-7.4||42 558||+2.0||41 161||-3.3|
|Printed books||44 161||+5.4||40 926||-7.3||41 422||+1.2||39 693||-4.2|
|Digital publications||890||+8.4||801||-10.0||1 136||+41.7||1 468||+29.3|
|Comics books total||12 639||-21.8||13 753||+8.8||11 701||-14.9||12 041||+2.9|
|Printed books||12 639||-21.8||13 753||+8.8||11 701||-14.9||12 041||+2.9|
|Books for children and youth total||26 563||-20.0||34 476||+29.8||34 818||+1.0||33 563||-3.6|
|Printed books||26 182||-20.2||34 093||+30.2||34 289||+0.6||33 113||-3.4|
|Nonfiction, encyclopedias, total||96 491||-10.4||96 245||-0.3||98 633||+2.5||87 021||-11.8|
|Printed books||89 491||-11.7||88 486||-1.1||87 769||-0.8||75 335||-14.2|
|Digital publications||7 000||+10.6||7 759||+10.8||10 864||+40.0||11 685||+7.6|
|General literature total, out of which||181 184||-9.6||186 829||+3.1||187 805||+0.5||173 801||-7.5|
|Paperbacks||6 689||+41.3||7 235||+8.2||6 801||-6.0||7 891||+16.0|
|Printed books||172 888||-10.2||177 671||+2.8||175 235||-1.4||160 192||-8.6|
|Digital publications||8 295||+6.1||9 157||+10.4||12 569||+37.3||13 609||+8.3|
Source: The Finnish Book Publishers’ Association, http://tilastointi.kustantajat.fi/PublicReporting/Yearly.aspx?language=ENG