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Children’s Voice 2020: Impact of families’ financial situation on the daily lives, leisure time and well-being of children

According to the Children’s Voice Survey, negative experiences due to poverty, such as anxiety, inferiority and stress are more prevalent among children of families with limited means compared with others. In Finland, more than 110,000 children live in low-income families. In the Children’s Voice survey, up to 80% of children of families with limited means reported having experienced stress due to their family’s poor financial situation. Anxiety, guilt and shame were also much more prevalent among them. Other stress factors that children experience, in addition to financial worries, included long-term illness of a family member and issues with mental health or substance abuse. According to the report, 52% of low-income children were fairly or very worried about the future. Issues related to income also impact children’s self-esteem. More than half of children of low-income families felt that they were different or less valuable than others. Approximately 40% reported having been bullied or discriminated against due to their family’s financial situation. Family background also has a clear impact on children’s hobby opportunities. The report shows that 51% of children of families with limited means felt that their hobby opportunities were poor or fairly poor, whereas the corresponding figure among all respondents was 14%. This report is part of the wider Children’s Voice 2020 survey data.

The first part Children’s Views on the Coronavirus Spring was published in May 2020. Children’s Voice is a survey that Save the Children Finland has conducted since 2001. The survey maps the thoughts of 13–17-year-olds on varying themes. This year, the survey was conducted online during 6–26 April 2020 and over 3,129 children from all over Finland responded.

Published 2020-10-22