436.5 Differences in leisure activities between older and younger Finns

Friday, August 3, 2012: 10:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Pekka RÄSÄNEN , Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Outi SARPILA , Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
As in many other industrialized societies, the proportion of the older population segments is constantly growing in Finland. We are currently witnessing strong generational differences regarding consumption and leisure activities between age groups. On one hand, younger population segments are increasingly spending their free time on the Internet and using the new information and communication technologies. On the other hand, there are more and more senior citizens who prefer spending their time on many of the traditional leisure activities such as reading, watching television and gardening. The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the Finns leisure activities in the 2000s. We argue that a systematic comparison of leisure activities between younger and older population segments gives us significant information for understanding of some of the key features of the ageing societies. The empirical part of the article consists of the results of two nationally representative mail surveys conducted in 2010 and 2011. The first survey data (n=542) represent Finnish citizens aged 60 to 79. The second survey data (n=908) represent citizens aged 15 to 64. A total of 20 comparable leisure activity items were used in both of the survey questionnaires. In the analysis, we take a look at the generality of different leisure-time activities between age groups. We also ask whether or not the respondents’ leisure-time interests are connected to other socio-demographic characteristics. The results indicate that, on average, Finnish seniors have many leisure activities when compared to some of the other age groups. However, it also seems that participation in certain leisure activities tend to decline as people grow older.