Changing household structures in Finland and Poland – living alone as a Nordic welfare state indicator

Ala-Karvia, U. (Speaker), Marta Hozer-Kocmiel (Speaker), Sandra Misiak-Kwit (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The paper presents a comparative analysis of household structure and its dynamics, with a particular focus on one-person households (OPH), between post-economic-transformation Poland and Nordic-welfare-state Finland. Based on the literature, two research hypotheses were formulated; (H1) strong differences in household structure in Finland and Poland still occur and are supported by the national housing policies, and (H2) the share of one-person households is growing in both studied countries, due to the globally growing popularity of solo living. The paper uses register-base data for Finland and household census data for Poland for the last decades. The first research hypothesis was proven to be correct. Small, one- or two-person households strongly dominate the household structure in Finland, while in Poland, the household structure by size has been much more balanced. The second hypothesis was rejected. The share of OPH among all the households has been significantly larger in Finland than in Poland and the difference between the countries is growing. Thus, high shares of people living alone can be seen as a Nordic welfare state characteristic. A brief policy review supporting this phenomena is presented.
Period15 Mar 2019
Event typeConference
LocationHelsinki, Finland
Degree of RecognitionInternational