|Finland Table of Contents
In the late 1980s, Finland had one of the world's most advanced welfare systems, one that guaranteed decent living conditions for all Finns. Created almost entirely during the first three decades after World War II, the system was an outgrowth of the traditional Nordic belief that the state was not inherently hostile to the well-being of its citizens, but could intervene benevolently on their behalf. According to some social historians, the basis of this belief was a relatively benign history that had allowed the gradual emergence of a free and independent peasantry in the Nordic countries and had curtailed the dominance of the nobility and the subsequent formation of a powerful right wing. Finland's history has been harsher than the histories of the other Nordic countries, but not harsh enough to bar the country from following their path of social development.
Growth of the
Social Welfare System
Source: U.S. Library of Congress