The Survey is ON!

The invitation letters to our 10.000 prospective participants were mailed on Monday 20 May and we can see that some addressees in Europe have already received them, as the first few responses have been saved in the survey database. To those participants – heartfelt thanks for your swift responses!

When the invitation reaches you, please do take the time to open the survey and fill in your responses. It is only this way that we can secure high quality research. On the basis of previous projects, we can estimate that even up to 3.000 of our letters will never reach their addressee but bounce back due to outdated address information. So those who actually do receive the invitation are valuable as gold to the project, and we appreciate every single contribution.

If you have not received our letter as yet, no need to despair. It will take a few more weeks until the mail services all around the world have distributed each and every invitation. If you have not received the letter and would like to participate in the survey, please contact us at
votingabroad [at] Thank you in advance.

Ready to go!

Our sample from the National Population Register (Väestörekisterikeskus) has arrived at the university. In ten days’ time or so, the survey invitation letters will be mailed to the 10.000 potential participants all over the world. Apart from the 17 countries where most of our survey invitees live, the world wide randomized selection came to include approximately 70 other countries where one or more Finnish citizens are going to receive an invitation letter from us.

We know from previous research projects that, unfortunately, approximately 30 % of the letters will never reach their addressee due outdated address details. This is due to the fact that the Finnish Population Register  depends on the citizens’ own notices of moving.

If you receive the letter, please do fill in the survey. Maintaining the high level of social scientific research in Finland is not possible without citizens who are willing to share their views and to dedicate their time for the benefit of academic research. Thank you in advance!


Sample Countries Determined

An important step towards the realization of the FACE survey, we have now determined its country composition. In total 10.000 adult Finnish citizens whose mother tongue registered in the Finnish population register is Finnish or Swedish will be invited to participate in the survey. Out of these ten thousand, 1.500 are living in Sweden, and 500 in the USA, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Estonia, Belgium, Austria and Israel, respectively. If you are a Finnish citizen living in one of these countries, and your mother tongue registered in Finland is either Finnish or Swedish, watch your mail in May. Our research invitation might be coming your way! The remaining 500 invitations will be sent to a random sample in the rest of the countries worldwide.

43 % of adult Finnish citizens abroad live in Sweden (ca. 110.000). This is why more invitations are sent to prospective participants in Sweden than elsewhere. The rest of the states in our list constitute the top-16 of countries with adult Finnish citizen residents. There are more than a thousand people living in each of these countries who are eligible in the upcoming Finnish parliamentary elections. The sample, including the postal addresses, will be provided by the Finnish Population Register Centre.

“Ulkosuomalaiset eivät saa unohtua vaaleissa”

A featured letter to the editor (“Vieraskynä”) by the FACE researchers Johanna Peltoniemi and Hanna Wass was published in Helsingin Sanomat 22.3.2019. The text highlights the number of the Finnish electorate living abroad, their current patterns of participation and some issues relevant to these voters. It also reminds of the need to consider the electorate abroad when revising electoral legislation in future.



The Journey Starts

We are thrilled to announce that the research project Facilitating Electoral Participation from Abroad (FACE) is starting 1 April 2019. Funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, FACE examines Finnish expatriates’ political participation, especially voting. A survey conducted with a sample of 10.000 Finnish citizens permanently living abroad constitutes the main part of the project. The survey is currently being prepared and the invitations to participate will be mailed to the prospective participants at the end of April.