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Free-time Residences 2010

Varsinais-Suomi was the region with the highest number of free time residences in 2010

Varsinais-Suomi was the region with the highest number of free time residences, i.e. 48,000. Etelä-Savo and Pirkanmaa also had more than 45,000 free-time residences. The numbers of free-time residences were lowest in the regions of Central Ostrobothnia and Åland. Länsi-Turunmaa was the municipality with highest number of free-time residences, or over 8,374. Next were Hämeenlinna, Kouvola, Salo, Kuopio, Kuusamo and Raasepori. There were 489,200 free time residences in Finland at the end of 2010.

Figure 1. Free-time residences by region 2010

Figure 1. Free-time residences by region 2010

The density of free-time residences in the municipality can also be described by comparing their number with that of permanently occupied dwellings. Then the municipalities richest in free-time residences were places that had a relatively low number of population and a high number of free-time residences. At the end of 2010, altogether 57 municipalities had more free-time residences than permanently occupied dwellings. Such municipalities were Länsi-Turunmaa, Mäntyharju, Kemiönsaari and Pälkäne. As the number of permanent residents decreases, the number of free-time residences may become emphasised in ever more municipalities. From 2000 onwards, the number of municipalities with a majority of free-time residences has increased approximately by ten, when the situation is viewed with the present division of municipalities of 2011.

Figure 2. Municipalities with more free-time residences than occupied dwellings in 2010 (municipalities with the highest number of free-time residences)

Figure 2. Municipalities with more free-time residences than occupied dwellings in 2010 (municipalities with the highest number of free-time residences)

Stock of free-time residences grew fastest in the 1980s

There were 489,200 free-time residences in Finland at the end of 2010. The number increased by 4,100 from the previous year. The number of free-time residences grew fastest in the 1980s. In 1990, there were 368,000 free-time residences, which was 46 per cent more than in 1980. From 1970 to 1980, the increase was 75,600, or 43 per cent.

Figure 3. Number of free-time residences 1970–2010

Figure 3. Number of free-time residences 1970–2010

Around 4,000 new free-time residences completed per year

Over 4,000 new free-time residential buildings have been completed per year in the 2000s. For example, 3,944 new free-time residential building were completed in 2009. The pace of construction of free-time residences has been slowing down steadily since the early years of the 1990s. Whereas roughly 8,000 free-time residences were built every year in the early 1990s, in recent years the number has been half of this. Through the 1990s, the stock of free-time residences grew by around 20 per cent. This is clearly by less than in the 1970s and 1980s, when the stock increased by over 40 per cent per decade.

Building of free-time residences liveliest in Lapland and Etelä-Savo

In recent years, the building of free-time residences has been liveliest in Lapland and Etelä-Savo. In the 2000s, the highest numbers of free-time residential buildings have been completed in Lapland and Etelä-Savo where their number has exceeded 400 per year. The next highest number of free-time residential buildings, or an average of 380 per year, has been completed in the region of Varsinais-Suomi. The stock of free-time residences does not grow direct due to newbuilding because some free-time residences area converted into permanent dwellings or their active use is discontinued.

Since 1990 the stock of free-time residences has grown most in Etelä-Savo, where it has increased by 12,000. The stock has changed least in Central Ostrobothnia and Åland where the number of free-time residences has increased by over 1,000 since 1990.

Summer residence densest in Kustavi and Kaskinen

Free-time residences are densest in the municipality of Kustavi and Kaskinen with average 17–18 free-time residences per square kilometre of land. In eight municipalities there are more than ten free-time residences per square kilometre. In the whole country there are, on the average, 1.6 free-time residences per square kilometre. Uusimaa, Varsinais-Suomi and Päijät-Häme have more than four free-time residences per square kilometre. In South, North and Central Ostrobothnia, and Kainuu and Lapland there is average less than one free-time residence per square kilometre. In proportion to the land area, Kauniainen, Savukoski, Utsjoki, Enontekiö, Sodankylä, Kärsämäki and Inari have the lowest number of free-time residences.

Avarage floor area of free-time residences 48 square metres

There are relatively large size differences between new and old free-time residences. The average floor area of the free-time residences built in 2000-2010 was 64 square metres whereas the average floor area of free-time residences built prior to this was 45 square metres. The median was 40 square metres. On the other hand, nearly one free-time residence in four had a floor area of 60 square metres or more.

Table 1. Free-time residences by floor area in 2010

Floor area, m2 Number of free-time residences                     %
Free-time  residences,  total 489 232 100.0
– 19 39 161 8.0
20 – 39 179 172 36.6
40 – 59 131 913 27.0
60 – 79 60 125 12.3
80 – 99 26 816 5.5
100 – 25 447 5.2
Unknown 26 598 5.4
Average floor space 48 ..

Almost 800 000 Finns belong to household- dwelling unit with a free-time residence

Of all free-time residences, 404,000 were owned by private persons, while 86,000 were owned by companies, communities and deceased’s estates, or by foreigners. In all, 792,000 persons belonged to a household-dwelling unit which owns a free-time residence. Free-time residences are generally located near the place of permanent residence. Two-thirds of free-time residence owners had a free-time residence in their region of residence. One-third of free-time residence owners had a free-time residence in their municipality of domicile.

Summer residents increase the population of municipalities in summer

Summer residents travelling to free-time residences outside their municipality of domicile totalled approximately 532,000. Etelä-Savo had the highest number of summer residents, or over 56,000. In summer, over 10,000 persons may spend time on their free-time residences in Länsi-Turunmaa, the municipality with the largest number of summer residents. Summer residents in Hämeenlinna, Salo, Raasepori and Mäntyharju also number over 6,000. However, the largest relative increase took place in Kustavi, where the inclusion of summer residents increases the municipality's population from just under one thousand to over five thousand. Summer residents more than double the population of altogether 13 municipalities.

Average age of a free-time residence owners is 61 years

The average age of owners of new free-time residences completed in 2010 was 54 years. The average age of all free-time residence owners was 61. Of all free-time residence owners, 20,000 or just six per cent were aged under 40. Over 40 per cent of all free-time residences were owned by a household-dwelling unit of two adults and only 14 per cent by households with children aged under 18.


Source: Buildings and Free-time Residences, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marja Hermiö (09) 1734 3211, Arja Tiihonen (09) 1734 3272, Elina Aspblad-Huohvanainen (09) 1734 3232, asuminen@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 26.5.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Buildings and free-time residences [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-6796. 2010, Free-time Residences 2010 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.5.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rakke/2010/rakke_2010_2011-05-26_kat_001_en.html