Remind me again how “safe” Finland is

Finns have long thought and many continue to think – delusionally, I might add – that this is a safe country with little or no violence. This is true even in the face of all statistics which have consistently said otherwise. One would think this belief was shattered a year ago when a gunman killed eight + self in Jokela but no; whenever there is discussion about violence and shootings etc, USA is still considered far more dangerous.

Today another school shooting tragedy hit the country in Kauhajoki; see any major news media or even Wikipedia for further info.

My heart goes out to all the victims and those affected by this tragedy. But I also wish that at least one issue could be laid to rest. Before anyone still dares to complain about the dangerous schools in United States, look at the figure below. The usual unscientific-approach-disclaimers apply, but it does give you an idea of the scale differences. The graph depicts school shooting victims per million people over the past 50 years in Finland and United States:

School shooting victims over the past 50 years; Finland and USA compared.

With Finland having over six times as many fatalities per million inhabitants in school shootings as USA, remind me again why and how Finns can consider the United States a more dangerous country in this respect. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this latest tragedy makes Finnish schools the most dangerous in the world.

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6 Responses to Remind me again how “safe” Finland is

  1. Ansku says:

    I guess we are so used to the kind of violence we have here that we take it for granted. And violence of a different style in other countries seems then scary to us…?

    Thanks for the figure.

  2. Shaiful Islam says:

    Well, whatever the figure shows, I still consider Finland as one of the most nice and peaceful country.

    No violence can be granted in any society.

    I’m living in Finland for last 10 years and I can say that Finns are really peaceful and generous people. Some of those recent incidents doesn’t prove the over all law and order of this country. Government is trying to control school shooting incidents seriously.

    If you compare with other crime related figures (Murder,burglary, rape, terrorism, drug related crimes etc), I’m sure you will find a significant difference between Finland and USA.

  3. James says:

    the stats only show school shooting not gang and drug related shooting, so to say Finland is more dangerous just doesn’t seem far.

    To truly get a feel for the violence in a country you must study all the stats of all types of violence including non fatal crimes as well, rape, aggervated assult, and so on.

  4. sim says:

    I don’t disagree with either Shaiful or James; Finland indeed is still a very safe country. However, it bugs me that people take it to the extreme and say that nothing bad ever happens in Finland.

    School shootings are just one aspect that Finns thought – and many still think – that “only happen in the US”. The facts, however, speak otherwise.

  5. Rural says:

    I guess these numbers are especially for Finland’s big cities. How about the rural Finland? I mean, would it be safe to go there with the tent (alone or max. 3 people) in August?


  6. sim says:

    Rural, well, like I said, as a whole Finland is still a very safe country and you shouldn’t have any problems anywhere. Finland doesn’t really have big cities (aside from the Helsinki metropolitan area, and even that only if you count a population of 1M as a big city).

    It’s absolutely safe to stay in a tent anywhere. Also, remember the so-called “everyman’s right” which means it’s legal to tent pretty much anywhere, regardless of who owns the land. See for more.

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