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Cost of living in Finland

In Finland, the wages, taxes and cost of living are slightly higher than the EU average. However, many services are funded by tax revenue, which makes them cheaper for the residents than in many other countries.

Affordable or free-of-charge public services


Preschool education, comprehensive education and upper secondary school education are free of charge in Finland. Studying in Finnish higher education institutes is also usually free of charge. However, if you move to study in Finland from outside the EU and study in English, you have to pay tuition.

The fees for early childhood education, i.e. children’s day care, depend on the family’s income. In municipal early childhood education, the fees are up to around €300 for your oldest child. If you have several children in early childhood education, you pay less for the younger siblings.

linkkiMinistry of Education and Culture:
Client fees for early childhood educationFinnish | Swedish | English

Public health services

If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you are entitled to use public health services. Prices vary between localities. For example, a doctor’s appointment usually costs about €20 at a health centre and about €40 at an outpatient clinic. Hospital treatment usually costs about €50 per day. Total fees can be up to approximately €700 per year. The services of maternity and child health clinics are free of charge for the client.

People must mostly pay for their medications themselves, but many medications are eligible for partial reimbursement. The reimbursement is paid from tax revenue. Once you have paid approximately €600 for medications during one calendar year, you only need to pay a very low price for them for the rest of the year. This only applies to medications that are eligible for reimbursement.

Read more about the right to use public health services in Finland on the page Health services in Finland.

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Health care client feesFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Pharmacotherapy client feesFinnish | Swedish


The services of libraries are free of charge. The Multilingual Library contains material in over 80 languages. Books of the Multilingual Library can be taken out anywhere in Finland.

Read more on the page Libraries.

Benefits for families with children

If you are permanently residing in Finland, you can apply to Kela for many benefits for families with children.

Read more on the page Financial support for families.

Consumer prices in Finland

What does food cost in Finland?

In Finland, food and non-alcoholic beverages cost approximately 20% over the EU average, and goods and services cost approximately 23% over the EU average. The cost of living also varies inside Finland.

Alcoholic beverages cost approximately 40% over the EU average.

linkkiStatistics Finland:
Some prices in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Consumer price levels in EU member statesEnglish

linkkiStatistics Finland:
Consumer prices in European countriesFinnish | Swedish

linkkiStatistics Finland:
Statistical yearbook of FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Clothing, goods and services

Clothing is slightly more expensive in Finland than in the EU on average. Many cheap clothing chains do not have shops in Finland. You should also keep in mind that you need different clothes and shoes in the summer, winter and the periods in between.

Many goods can also be bought used in Finland. Used goods are more affordable. For example, furniture and clothes can be bought in many used-goods stores and flea markets. There are also websites for selling used goods. There are many used goods available in good condition.

Housing costs in Finland

Housing costs vary a lot in Finland. On average, about one-fifth of Finns’ net income goes to housing. However, rents vary in the range of €10–30 per m². The average cost of owner-occupied homes in Finland is €2,100 per m², but homes are much more expensive in large cities. In detached houses, heating is often the largest single cost item.

You should also take out home insurance. Many landlords require it. Ask different insurance companies about their prices.

Read more about housing costs on the page Housing in Finland.

linkkiStatistics Finland:
Prices of privately-financed rental housingFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiStatistics Finland:
Prices of state-subsidised rental housingFinnish | English

Information on prices of sold and rented homesFinnish | Swedish | English

Insurance companies in FinlandFinnish


Most larger cities usually have good public transport. In smaller towns, you may need your own car. If you own a car, you must take out a motor insurance policy (liikennevakuutus). Winter tyres are mandatory in winter. Cars are also subject to tax.

Read more on the page Traffic in Finland.

linkkiFinnish transport and communications agency Traficom:
Information on vehicle taxationFinnish | Swedish | English

Examples of the cost of living in Finland

Some examples of prices in Finland (Statistics Finland 2018):

  • 1 kg of rice: €1–3
  • 1 l of milk: €1
  • 1 kg of cheese: €7.80
  • 1 kg of potatoes: €0.90
  • 1 kg of tomatoes: €2.90
  • 1 kg of bananas: €1–1.50
  • 1 kg of beef joint: €16
  • 500 g bag of coffee: € 4
  • 1 toothbrush: € 2
  • 1 swimming hall ticket: € 6
  • 1 movie ticket: € 12
  • 1 kWh of electricity: € 0.15
  • Internet connection: €15–20 per month
  • 1 l of 95 E10 petrol: € 1.50