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Digihumaus report 2024: Ageing and increasing diversity are a driving force for public administration, but digital infrastructure requires even more investment 

Publication date 11.4.2024 9.29
Press release

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency has published the new Digihumaus report today. The report analyses changes in the Finnish population and their significance for public administration. The report is a continuity of the Digihumaus reports from the four previous years. The report breaks down the topic into four sub-trends: ageing, immigration, regional segregation and increasing diversity. 

Cover of the Digihumaus-report 2024 “Ageing and the population becoming more diverse are not a burden. Instead, we have to critically assess our preconceived ideas about these aspects of our society. At the same time, our shared digital infrastructure is requiring more and more development and maintenance; something we have to take into account in financial investments as well”, says Director General Janne Viskari from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.   

Ageing is in transition

Viskari says that Finland’s population is ageing and that our demographic dependency ratio is expected to grow considerably in the next 10 to 15 years. 

“The ageing of the population affects our national economy and pension system, which we have to take into account when we develop digital services.” 

It is also important to note that the process of ageing itself is in transition. On average, people going into retirement have better functional capacity than before and a more secure subsistence. Ageing is not just a burden, and our society has to take a critical look at its preconceived ideas about ageing. 

The ageing population is also impacting regional development. In Finland, the majority of the population will continue to be concentrated in cities and urban areas. In most regions, population numbers are declining and the average age is becoming higher. Differences will keep growing in local authorities’ and wellbeing services counties’ starting points as service providers. In fact, regions will be increasingly different in how they use public platform services in the future. There will continue to be a highlighted need for functional and usable shared digital solutions, not forgetting the interoperability and mobility of data.

Diversification increases the need for customer insight

Finns’ values and attitudes are changing, and immigration is another factor that increases the heterogeneity of our country. In the future, the customer base of public administration will be diverse. 

According to the report, as our old models for understanding people’s lifestyles and life trajectories stop working, even public administration has to invest in researched information and customer insight when developing services. It is also important to consider how we could tailor the ways of using services in different channels.

Digital infrastructure requires investments

As our population ages and becomes more diverse in a new way, it creates new demands for the public digital services of the future. Different service providers will need shared digital solutions to make using services easy for a diverse customer base and efficient for administration. 

“In a pioneering digitalisation country like Finland, solutions will not work without a functional digital infrastructure, as the importance of a digital infrastructure is comparable to physical infrastructure like roads or the national electrical grid. Our digital infrastructure has already accumulated some repair backlog, which should be a factor in financial investments. With customer-oriented services and a secure and functional digital infrastructure, we can continue to ensure reliable and easy-to-use public services in the future as well”, says Viskari.

Read the new Digihumaus report 

For more information on the report

  • Digital and Population Data Services Agency, Eetu Jokela, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 535 056, [email protected]
  • Digital and Population Data Services Agency, Joonas Aitonurmi, Senior Specialist tel. +358 295 535 189, [email protected]

What is Digihumaus report?

The Digihumaus report is published annually by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. It presents development proposals that could be used to respond to the societal challenges of the near future by making better use of existing and new technologies and by developing administrative practices. The information base of the 2024 report was compiled by analysing reports from different research institutes and forecasts by Statistics Finland and by extensively involving the personnel and stakeholders of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.