Interactive: The 100 richest people in Finland

November is the big gossip fest in Finland. Every year in the beginning of the month the tax records from last year are published. In other words: you get to know who made the most money.

Every year the Finnish media outlets do a very conventional presentation of this material. Page after page of lists of top-earners. Rarely does anyone do anything more creative with the data.

I gave it a shot. This is what came out:

Open the interactive visualization in new window.


This is my first visualization in Raphael.js. Previously I have been working with D3 and Protovis, but the weak browser support of these two libraries is becoming a growing concern. Especially when one tries to do sell the work. However, I have found Raphael to be very useful and somehow more intuitive than D3.

The idea for this presentation came from the super-visualization, The Sexperience, by British Channel 4, a survey about the sex life of ordinary Brits (don’t worry, you can open it at work as well). I think the geniality behind this setup is that you can follow the respondents in the quiz from question to question, which gives the user the possibility to explore the relation between different questions instead of just looking at one question at a time. What are for example the sexual preferences of the people who lost their virginity late?

To some extent my presentation of the 100 top earners let you do the same thing. You can select the persons you are interested in and follow them through the presentation. This is a potential of the modern web that I think we will see much more of in the future.


14 Comments on “Interactive: The 100 richest people in Finland”

  1. ponks says:

    Applause. Äntligen nåt vettigt gjort av all den där infon.

  2. MK says:

    Visually impressive, but ultimately FAIL. It’s probably safe to assume the statistics shown call for equality. You’re even pointing out that most of the top earners were men. Your bias shows, however in presenting the “average Finn” as “Matti Meikäläinen”, a man, whereas irl women make up the majority of people in Finland. Yet we’re still talked about as if WE were the exception. Stupid.

  3. MK says:

    The “stupid” wasn’t primarily targeted at you. It was targeted at everyone who assumes men to be the norm even when they aren’t. There are occasions where men really are the norm (heavy metal bands, the army, dj’s…), but that doesn’t change the fact that in a country where there is a greater number of X than Y then X should usually be considered the norm. For what it’s worth.

    In a graphic where women are from the start marked with a pink dress and men with a blue work overall, a figure named Matti in a blue overall would quite logically be thought of as a man. Don’t change the rules in the middle of the game.

    • Jens Finnäs says:

      I understand your point although I think you are in this case partly seeing what you want to see. Look at the viz one more time. The women do not wear dresses. Matti is not blue.

  4. MK says:

    yep, Matti was gray and no one was wearing a dress or a work overall. btw if I’d thought that the whole viz was useless, I wouldn’t have bothered to criticize it in the first place. But a single flaw in a luxury product always looks worse than a flaw in a product that’s not so good to begin with. I saw that you are based in Stockholm, the feminist capital of the world. Sensitivity to every gender detail is called for even more in Sweden than in Finland, I should think 🙂

  5. […] plus riches Finlandais ? Grâce à une représentation très épurée, Finnas met en lumière un certain de nombre de vérités dévoilées tous les mois de novembre en Finlande par les services des impôts (vous savez, ceux […]

  6. […] attitudes differ in some other countries. I have just been reminded of this, having seen a visualisation of the details of Finland’s highest […]

  7. Sara says:

    If we rail against the high-income earners who pay a mere 28% in taxes, shouldn’t we simultaneously applaud those high-income earners who voluntarily pay noticeably higher taxes? Try following for example Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo and Matti Alahuhta. You’ll notice that they are the outliers hanging out around the 50% tax line. A quick google/wikipedia search, along with some common sense, will reveal that these people are making quite a contribution towards keeping the Finnish economy afloat, and keeping quite a few Matti Meikalainens employed in the process. We owe thanks to the creativity and hard work of some of the people in this visualization for keeping Matti comfortably paid over 30,000 euros per year – a very impressive average salary if you consider an international perspective. If you think it’s wrong that Kallasvuo and Alahuhta make more money than Matti, I would urge you to think twice before scaring them away to other countries, where 50% tax rates are unheard of, and Matti’s livelihood is far less comfortable. I’m confident that there are many other countries that would receive these people with open arms if we don’t want them in Finland. Prosperity is not propagated by taxes alone. Happy Independence Day!

  8. […] the richest people in Finland? With a simple and uncluttered layout, Finn sheds some light on some facts revealed every November in Finland by the tax service (you know, the ones that aren’t […]

  9. Anne says:

    Precisely the possibility of a ‘story’ seems interesting in Raphael. We’ve seen enough of mere pictures made out of data. Thanks for sharing your work ; )

  10. […] mukaan Finnäs käynnisteli ohjelmoinnin opettelua vielä noin vuosi sitten, mutta piirtelee jo näyttäviä animoituja datavisualisointeja. Klikkaamalla kuvaa pääset Jens Finnäsin visualisointtin Suomen rikkaimmista […]

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