Study shows that the wellbeing effect of Finnish museums is worth millions

The Finnish Museums Association has published the results of a study mapping the perceived feelings of wellbeing from museum visits. Up to 99% felt that visiting a museum had positive effects on their long-term wellbeing. The value of the wellbeing experienced in one visit was 864 euros on average, giving a total of more than 203 million euros.

The research was led by John Falk, Institute for Learning Innovation, and involved 8 Finnish Museums. The study considered four areas of wellbeing: personal, intellectual, social and physical. Visitors who participated in the study were asked to fill out a survey directly after the visit as well as 1 month later. The results show that 99% of the respondents felt that the visit promoted wellbeing. Visitors estimated that the social and physical wellbeing effects of visiting the museum lasted an average of one day. According to some respondents, the effects on personal and intellectual wellbeing lasted up to a month and on average two to three days.

In addition to analysing the monetary value if the visitors’ perceived wellbeing, the study also examined the value of perceived wellbeing in relation to the museum operations costs. The value produced by museums in relation to investments was on average +2,900%. Each invested euro brought 30 euros worth of wellbeing to the museum visitor.

Petra Havu, CEO of the Finnish Museums Association and member of the NEMO Executive Board, reports that “Finnish museums are pioneers in this internationally pioneering research.It is an important opening that offers a new way to determine the importance of museums in society.The services produced by museums are very cost-effective, and they have both extensive and long-lasting effects".

The research data was collected between May and October 2022. A random sample of 5,499 museum visitors were approached to be part of the research, 70% of whom were willing to participate.