Causes of death

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Health
Related topics: Population
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


Statistics Finland annually produces statistics on causes of death and the development of mortality. Statistics Finland also maintains death certificate archives from where death certificate data or copies of death certificates are released for purposes defined by law. The archives contain Finnish residents' death certificates from 1936 onwards. The death certificates from 1936 to 1965 are located in the National Archive and newer certificates are archived at Statistics Finland.

The statistics on causes of death are based on data derived from the death certificates that are complemented with data on deaths from the Population Information System of the Population Register. The statistics on causes of death include all deaths in Finland or abroad of persons permanently resident in Finland at the time of their death.

Investigating the cause of death and the related procedures including the production of statistics and archiving of death certificates is based on the Act (1973/459) and Decree (1973/948) on the investigation of the cause of death. Commission Regulation (EC) No 328/2011 confirms the data that EU Member States have to deliver concerning the statistics on causes of death.

Data content

The statistics on causes of death contain data on the deceased according to causes of death, age, sex and other demographic factors. The statistics also include data on the circumstances of the death. Annual cause of death statistics are compiled according to the underlying cause of death. Other causes of death are mainly used in special studies. Data on individual units may not be disclosed.

Cause of death data can be combined to other datasets, and the data thus formed can be used to examine, for example, how socio-economic factors affect mortality or the connection between occupation and mortality.

Classifications used

Since 1996, the statistics have been compiled based on the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Between 1987 and 1995, the data were classified using the national classification of diseases 1987 and from 1969 to 1986, the international classification ICD-8 was in use. The national time series classification (54 categories) contains comparable data from 1969 onwards. The classifications of causes of death currently in use are described on the home page of the statistics in Classifications. A conversion key between the 54-category time series classification and previous cause of death classifications can also be found there.

Data collection methods and data sources

The statistics are based on death certificate data and data on the deceased obtained from the Population Information System.

Updating frequency

Cause of death data are produced yearly. The data are final and describe the deaths during the previous calendar year of persons permanently resident in Finland.

Time of completion or release

The data from the previous year are completed at the end of the following year.

Time series

Cause of death statistics have been compiled since 1936. The data for 1936 to 1968 are in table format in the paper publications. From 1969, data are available in the time series database.


alcohol mortality, infant mortality, suicides, causes of death, death certificates, mortality, child mortality, fatal traffic accidents, neonatal mortality, perinatal mortality, drug-related deaths, autopsy, accident mortality, mortality from diseases, mortality from violence, maternal mortality

Contact information

Last updated 20.12.2017