Concepts and definitions


In connection with vital events, age data refer to the age on the day the event took place. Average age is obtained by adding up the ages of all persons involved in the same event at the time of the event, after which the sum is divided by the number of these persons. As the used age of a person is given in full years at the time of the event, it is not the exact age of that person. For this reason, it is assumed when computing average age that the persons were aged x+0.5, on average, at the time of the event.

Age-specific death rate

The age-specific death rate refers to the number of deaths per 1,000 of the mean population in the age group in question.


Statistics on deaths are based on data derived from the Population Register Centre's Population Information System maintained by local register offices. People who lived permanently in Finland at the time of their death are entered in the statistics on deaths in Finland. Death certificates are used at Statistics Finland for compiling cause-of-death statistics. The number of deaths in the population statistics differs somewhat from the figure given in the statistics on causes of death. The difference is caused by that the vital statistics do not contain deaths registered as deaths after the compilation time of the statistics (the end of the following year's January).

General death rate

General death rate indicates the number of deaths per 1,000 or 100,000 persons of the mean population.

Increase of population

Increase of population is the sum of excess of births over deaths and net immigration.


Information on language is obtained from the Population Information System. At the same time as parents register the name of their new-born, they also indicate the child's mother tongue. That language is retained in the Population Information System unless it is changed upon separate application.

Languages are classified by the Population Register Centre according to the ISO 639 standard. The future language classification ISO-639-1 was already adopted for the 2000 population census.

Life expectancy

The number of years that a person of a given age would live provided that the rate of mortality remains unchanged.

Marital status

The information on marital status is derived from the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre. It should be noted that common-law marriage or cohabiting is not a marital status. People representing all marital status categories may be cohabiting, including those who are still officially married.

The current divorce regulations no longer recognise the concept of legal separation. Those persons who are legally separated on the basis of the old divorce provisions prior to 1 January 1988 and still living apart have been slotted under married persons in the statistics.

Same-sex couples have been able to register their partnership in Finland as of 1 March 2002. For reasons of data protection, in municipal tables those living in a registered partnership are classified together with married persons, as are those divorced or widowed from a registered partnership with divorced and widowed persons.

The classification of marital status is as follows:

  • Unmarried
  • Married
  • Divorced
  • Widowed
  • Partner in a registered partnership
  • Divorced from a registered partnership
  • Widowed after a registered partnership

Perinatal mortality

Perinatal mortality refers to the number of stillbirths and those who died in their first week of life per 1,000 births.

Probability of death

The probability of death at some age x refers to the probability of a person living until the age of x to die during that year of age.


The information about sex has been obtained from the Population Information System.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Deaths [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-2545. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.10.2017].
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