16.11.2023 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics on living conditions describe the living conditions of households and persons by population group on different topics, such as the risk of poverty or social exclusion, perceived health and well-being, economic situation and housing.

The statistics on living conditions is prepared annually from statistical data set based on a sample survey.  Besides the statistics on living conditions, data from it is produced for income distribution statistics and a separate data set for EU statistical office, Eurostat’s international, comparative Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC).   

The statistical data set is compiled in accordance with the EU frame regulation in force concerning social statistics (EU) 1700/2019 (in 2003–2020 (EU) 1177/2003) and with implementation regulations (e.g. (EU) 2019/2242) concerning EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC).

Statistical population

The target population of the statistics on living conditions are private households and their members in Finland.

The frame population includes all private households and their members living permanently in Finland at the end of the statistical reference year (31.12., survey year – 1).

Excluded from the frame population are persons without a postal address, the institutional population (e.g. long-term residents of old people's homes, care institutions, prisons or hospitals), persons permanently resident abroad and persons temporarily resident in Finland. Conscripts are regarded as part of the population in the statistics.

Statistical unit

The statistical units of the statistics on living conditions are a private household (a common housekeeping unit) and person.

Unit of measure

The published data of the statistics on living conditions use the following measurement units: euros, %, number of households, number of persons.

Base period

The base year for the real values of monetary data in the statistics on living conditions is the statistical reference year 2021.

Reference period

The data of the statistics on living conditions describe data for the survey year (the year for interviewing data) and for the previous year (whole calendar year and 31 December).

Reference area

Regional classifications used in the statistics on living conditions are corresponding to the EU's uniform NUTS classification of regional units (NUTS2, or classification of major regions, NUTS3 or classification of regions), municipality and the region for the statistics on living conditions.
 

Sector coverage

The statistics on living conditions cover private households.

Time coverage

The data cover the years 2003 to 2022. Most of the data are updated annually. Some of the data are updated at set years as a result of annually changing data content.

Frequency of dissemination

The data of the statistics on living conditions are disseminated yearly. Possible revisions are made to the time series in connection with annual releases.

Concepts

Low work intensity

Persons with low work intensity are persons who belong to a household whose working-age members worked under 20 per cent of their possible total labour input during the year. In the calculation, the months worked by working-age persons are proportioned to the theoretical maximum number of months in gainful employment of working-age members of the household. Persons of working age include persons aged 18 to 64, excluding students aged 18 to 24, persons who have reported themselves as primarily pensioners, persons who receive pension income (excl. survivors' pensions and disability pensions, private pensions as property income) and persons aged 60 or over who are not at work at all and whose household's main source of income is pensions (excl. survivors' pensions, and disability pensions, private pensions as property income). The indicator is not formed at all for households that consist only of underage children, students aged under 25 or persons aged 65 or over. In the calculation, part-time work is changed to correspond to full-time work based on hours worked per week.

The definition of low work intensity was revised at Eurostat in 2021. Statistics Finland's statistics on living conditions release data on low work intensity with the new definition starting from the releases for the statistical reference year 2020. Data according to the new definition are available in database tables starting from 2015. Time series data according to the old definition from 2005 to 2019 are available in the table archive. The definition change has an impact on the indicator describing at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

According to the old definition, persons with low work intensity are persons who belong to a household whose working-age members worked under 20 per cent of their possible total labour input during the year. In the calculation, the months worked by working-age persons were proportioned to the theoretical maximum number of months in gainful employment of working-age members of the household. According to the old definition, persons aged 18 to 59 excluding students aged 18 to 24 were included in working-age persons. The indicator was not formed at all for households that consisted only of underage children, students aged under 25 or persons aged 60 or over. In the calculation of the old definition, part-time work was changed to correspond to full-time work based on hours worked per week.

Overcrowding

A household's dwelling is overcrowded, if the number of available rooms is under the number which would be necessary based on its composition. The imputed need for rooms is affected by the number of household members, and for persons aged over 18 whether they live as a couple, and the gender of those aged 12 to 17. In addition to one separate room, a household needs at least one room per two persons. Exceptions are persons aged over 18 living alone, and persons aged 12 to 17 of different genders for whom one room is needed per person.

Person with disability

A person with disability is someone who in at least one of the following basic actions has a lot of difficulties or cannot do it at all: seeing (even if wearing glasses), hearing (even if wearing a hearing aid), walking or climbing steps, remembering or concentrating, self-care, such as washing all over or dressing, and communicating in one's own language so that one understands others and is understood by others. The question series is a short set of the indicators of functioning of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics operating under the United Nations Statistical Commission, and the definition of disability complies with the recommendation given by the group.

Risk of poverty or social exclusion

The risk of poverty or social exclusion refers to the population who is either a member of a low income household, has severe material and social deprivation or lives in a household with low work intensity. The so-called AROPE indicator (At Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion) that measures the risk of poverty or social exclusion is part of the monitoring of the targets of the EU 2030 strategy.

The low income household sub-indicator published by Statistics Finland as part of the indicator for at risk of poverty or social exclusion is based on the internationally comparable income concept (disposable monetary income excl. sales profits). The concept corresponds to the income concept used by Eurostat in the EU-SILC statistics but differs slightly from it as concerns fringe benefits of wages and salaries. They are included in income in the national statistics but not in the EU-SILC except the car benefit. The deviation causes a small difference to the at-risk-of-poverty rate and as a result, to the risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared to the figures published by Eurostat.

The reference period of the indicator for at risk of poverty or social exclusion is the income reference year in Statistics Finland's publications. Of the three components of the indicator, low income and low work intensity refer to the income reference year whereas severe material and social deprivation refers to the data collection year which is the year following the income reference year. On Eurostat's web pages the indicator is published according to the survey year.

Among the components of the indicator for at risk of poverty or social exclusion, Eurostat revised the definitions of severe material and social deprivation and low work intensity in 2021. Statistics Finland's statistics on living conditions release data on those at risk with the new definition starting from the releases for the statistical reference year 2020. Data according to the new definition are available in database tables starting from 2015. Time series data according to the old definition from 2005 to 2019 are available in the table archive.

Severe material and social deprivation

The indicator for material and social deprivation describes shortages related to basic needs which arise from the household not being able to afford them. There are 13 basic needs. If a household has a shortage of at least seven of them, it is considered to experience severe material and social deprivation.

Some of basic needs are at household level and some at individual level. Shortages of basic needs measured at the household level include:
• capacity to being confronted with payment arrears (on mortgage or rental payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments),
• capacity to face unexpected expenses,
• the household cannot afford a car
• the household cannot afford a protein-rich meal every second day
• the household cannot afford one week's annual holiday away from outside home,
• the household cannot afford to keep their home adequately warm,
• the household cannot afford to buy new furniture to replace broken ones.

At individual level, shortages of basic needs are as follows:
• no access to the Internet when needed,
• cannot afford to buy some new clothes to replace worn-out clothes,
• cannot afford two pairs of properly fitting shoes,
• cannot afford to spend a small amount of money each week on one's own expenses,
• cannot afford to have regular leisure activities outside home
• get together with relatives or friends for a coffee or meal at least once a month.

The components describing individual-level deprivation are collected in Finland for one household member (the so-called target person). If the respondent experiences shortage in some basic need, it is assumed to apply to the entire household.

The indicator for severe material and social deprivation has been revised at Eurostat in 2021. Statistics Finland's statistics on living conditions release data on material and social deprivation with the new definition starting from the releases for the statistical reference year 2020. Data according to the new definition are available in database tables starting from 2015. Time series data according to the old definition from 2005 to 2019 are available in the table archive. The change in the definition has an impact on the indicator describing at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

Previously, the indicator was known as severe material deprivation. According to the old definition, deprivation of basic needs included experiencing payment difficulties on housing expenditures and loans, difficulty coping with unexpected financial expenses, the household cannot afford a telephone, washing machine, television, car, protein-rich meal every other day, one week's holiday per year outside home or keep their home warm enough. Measured by the old indicator, persons whose household experienced deprivation measured by at least four indicators out of nine were considered severely materially deprived.

Under-occupied dwelling

A household has at least one room more than it needs based on its composition (see the definition for overcrowded dwelling for details on calculating the room need).

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The statistics on living conditions are based on a representative sample survey in which data are collected by interviewing households. A large part of the data derives from registers. All subjective data and opinions have been collected with interviews.

The sources of error are sampling error and other error sources are coverage, measurement, non-response and processing errors. The main sources of error in the statistics on living conditions are related to non-response. They are unit and item non-response. The unit non-response is corrected with weighting. Due to the sampling design of the statistics on living conditions (two-phase stratified sampling), the non-response of design weights is first corrected by stratum with the inverse inclusion probability figure of sample persons. After this, the response-corrected weights are scaled to the number of households and the weights are calibrated to correspond with the population’s key known distributions and sums in the total data. Item non-response is related to the data collected from sample persons with interviews, for which a proxy respondent is not allowed in place of the sample person. Item non-response is corrected with separate weights. Differing from standard weighting, weights corrected for non-response are scaled to the number of persons (persons aged 16 or over) when forming these. Similarly, the data used for calibration differ from those used for calculating standard weights.

As a result of error sources, result data may contain systematic errors (the measured value of the result variable differs from its correct value). The magnitude of the bias is difficult to estimate with respect to subjective data, the bias and accuracy of estimates are assessed with the help of the standard error of the data.

Timeliness

The data of the statistics on living conditions are released approximately 15 to 16 months from the end of the statistical reference year and approximately 10 to 11 months from the end of the collection of the data collected with interviews.

The statistics on living conditions does not release preliminary data.

Punctuality

The data of the statistics on living conditions are supplied to users punctually in accordance with the release date stated in the release calendar approximately 15–16 months from the end of the statistical reference year and 10–11 months from the end of the collection of the data collected with interviews.

Data revision - practice

Methodological changes to the statistical reference year and the revisions to time series data they cause are planned in advance. The time series is revised if the effect on key result data of the statistics is statistically significant.

The measurement of the risk of poverty or social inclusion indicator has been renewed for the statistical reference year 2020. Measurements of low work intensity and severe material and social deprivation are based on new definitions in accordance with statistics compiled by the Statistical Office of the European Union.

Sampling errors (user) / A1a

Persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion, % from the household population, standard errors and confidence limits
Year % Standard error Confidence limits (95 %)
Lower Upper
2018 14.8 0.26 14.3 15.3
2019 15.1 0.29 14.5 15.6
2020 14.3 0.32 13.6 14.9
2021 16.3 0.35 15.7 17.0

 

Non-sampling error

Other sources of error are coverage, measurement, non-response and processing errors.

The main sources of error in the statistics on living conditions are related to non-response. They are unit and item non-response. Unit non-response is corrected with weighting. Due to the sampling design of the statistics on living conditions (two-phase stratified sampling), the non-response of design weights is first corrected by stratum with the inverse figure of sample persons. After this, the response-corrected weights are scaled to the number of households and the weights are calibrated to correspond with the population’s key known distributions and sums in the total data. Item non-response is related to the data collected from sample persons with interviews, for which a proxy respondent is not allowed in place of the sample person. Item non-response is corrected with separate weights. Differing from standard weighting, weights corrected for non-response are scaled to the number of persons (persons aged 16 or over) when forming these. Similarly, the data used for calibration differ from those used for calculating standard weights.

The coverage error of the statistics on living conditions is minor. Likewise, the processing error of the statistics compiled annually with an established production process is estimated to be relatively small.

Coverage error

The sampling frame consists of total data based on the Statistics Finland's population and dwelling data resource covering the statistical population.  The total data updates regularly by data from the Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data. The reference period of the population of the sample data is 31 December.

The sampling frame is formed before the end of the statistical reference year, as a result of which the sampling frame contains slight errors. The sample is checked from the updated total data before the data collection and after that in the interviews, when persons not belonging to the target population of the statistics in the reference period (31 December), so called over-coverage, are removed from it. Excluded from the accepted sample are persons temporarily absent from the household, e.g. persons residing abroad for more than a year if their household resident in Finland considers that the person was not part of the household in question during the reference period. There is a small number of sample persons belonging to the so-called under-coverage left outside the sampling frame, which synchronise with the registers at a delay.
 

Over-coverage rate / A2

The over-coverage of the statistics on living conditions was 1.1 per cent of the gross sample (unweighted) in 2022.

Measurement error

In the statistics on living conditions, the measurement error is primarily connected to data collected with interviews, which is affected by error sources concerning responses, both for the target and the interviewer. The error is estimated to be random for a majority of the data.

Measurement errors in the data collection are prevented with interviewer training and instructions for data collection, as well as questionnaire designing and testing. Automatic checks (outlier and data logicality checks) are included in the electronic form. The data obtained from the data collection are checked and errors are corrected in the statistics.

Non-response error

The unit and item non-responses of the statistics on living conditions are corrected with weighting, which aims to remove the non-response error.

Unit non-response rate / A4

The unit non-response of the statistics on living conditions was 29.3 per cent of the entire net sample in 2022 (unweighted data). A rotating four-panel design is used in the statistics. Net non-response by panel was 51.1 per cent in the first survey round, 18.8 per cent in the second survey round, 12.2 per cent in the third survey round and 7.8 per cent in the fourth survey round in 2022.

The unit non-response of the statistics on living conditions is corrected with weighting.

Item non-response rate / A5

The item non-response in the statistics on living conditions is determined based on the non-response of the sample person. Particularly data for which a proxy respondent is not allowed and data are not imputed contain item non-response. These are subjective data and opinions concerning a sample person.

In the statistics on living conditions, item non-response was 9.4 per cent of the approved sample in 2022 (unweighted data). The data concern perceived health. The item non-response of the statistics on living conditions is corrected with weighting.

Processing error

Data processing errors in the statistics on living conditions are minor. The data are processed in the established production process by work phase.

Model assumption error

The sampling design and estimation of the statistics on living conditions are based on established methods. Design-based estimation is used, for which the data selection is model-assisted.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The statistics on living conditions are based on a nationally representative sample. The data are regionally comparable according to the regional classifications (NUTS2, or major region classification, statistical grouping of municipalities) used in the statistics and internationally between the countries of the EU-SILC statistics (EU-SILC, Statistics on Income and Living Conditions).

Comparability - over time

Time series data comparable over time are available for the statistics on living conditions annually from 2003 to 2022. The lengths of the time series vary in the statistics. Some of the data are collected and compiled only at set years.

The measurement of the risk of poverty or social inclusion indicator has been renewed for the statistical reference year 2020.  Measurements of low work intensity and severe material and social deprivation are based on new definitions in accordance with statistics compiled by the Statistical Office of the European Union. Comparable time series on at the risk of poverty or social exclusion are available starting from the statistical reference year 2018. The previous comparable time series is for 2008 to 2019.

The data collection method of the survey was changed in 2022. At that time, online responding was introduced as a data collection method alongside telephone interviews. Online responding was offered to households with only one member at the time of sampling. Of the survey sample obtained, approximately 10 per cent of the responses were collected with a web form. The web responders represent around 550,000 households in the whole population, that is, around 19 per cent of all households. 

Due to the change in the data collection method, data for 2022 may involve uncertainties as to the comparability of the data with previous years. The possible uncertainty primarily concerns questions sensitive to the data collection method, such as data concerning an individual's own estimate or feelings. The uncertainties are emphasised in the population groups covered by web responding, especially among those living alone. However, the data published in the tables can, as a rule, be considered comparable with previous years. 

In 2022, data based on the Incomes Register were used as partial substitute for previous interview data in forming the data describing a person's employment and other economic activity. In addition, data describing activity were collected from the respondents with a renewed data collection form. Due to changes in the data source and data collection form, the input data used in the classification of socio-economic group have changed. However, with consideration to ordinary uncertainties related to sample statistics, the time series of socio-economic groups can be considered comparable with previous years.
 

Coherence - cross domain

The statistics on living conditions are coherent with the income distribution statistics and the households’ wealth survey. They are compiled in an integrated manner from the same sample data.

The income distribution statistics, the Household Budget Survey and the statistics on households’ assets form a coherent set of statistics.

Coherence - sub-annual and annual statistics

The statistics on living conditions are annual statistics.

Coherence -national accounts

The income concepts of the statistics on living conditions and the income distribution statistics are coherent.

Coherence - internal

The statistics on living conditions are internally almost coherent apart from weighting. In addition to the weights (standard weights) calculated as coherent with the ESS EU-SILC statistics, separate weights are used in national statistics for persons aged 16 or over to correct the item non-response of data describing the sample person. The calculation method for separate weights differs from that for standard weights.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The source data for the statistics on living conditions are the data collected with interviews and registers.

Key register sources are:

  • The Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and Statistics Finland's population and dwelling data resource 
  • The Tax Administration's tax database
  • The Social Insurance Institution of Finland's pension and benefit database (health insurance compensation and rehabilitation register, registers of child maintenance allowances, financial aid for students and housing allowances)
  • Data on preventive and supplementary income support collected by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) from municipalities
  • The register of pension contingency of the Finnish Centre for Pensions
  • Statistics Finland’s Register of Completed Education and Degrees
  • The State Treasury's database on the military injuries indemnity system
  • The Financial Supervisory Authority's data (earnings-related unemployment allowances)
  • Statistics Finland's Business Register
  • The Employment Fund’s (formerly the Education Fund) data

The sampling frame consists of total data based on the Statistics Finland's population and dwelling data resource covering the statistical population. The total data updates regularly by data from the Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data. The reference period of the population of the sample data is 31 December.

The sampling frame is formed before the end of the statistical reference year, as a result of which the sampling frame contains slight errors (Section 13.3.31 Coverage error). The sample is checked from the updated total data before the data collection and over-coverage is corrected from it before selecting the sample. The sampling frame is used for different sampling purposes, forming household-dwelling units and strata in the statistics on living conditions.

The Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data frame covers population exhaustively and up-to date. Data on population changes are updated in real-time. Statistics Finland uses the data weekly for it’s personal and dwelling resource which are data sources for statistical purposes, e.g. for releasing preliminary statistics on population by municipalities.

Sampling

The sample survey of living conditions follows 4-year rotating panel design. Each panel consists of four survey years.

Up to the reference year 2021, the sampling design is a two-phase stratified sampling. In the first phase the master sample of persons at least 16 years (50,000, 100,000 in 2017 and since 2020) is selected with systematic sampling from the total frame. In the second phase the random sample of persons (5,000) with their household-dwelling units is selected from the stratified master sample using non-proportional allocation. Selection probabilities differ between strata.  Strata uses 12 socio-economic groups. Socio-economic groups are formed on the basis of taxable income type and level of the person with the highest income in the household-dwelling unit (entrepreneurs as an exception). The taxation data refers to the previous calendar year of the income reference year. Starting from the statistical reference year 2022, the sample has been drawn directly from total data covering the target population.

In 2020, a draw of an additional sample of 500 persons was included in the first survey round of the sample. Since 2021, the sample size of the first survey round has been 5,500 persons and their household-dwelling units. 

Due to the panel design, additional samples of persons of 16 years old are selected for the 2nd to 4th waves following the principles of the second phase sample selection.

Statistical population are persons of private households permanently resident in Finland on 31st December. Sample unit is a person at least 16 years. Interviewed data is collected in from January to May of the subsequent year.

Data collection

The main data collection method for the data collected with the interviews of the statistics on living conditions up to the reference year 2021 is a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI). Only a small part of the interviews (around one to two per cent) are collected with a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI). Nearly all data on persons' living conditions are inquired by interviewing one member of the household aged 16 or over. The person can be a sample person or that person’s proxy in the household.

The data collection method of the survey was changed in 2022. At that time, online responding was introduced as a data collection method alongside telephone interviews. Online responding was offered to households with only one member at the time of sampling. Of the survey sample obtained, approximately 10 per cent of the responses were collected with a web form. The web responders represent around 550,000 households in the whole population, that is, around 19 per cent of all households.

Frequency of data collection

The basic data for the statistics on living conditions are collected annually.

Common units proportion / A3

In the statistics on living conditions, the share of units included both in the data collection and in administrative sources was around 100 per cent of the sample persons and persons belonging to their households.

Cost and burden

Statistics Finland's statistics on living conditions and income distribution statistics are formed in an integrated manner. A considerable cost burden is caused by data collected from households with interviews. These data are not available with other methods or there are no administrative data sources available for forming them. The response burden is related to the interview data collection.

Methods

Data compilation

Data editing and imputation

The subjective data and opinions compiled from the statistics on living conditions include item non-response. Missing data are not imputed. Instead of imputation, item non-response is corrected with separate weights (see below).

Weighting coefficients

Households and persons whose participation has been approved receive a weighting coefficient with which their data are raised to represent the data of the basic population. The survey data contain three types of weights that are used depending on the population of the data, the data collection unit, that is, concerning who or which household members the data have been collected, and whether a proxy respondent could or could not be used in collecting the data. The data collection units are all household members and the household’s sample person aged 16 or over. Some of the data concerning the sample person may have been collected from a proxy respondent, that is, from a member of the household aged at least 16 responding on behalf of the sample person. Some of the data cannot be collected from a proxy respondent (e.g. data on perceived well-being and health), so the item non-response related to these data has been taken into account in forming the weighting coefficients.

First, design weights are formed for households relying on the probability of the household being included in the sample. Next, a non-response correction is performed for the design weights of the approved sample by multiplying them by the inverse of the share of households having responded acceptably for each stratum. These weights corrected for non-response based on sample level data are calibrated using the CALMAR macro to correspond with the known key distributions and sums of the population. The procedure aims at reducing the bias caused by the selectivity of non-response and produce as exact estimates as possible for the main result variables. In the calibration of the weights for the 2022 material, the following data were used:
 
  • Area (division of regions, where Helsinki and the rest of the Greater Helsinki region separately; statistical grouping of municipalities)
  • Size of household-dwelling unit
  • Age and gender groups of members
  • Level of education of members
  • Total sums of the main income items: wages and salaries, entrepreneurial and property income, unemployment allowances (basic unemployment allowance and labour market allowance, earnings-related share), pensions, interest on housing and student loans, number of income recipients (earnings-related unemployment allowance, wage and salary income, pension income)
  • Register-based low income

This weighting coefficient is used to produce data concerning the whole household or all members of the household and represent corresponding groups in the population. For data concerning a sample person for which the use of a proxy respondent is allowed, individual weights derived from this weighting coefficient are calculated, with which the data represent persons aged 16 or over belonging to households in the population. The weights are scaled simply by the number of members in the population.

The sum of the weighting coefficients of the sample households that responded acceptably is an estimate of the total number of households in the population at the end of the statistical reference year. Starting from the statistical reference year 2022, register data sources based on total data are used in the estimation of the total number of households. These are estimated to describe the number and structure of households more accurately than before. Prior to that, a so-called master sample drawn from the population at the end of the statistical reference year was primarily used in the estimation. Due to the new method, the total number of households at the end of the year differs slightly more from the number of household-dwelling units.

In addition, separate individual weights are used in the publication of subjective data (health, perceived well-being) concerning only the sample person, by means of which the data are generalised to the entire household population aged 16 or over. A proxy respondent cannot be used when collecting these data, for which reason separate weights have been formed for the publication of the data. These take into account not only unit non-response but also item non-response related to personal questions. The design weights on which these weighting coefficients are based have been corrected for non-response taking into account item non-response and scaled to the entire household population aged 16 or over. The non-response corrected design weights have then been calibrated using various key marginal distributions. In the calibration for 2022, these data were:

  • Area (division of regions, where Helsinki and the rest of the Greater Helsinki region separately; statistical grouping of municipalities)
  • Size of household
  • Age and gender groups
  • Level of education
  • Lowest income quintile
  • Socio-economic group
  • Number of persons at risk of povery (acconding to income disbritubution statistics)

Data validation

The source data of the statistics on living conditions are collected from statistical and administrative registers and by interviews.

Statistical and administrative registers are exhaustive and high standard. Changes of data contents are validated with utmost care in data entry and data processing stages.

Many controls for interviewed data have been built in electronic questionnaires. They are values plausibility and logical checks. The questionnaire is designed and tested annually to consider implemented changes, e.g. changes due to modularisation, and to minimize response errors. After interviewed data collection the data are processed at the unit level with necessary checks and edits following standard rules, mainly automatically in electronic procedures.

Systematic error sources are assessed by comparing estimates with data on the whole population obtained from the total data of the income distribution statistics and registers. Comparisons are conducted annually and information on them can be requested from Statistics Finland.

The validation of income data is described in more detail in the quality description of the income distribution statistics.

Documentation on methodology

The data content of the statistics on living conditions is based on the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC; Framework Regulation (EU) 1700/2019 and in 2003–2020 Framework Regulation (EU) 1177/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council).

The income data used in the classifications are based on data formed for the needs of the income distribution statistics sample data. These income data follow the international recommendations of income distribution statistics: OECD (2013) OECD Framework for Statistics on the Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth, OECD Publishing; UNECE (2011) Canberra Group Handbook on Household Income Statistics, Second Edition 2011.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Social Statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligations to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act on the Openness of Goverment Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU's regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of the EU Member States.

Further information: Statistical legislation.
 
The data content of the statistics on living conditions is based on framework Regulation (EU) 1700/2019 (in 2003–2020 (EU) 1177/2003) concerning EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The data content collected at set intervals is confirmed by EU Commission regulations implementing the framework regulation (e.g. statistical reference year 2018: (EU) 2018/174).

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1059/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violationf of data protection is punishable.

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

Confidentiality - data treatment

The processing of the data is limited by user licences to the producers of the statistics. All persons employed by Statistics Finland have signed a pledge of secrecy, where they have obliged to keep secret the data prescribed as confidential by virtue of the Statistics Act or the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.

The compilation of statistics is steered by the Statistics Act (280/2004). Alongside the Statistics Act, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation EU 2016/679 and the national Data Protection Act are applied to the processing of personal data. Confidentiality of data collected for statistical purposes is decreed in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999).

In addition, statistics compilation is steered by the EU regulations on European social statistics and EU-SILC (EU-SILC, Statistics on Income and Living Conditions).

The statistical data on which the statistics on living conditions are based are released to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, for the EU-SILC statistics. The statistical data do not contain direct identifiers. In addition, protection measures common to the countries and, where necessary, nation-specific measures, are applied to the data. Eurostat releases data from the EU-SILC statistics for research use upon application. Researchers handling the data sign a pledge of secrecy.

The data of the statistics are combined with the service set of Statistics Finland's income distribution statistics.

Statistical protection methods are described, for example, in the Handbook on Statistical Disclosure Control (2010).

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information:  Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland.

 

Data sharing

The statistical data on which the statistics on living conditions are based are used for the international EU-SILC statistics (EU-SILC, Statistics on income and living conditions). Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, is responsible for compiling statistics on the EU-SILC and for the release of its statistical data for research use. Research use requires an application for licence to use statistical data.

Other

Data on the statistics on living conditions are available as chargeable special compilations, such as table data, through Statistics Finland's research services.

Data collected for statistical purposes must be kept confidential by virtue of Section 24 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). The response data are only used for statistical purposes. The research data are protected in accordance with the data protection regulations of Statistics Finland and responses given by individual households cannot be distinguished from the statistical tables.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases. 

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service. 

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, publishes data from the EU-SILC statistics (EU-SILC, Statistics on income and living conditions) on its own home pages.

Micro-data access

The data of the statistics on living conditions are released as anonymised unit-level micro data for scientific research use and statistical surveys through Statistics Finland's research services. The use of micro data is subject to licence.

Data collected for statistical purposes must be kept confidential by virtue of Section 24 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). The response data are only used for statistical purposes. The research data are protected in accordance with the data protection regulations of Statistics Finland and responses given by individual households cannot be distinguished from the statistical tables. According to Section 13 of the Statistics Act (280/2004), Statistics Finland may, on the basis of a separate application for licence to use statistical data, release data for scientific studies and statistical surveys without data enabling direct identification. The Statistics Act prohibits the use of data collected for statistical purposes in an investigation, surveillance, legal proceedings, administrative decision-making or other similar handling of a matter concerning the enterprise. Guidelines 6 February 2020 10 (16).

National data containing data of the statistics on living conditions are released to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, for the international, comparative EU-SILC micro data. Eurostat releases anonymised micro data (EU-SILC Users' Database) for scientific research use based on an application for licence to use statistical data. The data obtained through Eurostat include data from countries conducting the EU-SILC survey. Finland’s data are available through Eurostat at a longer time lag than from Statistics Finland. Further information about the EU SILC micro data is available on Eurostat's web pages.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 
 
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 
 
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data. 
 

Relevance

The relevance of the statistics on living conditions is evaluated based on feedback received from users, monitoring of the use of statistical data (StatFin tables) and separate data requests.

Quality documentation

The quality documentation of the statistics on living conditions complies with the guidelines of Statistics Finland's Official Statistics of Finland (OSF).

Quality assessment

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics 

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data. 

Statistical experts

Kaisa-Mari Okkonen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3408

The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.

Go to the archive page