15.8.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

Economy-wide material flow accounts describe in tonnes the volume of materials extracted, transferred or transformed from nature. The statistics cover all solid, gaseous and liquid materials, excluding flows of air and water. The statistics provide an overview of changes in the volume of materials burdening the environment, and the development of the entire national economy’s material dependency compared to the gross domestic product and population. Detailed data on material flows also form a good basis for a more precise analysis of the economy-wide material flow accounts.
The statistics constitute part of environmental accounts.
 

Statistical population

The source data concerning all sectors of the economy are adjusted into a balanced whole. 
 

Statistical unit

Economy-wide material flow accounts describe in units of mass (tonnes) the volume of materials extracted, transferred or transformed from nature.
 

Unit of measure

The unit of measure is millions of tonnes.
 

Base period

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Reference period

The reference period is a year. The statistics are published at a lag of 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year.
 

Reference area

The statistics cover the whole of Finland as a single area. The statistics do not include regional classifications.
 

Sector coverage

The statistics cover all solid, gaseous and liquid materials extracted, transferred or transformed from nature, excluding flows of air and water.
 

Time coverage

The statistics cover the period between 1970 and 2020.
 

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics are published once a year on Statistics Finland’s website.
 

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

Most of the data are obtained directly from already published statistics. The coefficients used in the calculation of hidden flows in imports are mean values and cannot always (annually) account for all country-specific differences with an impact on the coefficients.
 

Timeliness

The statistics on economy-wide material flow accounts are published annually, with a lag of 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year.
 

Punctuality

There are no delays between the release calendar and the actual release date.
 

Sampling error

Total data are used in the statistics, whereby sampling errors do not occur. 
 

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The statistics are comparable with the statistics of EU countries. The statistics are not produced outside the EU.
 

Comparability - over time

The statistics are comparable from 1970 onwards.
 

Coherence - cross domain

The statistics on economy-wide material flow accounts apply the EU regulation on European environmental economic accounts (Regulation (EU) No 691/2011) and the UN’s System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA).
 

Coherence - internal

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Source data and data collections

Source data

The data are collected from the statistics of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), the Finnish Food Authority, The Finnish Beekeepers’ Association, METLA (part of Luke) and the Finnish Customs, as well as from the data of INFRA – Infra Contractors’ Association in Finland, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and Statistics Finland’s energy statistics.
The data on domestic hidden flows are primarily based on the data of Luke and the Mining Register. The hidden flows related to imports are calculated with coefficients originally developed in the Wuppertal Institute in Germany and specified at the Thule Institute of the University of Oulu and at Statistics Finland.
 

Data collection

The economy-wide material flow accounts are statistics mainly derived from other statistics. Statistics Finland has a separate agreement with Tukes on the supply of data.
 

Frequency of data collection

The data are collected annually. The coefficients used in the calculation of hidden flows in imports are mean values and cannot annually account for all country-specific differences with an impact on the coefficients.
 

Methods

Data compilation

The source data are processed and edited coherently within the framework of environmental accounts.
 

Data validation

The received data are compared to previous data with the same content and any data related to the same topic.
 

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Economic and Environmental Statistics<o:p></o:p>

Legal acts and other agreements

The statistics on economy-wide material flow accounts are part of the framework of the System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA), which monitors the interaction between the environment and the economy. EU Regulation on European environmental economic accounts (EU) No 691/2011, amended by Regulation (EU) No 538/2014, and its implementing regulation (EU) No 2174/2015 obligate EU Member States to compile statistics on the environmental goods and services sector as of 2014. The objective of environmental accounts is to provide a statistical description of the interaction between the environment and the economy which for the most part complies with the basic framework and classifications of national accounts.
The compilation of statistics is guided by the general act of the national statistical service, the Statistics Act (280/2004, amended by 361/2013). Only the necessary data that are not available from administrative data sources are collected from data suppliers. Index series are published so that no individual enterprise’s data or development can be deduced from them.

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is absolutely guaranteed in accordance with the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Personal Data Act (532/1999) and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), as well as the requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679). 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. Wilful breaching of data protection is punishable.

Confidentiality - data treatment

According to the Statistics Act (280/2004), the data of the statistics are in the public domain.
The tables in the statistics are produced by using/editing a table’s classification on a level high or general enough to prevent the emergence of small cell frequencies. 
The Statistics Act (280/2004) defines the data on the number of enterprises as being in the public domain, which is why even small cell frequencies do not need to be protected. In quantity tables, cells containing few observations (threshold value) or dominated by one or two units (dominance rule) are protected by suppressing the value of the cell to prevent the data of an individual enterprise from being revealed. In addition, other cells have been suppressed to prevent the calculation of the primarily suppressing cell values with the help of marginal sums. The suppressed cells in released tables are marked by single quotation marks ’..’ (or another marking used by the statistics, such as StatFin two full stops). Further information on suppression is available in  the Handbook on Statistical Disclosure Control (2010).
The data of the statistics are not released in identifiable form outside Statistics Finland. The use of the data for scientific research and statistical surveys is possible only on the basis of a separate decision on user licence and in unidentifiable form. Further information about licences.
 

Release policy

The statistics are released annually between November and December, some 12 months after the end of the statistical reference year in question.
The release calendar lists in advance all the statistical data and publications to be released over the year. Statistical releases can be found under statistics-specific releases. The statistical data are released on the Internet at 8 am unless otherwise indicated. The calendar is updated on weekdays.

Data sharing

The statistics on economy-wide material flow accounts are published on the predefined date online, on the statistics’ home page. The links on the home page lead to the description of the statistics, concepts and definitions as well as free of charge statistical database tables (StatFin). Eurostat publishes the data in the statistics on its own website.
 

Accessibility and clarity

The statistics on the economy-wide material flow accounts are published on the predefined date online, on the statistics’ home page. The links on the home page lead to the description of the statistics, concepts and definitions as well as free of charge statistical database tables (StatFin). Eurostat publishes the data in the statistics on its own website.

 

Relevance

N/A
 

Quality assessment

The quality of the data is assessed at several different stages of the statistical process.
The OSF quality criteria and Recommendation on Quality Description
 

Quality assurance

When compiling statistics, Statistics Finland observes the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) and the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) based on them. The Code of Practice concerns the independence and accountability of statistical authorities and the quality of processes and data to be published. The principles are in line with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics approved by the United Nations Statistics Division and are supplementary to them. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The principles are also compatible with those of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). Every year Statistics Finland conducts statistical auditing that helps to ensure the quality of statistics.
Further information is available on Statistics Finland’s quality management pages.
The statistics on the economy-wide material flow accounts constitute official statistics. The Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) are a comprehensive collection of statistics describing the development and state of society. They comprise nearly 300 sets of statistics on 26 different topics. The producers of Official Statistics of Finland have approved a common quality assurance in which they commit to common quality criteria and quality assurance measures. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The good practices followed in the statistics are presented in Statistics Finland’s Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics handbook.

User access

Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland apply, for example, to how and when statistics are published, as well as the confidentiality of data prior to publication. Data are released to all users at the same time. In special cases data can be released before the official release under the so-called embargo principle.
 

Statistical experts

Heidi Pirtonen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3093