3.12.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics describe the foreign citizens permanently residing in Finland who have been granted Finnish nationality during the statistical year. A citizen of a foreign country may receive Finnish citizenship after six years’ residence in Finland. A foreign citizen who has been married to a Finnish citizen and lived in Finland for three years may be granted Finnish citizenship. Finnish citizenship can be granted through an application procedure or a declaration procedure, but the data of Statistics Finland does not contain information on this. Finnish citizenships acquired at birth are not included in these statistics.

Statistical population

The statistical population comprises foreign citizens permanently residing in Finland who have been granted Finnish nationality during the statistical year.
 

Statistical unit

Vital event, granting of Finnish citizenship. The individuals involved in a vital event have a personal identifier. The personal identifier is a key piece of data in other materials. The personal identifier allows for linking background information to an individual from other datasets.
 

Unit of measure

The number of vital events, i.e. the number of persons who have been granted Finnish citizenship.

Reference period

The reference period of the statistics is a calendar year.

Reference area

Data are available on Finland on the level of the whole country and by various regional divisions based on the division of municipalities in Finland.

The classification into regions and the statistical grouping of municipalities have been used since 1997. Prior to this, provinces were used instead of regions and forms of local government instead of the statistical grouping of municipalities. As of 1999, the statistics have used the regional division which entered into force at the beginning of the calendar year following the statistical year.

Sector coverage

The statistics on citizenships granted represent total data. The statistics contain data on foreign citizens permanently residing in Finland who have been granted Finnish nationality during the statistical year.

Time coverage

Data on persons who have been granted Finnish citizenship are available from 1990 onwards.

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics on citizenships granted according to different background variables for a calendar year are completed in April to May of the following calendar year, unless otherwise mentioned. The statistics on citizenships granted are published on Statistics Finland’s website.

Concepts

Nationality

Citizenship refers to a person's legal nationality in a certain country. Citizenship is usually determined at birth, but it may be changed upon moving to live in another country. A person may also be a citizen of more than one country (see Nationality Act, 359/2003 and Nationality Decree, 699/1985). Persons with both Finnish and foreign citizenship will be entered in the statistics as Finnish nationals. If a foreign national living in Finland has several nationalities, that person will be entered in the register and statistics as a national of the country on whose passport he or she arrived in the country.

Sex

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

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The statistics on citizenships granted represent total data. The data are as good as the quality of the Population Information System maintained by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and the State Department of Åland. Decisions on granting Finnish citizenship are made by the Finnish Immigration Service (Nationality Act 359/2003), which enters data on the decisions in the Population Information System.

The Population Information System maintained by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and the State Department of Åland can be considered very comprehensive in terms of individuals. An individual must be registered in the Population Information System to receive a personal identity code. It is practically impossible to live in Finland without a personal identity code. Legal employment, the opening of a bank account, taking care of affairs with the authorities, etc. all require a personal identity code.

Following the discontinuation of census registration as of 1989, the Population Information System has been maintained solely with notifications of population changes. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency has commissioned sample surveys on the accuracy of addresses from Statistics Finland. Approximately 11,000 individuals are contacted to enquire whether their address in the Population Information System is accurate. In the latest survey, in 2012, the address of 98.9 per cent of the respondents was correct.

Timeliness

The data are published approximately four months after the reference period.

Punctuality

The data are almost invariably released on the target date, due to which there has been no time delay. If the release of statistical data is significantly delayed from the announced point of time, information about the delay is posted on the statistics’ home page.

Processing error

Any other defects in form in the statistics are corrected as quickly and flexibly as possible, and no separate notifications are made of them on the web pages. Only the latest data are updated in databases. Deviations from timetables are also regarded as errors. If the release of statistical data is significantly delayed from the announced point of time, information about the delay is posted on Statistics Finland’s home page.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

Comparisons based on numbers can be made because the effect of regional mergers has been considered. Comparable regional vital event time series are available free of charge as of 1990. The tables always indicate the regional division used in the entire time series. It is common practice for an entire time series to be updated to the temporally latest regional division.

Every country has its own citizenship laws, and the grounds for granting citizenship vary from country to country. Given that the laws differ, direct comparisons between the figures at an international level are impossible.

Comparability - over time

Data on persons who have been granted Finnish citizenship are available from 1990 onwards.

Coherence - cross domain

The data of the population statistics are used as basic data for population in the other statistics of Statistics Finland. Thus, different statistics of Statistics Finland are consistent with each other as regards population data.

The Finnish Immigration Service’s figures on persons who have been granted citizenship are compiled from persons residing permanently in different countries of the world, whereas Statistics Finland compiles the statistics in question from persons residing permanently in Finland.

Coherence - internal

A legislative amendment which entered into force in 2003 (Nationality Act 359/2003) enables the dual nationality of a Finnish citizen. This means that as of then, a Finnish citizen has also been able to be a citizen of another country.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The data on population changes represent total data. Finland’s populations statistics are based on the Population Information System maintained by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and the State Department of Åland. Data on citizenships granted are updated in the Population Information System by the Finnish Immigration Service.

The population includes all Finnish and foreign nationals residing permanently in Finland, even if they were temporarily abroad.

Statistics Finland has waited for data on a statistical reference year’s vital events until the end of January the next year. The reported data on vital events during the statistical reference year and previous years are subsequently included in the material of the next statistical reference year.

As of statistical reference year 2018, supplementations and corrections to the background information included in vital events data have been accepted until the end of February the next year. However, the total number of the events established at the end of January does not change. Rather, the supplementations and corrections made to the data aim to improve their quality.

Data collection

As of 1975, Statistics Finland has received population data on a weekly basis from the Population Information System maintained by Digital and Population Data Services Agency and the State Department of Åland. The acquisition of data is based on Statistics Finland's position as a statistical authority as decreed in law.

Frequency of data collection

The data for the statistics are collected annually.

Methods

Data compilation

The data include underlying variables which may contain missing or invalid values. The aim is to impute the data from the population structure data and the Population Information System. Cases are not imputed.

Data validation

The data are checked for double rows and for any events already included in older data. The absence and logic of the key variables are also reviewed during the processing phase.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland
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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 obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government 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 all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of 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 (1050/2018). 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. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

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

Confidentiality - data treatment

In population statistics, an individual’s identifier is pseudonymised, meaning that an individual’s data can no longer be linked to a particular individual without further information.

In accordance with data protection practices, regional data dissemination complies with aggregation rules if a table includes variables defined as sensitive. In such cases, figures remaining below the limit value are not reported or divided into the categories of the sensitive variable.

According to the Statistics Act, data disclosed for research purposes must be rendered into a form from which the statistical units cannot be directly or indirectly identified. To prevent indirect identification, variables key to identification must be modified with statistical data protection methods suitable for the situation.
 
The most important data protection method is the disclosure of a sample rather than the total data.  
In addition to samples, the data limiting methods used by Statistics Finland include aggregating the classification of variables, removing variables and hiding the variable values of a single unit.

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

Following their release, the data in the statistics on citizenships granted are available in the StatFin statistical database. Data on persons who have been granted Finnish citizenship are delivered annually to Eurostat according to their previous citizenship.

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.

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.

Quality assessment

A point of reference for the statistics on citizenships granted during a given statistical year is obtained by making a printout of the year-end population structure statistics in terms of the persons being granted citizenship during the statistical year.

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 the 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.
 

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 frameworks complement each other. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also 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

Joonas Toivola
Senior Statistician
029 551 3355

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