6.7.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics on buildings and free-time residences are produced annually and describe the existing stock and number of buildings and free-time residences on the last day of the year. Statistics on buildings and free-time residences can be produced by all regional divisions based on municipalities or coordinates, as well as by postal code area. Statistics Finland receives most its data on the building stock from the Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, into which municipal building supervision authorities report data concerning buildings that are subject to building permits. Information on both dwellings and inhabitants can be linked to buildings with the help of various identifiers. The statistics on buildings and free-time residences constitute total data.
The building stock includes all buildings falling under the dwelling stock. The building stock can be described on the basis of, for instance, a building’s intended use (residential building, commercial building, office buildings, etc.), year of construction, gross floor area, construction material and facilities. 
The production system for the statistics on buildings, dwellings and housing conditions was revised in terms of the data on dwellings and buildings during statistical reference year 2020. In connection to the production revision, the determination of the building stock was clarified in respect of the stock of free-time residences, for example. The revision also has some impact on the time series data (see Section 15.2 for further information). The new building classification (Classification of Buildings 2018) was adopted as part of the production revision in the 2020 statistics. Data in accordance with the new building classification are available in terms of building data starting from 2005.
Also see Section 3.4 (Statistical concepts and definitions).
 

Statistical population

The statistics on buildings and free-time residences constitute total statistics the data of which are drawn from the data on buildings in the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s Population Information System.  
 
The data in the building register of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency have not been comprehensive in terms of all types of buildings. Because of this, Statistics Finland’s building stock statistics do not include buildings in agricultural use or sauna buildings or outhouses of residential buildings, for example. In Statistics Finland’s data, free-time residences are usually presented as separate data and, correspondingly, the building stock without the data on free-time residences. 

 

Statistical unit

The statistical unit is a building.

Unit of measure

The units of measure are the number of buildings and their gross floor area in square metres.

Base period

The statistics describe the situation on the last day of each year.

Reference period

The statistics on buildings and free-time residences are compiled every year and describe the situation on the last day of each year. The statistics on buildings and free-time residences are completed some five months after the compilation period.

The regional breakdown applied is the regional breakdown valid on the day after the compilation period, i.e. the first day at the turn of a year. Therefore, the statistics concerning any municipalities which merge on the first day of a year are compiled as one.
 

Reference area

The statistics on buildings and free-time residences can be produced by all regional divisions based on municipalities or coordinates, as well as by postal code area.

Sector coverage

The data in the building register of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency have not been comprehensive in terms of all types of buildings. Because of this, Statistics Finland’s statistics on buildings and free-time residences do not usually include the following buildings:  buildings used for agricultural production, separate sauna or utility buildings of residential buildings, buildings of the Finnish Defence Forces, or light-structured shelters and kiosks, except when the aforementioned buildings are occupied.
Nor does the building stock include free-time residences, given that these are usually presented as separate data. The building stock and the free-time residences stock do not include the same buildings, since an individual building is categorised as falling under either in the building stock or the free-time residences stock. Occupied free-time residences are included in the dwelling stock. All occupied buildings are included in the building stock, but not in the free-time residences stock. Occupied free-time residences have been included in the building stock as of 2000. 
 

Time coverage

Statistics Finland began the annual production of statistics on buildings from 1987 and the production of statistics on free-time residences from 1989. Before that, corresponding data were produced at ten-year intervals, starting from 1950, in connection to the Population and Housing Census.

The data sources for the statistics on buildings and free-time residences are the data on buildings and dwellings in the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s Population Information System. The Population Information System’s identification system changed in November 2014 with the adoption of what is referred to as the permanent building identifier. In the statistics, the permanent building identifier is used as of the statistical reference year 2014. This may have some impact on time series and annual change data. Statistical data produced on an annual basis are relatively comparable with each other over a longer period of time, even though individual annual changes are not accurate in all respects.
 

Frequency of dissemination

The data of the statistics are published annually in May on the statistics’ home page.

Concepts

Building

A building refers to any independent structure permanently constructed or erected on its site. It has its own entrance and contains covered space intended for different purposes, usually enclosed within outer walls or walls separating it from other structures (buildings).

Caves and other subterranean spaces which are mainly enclosed within rock or similar walls and/or which do not contain structures comparable to the interior structures of buildings proper, for example underground oil tanks, are not buildings.

Stalls, kiosks, etc. that do not contain space separated by closed walls, and transportable caravans, ships, etc. are not classified as buildings.

The building stock statistics do not include:
- free-time residences
- buildings intended for storing liquids
- buildings used only in agricultural production
- sauna buildings belonging to residential buildings
- outhouses of residential buildings
- buildings entirely controlled by foreign missions
- buildings of the Armed Forces
- air raid shelters
except in cases where such buildings are occupied or contain business premises.

The data on buildings come from the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre.

Building material

The building material refers to the material from which the vertical supporting structures of the building are mainly made. The classification is as follows:
- concrete, light concrete
- brick
- steel
- wood
- other, unknown.

Dwelling

A dwelling refers to a room or a suite of rooms which is intended for year-round habitation; is furnished with a kitchen, kitchenette or cooking area; and has a floor area of at least 7 square metres. Every dwelling must have its own entrance. A single-family house may be entered through an enclosed porch or veranda. If a dwelling is entered through the premises of another dwelling, it is not regarded as a separate dwelling but instead those two constitute one dwelling.

Facilities

Data on the facilities of dwellings and buildings are derived from the dwelling and building data of the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre.

Facilities in a dwelling:
- sewage
- running water
- toilet
- hot water
- washing facilities (shower, bathroom or sauna)
- sauna in the dwelling
- central or electric heating.

The data on dwelling facilities have been used in determining the standard of equipment of the dwelling.

Facilities in a building:
- electricity
- sewage
- running water
- hot water
- lift
- sauna in the building
- swimming pool
- mechanical ventilation
- air raid shelter.

Free-time residence

A free-time residence refers to a recreational building constructed permanently on the site of its location or to a residential building that is used as a holiday dwelling. Holiday cottages serving business purposes, buildings in holiday villages and allotment garden cottages are not counted as free-time residences.

Free-time residences comprise all buildings the intended use of which on 31 December was as a free-time residential building or which on the said date were used as holiday residences.

Free-time residences are not included in the building stock. The floor area of free-time residences refers to the gross floor area of the whole building.

The data on free-time residences are obtained of the Population Information System, maintained by building project notices from municipal building supervision authorities.

Gross floor area

The gross floor area of a building comprises the floor areas of the different storeys and the area of attic or basement storeys in which there are dwelling or working rooms or other space conforming to the principal intended use of the building.

The gross floor area is the horizontal area enclosed by the outer surfaces of the walls of the storeys or their imagined continuation for openings and decorations on the surface of the outer walls.

Heating fuel/ source of heat

Heating fuel or source of heat refers to the main fuel or energy source used in heating a building. There are also data on the heating fuel of dwellings. Data on the heating fuel have been obtained from the Population Information System, which receives them from municipal building supervision authorities.

Information about change in heating fuel is mainly transmitted to the Population Information System only if such alterations have been done to a building which require a building permit.

The classification is as follows:
- district heating
- oil
- gas
- coal
- electricity
- wood
- peat
- ground heating
- other, unknown

Heating system

Heating system refers to the main method of heating used in the heating of a building. There are also data on the heating fuel of dwellings. Data on the heating fuel have been obtained from the Population Information System, which receives them from municipal building supervision authorities by way of building project notices. Information about change in the heating system is only transmitted to the Population Information System if such alterations have been done to a building which require a building permit.

The classification is as follows:
- central heating, water
- central heating, air
- direct electric heating
- stove heating
- no fixed heating installation
- unknown.

In a water central heating system, the building is heated with circulating water, and in an air central heating system with circulating air. In direct electric heating the building is heated with the aid of a fixed radiator, etc. connected directly to the electricity network.
In stove heating, heating takes place by burning wood or other fuels in a fireplace (stove) that stores heat. Stove heating also includes electric heating reservoirs, separate fixed oil heaters and heatpreserving fireplaces. Stoves used for heating saunas are not regarded as heating equipment.

Holiday resident

The number of holiday residents by municipality has been counted from the total number of persons in the household-dwelling units of the free-time residence owners. If the same person owns more than one freetime residence in the same municipality, the persons in that household-dwelling unit have been taken into account only once. If the household-dwelling unit owns a freetime residence in more than one municipality the said persons have been counted as holiday residents in both municipalities.

When counting the number of holiday residents it has not been possible to take account of the free-time residences owned by death estates or foreigners, or of those in joint ownership.

Intended use of building

The intended use of a building is determined according to the purpose for which the largest part of the gross floor area of the building is used. The categories are as follows:
- residential buildings
- free-time residential buildings
- commercial buildings
- office buildings
- transport and communications buildings
- buildings for institutional care
- assembly buildings
- educational buildings
- industrial and mining and quarrying buildings
- energy supply buildings
- public utility buildings
- warehouses
- rescue services buildings
- agricultural buildings and livestock shelters
- other buildings.

The classification of the intended use of buildings is given in Statistics Finland's Handbook Classification of Buildings 2018. Not all the classes in the building classification are included in the Statitics Finland's building stock.

Locality

An urban settlement is a cluster of dwellings with at least 200 inhabitants. The delimitation is based on the population information of the previous year. Urban settlements are defined and delimited in co-operation with the Finnish Environment Institute using geographic information methods that utilise the building and population data of Statistics Finland's 250 m x 250 m grid data. The population size of grids containing buildings and their neighbouring grids, as well as the number of buildings and their floor area, are reviewed in the definition. From the uniform clusters of dwellings generated in the defining stage, the ones with at least 200 inhabitants are selected.

Network connection

The following network connections are identified for a building:
- sewage
- running water
- electricity
- natural gas.

Number of storeys

The number of storeys in a building consists of all storeys that are primarily above ground level and in which there are habitable rooms or office space or other space conforming to the intended use of the building. If the number of storeys varies in different parts of the building, the number usually refers to the largest number of storeys in the building.

For buildings completed after 1980, the number of storeys is expressed as an average number that takes into account the whole building if the share of the gross floor area of a certain storey out of the gross floor area of the main storeys is very small. For instance, if a large industrial unit is mainly a one-storey building, but office space is located on three storeys, then the number of storeys is given as one.

Standard of equipment

As from 2005, only two categories are used to describe the standard of equipment:
- High standard of equipment: the dwelling has running water, sewage, hot water, toilet, washing facilities (shower/bathroom or sauna) and central or electric heating
- Other or unknown level of equipment.

In the previous years, three categories have been used to describe the standard of equipment in a dwelling:
- High standard of equipment: the dwelling has running water, sewage, hot water, toilet, washing facilities (shower/bathroom or sauna) and central or electric heating
- low standard of equipment: the dwelling only lacks washing facilities and/or central heating (or electric heating)
- substandard of equipment: the dwelling lacks one of the following facilities: running water, sewage, hot water or toilet.

Sub-area (of municipality)

Municipal sub-areas are formed of operationally functional wholes defined by the municipality itself, which are the basis of the municipality's regional planning and monitoring. Statistics Finland is responsible for digitising new sub-area boundaries and for maintaining name files. Municipalities have the opportunity to check their sub-area division once a year.

The division into sub-areas is a hierarchical three-level classification which has a 1-digit major area level, a 2-digit statistical area level and a 3-digit small area level. Sub-areas are numbered consecutively using these three hierarchical levels. The 6-digit sub-area code is bound to the 3-digit municipality code, so the sub-area code consists of a total of nine characters.

Type of building

Residential buildings are classified according to type of building as follows:
- Detached houses: residential buildings containing 1 to 2 dwellings, including semi-detached houses and other comparable detached residential buildings (e.g. permanently occupied free-time residences)
- Terraced houses: residential buildings with at least three adjoining dwellings
- Blocks of flats: residential buildings of at least three dwellings in which at least two dwellings are located on top of each other and which do not belong to the previous categories
- Other buildings: also includes buildings whose type is unknown.

Type of ownership of building

Buildings are divided into the following categories by tenure status:
- private person/ death estate
- housing corporation or co-operative
- real estate corporation
- private company
- company controlled by the State or municipality
- State or municipal corporation
- bank or insurance company
- municipality
- State
- social security fund
- religious community, foundation, party, etc.
- other or unknown.

Year of construction

The year of construction refers to the year in which the building was completed and was ready for use. If the building was completed prior to 1980, the year of renovation may have been entered as the year of construction.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The coverage of the key data on buildings is fairly good. However, some errors may occur in the numbers of buildings and the attribute data, given that the authorities maintaining the Population Information System are not made aware of all change data comprehensively.
According to the reliability study conducted in connection to the 1990 census, the register-based statistics contained approximately 20,000 too many buildings. These buildings had either been torn down, destroyed or converted into free-time residences.
Given that the Population Information System’s data do not provide precise data on removals, Statistics Finland aims to eliminate old buildings and dwellings as well as buildings and dwellings in poor repair from the building stock. If permanent residents nevertheless move into such a building removed from the building stock, the building is returned to the building stock.
Data on new buildings built without a permit and data on modifications and improvements are not transmitted to the information system. Changes to heating systems or heating fuel are not, in all cases, subject to a permit. The same issue applies to data on the facilities and network connections of a building, which may contain errors. Statistics Finland is able to correct some of the erroneous data by removing inconsistencies between various facilities, heating systems and heating fuels. The data which have only been collected after the establishment of the 1980 knowledge base also contain deficiencies. Data on lifts, balconies and mechanical ventilation, for instance, may be deficient.
Annually compiled statistical data may be relatively comparable over a longer period of time. Individual annual changes are not accurate in all respects. 
Some units may be missing from the data on free-time residences. Buildings which are included in the register under other categories of intended use are taken into use as free-time residential buildings (such as detached houses left unoccupied or the residential buildings of former farms). Information about the changing of such buildings into free-time residential buildings is primarily not conveyed to the register authorities and through them to the statistics. The register has been subject to checks and there have some attempts to direct inquiries precisely to buildings whose intended use is unknown and/or which are unoccupied and whose intended use may have changed to a free-time residential building. It is also possible for the intended use of a free-time residence to be changed into a residential building when it is taken into residential use. In such cases, the free-time residence is removed from the free-time residences stock. The same occurs when a free-time residence is indicated as a permanent address in a notification concerning a move. The Population Register Centre (the current Digital and Population Data Services Agency) supplemented the building data in the 1997 Population Information System by adding the Tax Administration’s data on free-time residences to the register. As a result, some municipalities may include too many free-time residential buildings. In other words, the same free-time residence has been included in both the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s Population Information System and the data received from the Tax Administration. Given that the Tax Administration’s data do not include information on a building’s coordinates, it has not always been possible to draw a conclusion on these being the same unit.
Data related to the tenure of a free-time residence, such as the number of holiday residents from another municipality, describe only data obtained through an official register. In some cases, the actual group of users may be something other entirely than what can be deduced from the register data. A great many free-time residences miss data on electrification or running water and sewage connections. According to a sample-based survey (Kesämökkibarometri 2021), 79 per cent of free-time residences fell within the scope of the electricity network and 19 per cent got their domestic water from the network of a water supply plant or a water cooperative. The corresponding data in the statistics on free-time residence based on the official register is that clearly under half of free-time residences have an electricity connection and only a few per cent a connection to a system of running water.
In 2003, the Population Register Centre (the current Digital and Population Data Services Agency) conducted, by means of automated data processing, an extensive basic improvement project concerning the coordinate data of buildings, thereby also improving the coordinate data in the statistics on buildings and free-time residencies. The coverage of the coordinate data varies somewhat by municipality. Under one per cent of the statistics on buildings and free-time residences are made of buildings or free-time residences missing coordinate data or having a coordinate which is invalid in respect of the other area data. The year of a building’s completion and other attribute data of the kind have been corrected at Statistics Finland as of 2017 with data in the Tax Administration’s real estate register.
 

Timeliness

The data on buildings and free-time residences are published with a five-month delay relative to the reference period (last day of the year).

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The data on buildings and free-time residences can be produced with both national and European regional classifications (NUTS), given that the statistics include the buildings’ coordinate data. The statistics apply regional data according to the UN’s recommendation on population and housing censuses.

Comparability - over time

When comparing data from different periods, it must be taken into account that some of the changes may be attributable to checks made to the register, changes in the compiling of the statistical data, or different collection methods during earlier years. For example, corrections to years of construction have an impact on buildings’ age structure. Likewise, changes to the intended use of buildings have to be accounted for when reviewing annual changes. The 1985 census marked the first time that register data were used in forming statistics on the dwelling and building stock. Data on the housing and building stock were produced in the censuses of 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1985. The UN’s census recommendations were taken into account in the censuses.
As of 1987, the data have been produced annually on the basis of registers, and the annually compiled statistical data are relatively comparable over a longer period of time. Annual changes, however, are not accurate in all respects. The classification of buildings’ intended use changed in 1994. The classification in question has been applied in the statistics on the building stock as of statistical year 1993. The most recent Classification of Buildings, from 2018, was adopted in the statistics on buildings and free-time residences in the statistical reference year 2020.
The first register-based statistics on free-time residences concern the year 1989, following which they have been based annually. The Population Register Centre (the current Digital and Population Data Services Agency) supplemented the building data in the Population Information System by adding the Tax Administration’s data on free-time residences to the register in the summer of 1990. After this, municipalities checked missing coordinate and attribute data. The preceding data on free-time residences derive from the 1980 census, in which the data were collected with forms. 
At the beginning of 1997, the Population Register Centre (the current Digital and Population Data Services Agency) again supplemented the building data in the Population Information System with the Tax Administration’s real estate data. Significant numbers of free-time residences were also added to the register at this point. Some of the units in the Tax Administration’s data may already have been in the Population Information System’s building data under a different identifier.
The identification system of the Population Register Centre’s (the current Digital and Population Data Services Agency) Population Information System changed in November 2014 with the adoption of what is referred to as the permanent building identifier. In the statistics, the permanent building identifier is used as of the statistical reference year 2014. This may have some impact on time series and annual change data.
The technical platform and information system of the statistical production were renewed during the statistical reference year 2005. The renewal may have some impact on a review of the time series.
As of statistical reference year 2008, the statistics on the building stock and the statistics on free-time residences were combined and renamed the statistics on buildings and free-time residences. The statistics’ data content is the same as in the statistics previously compiled separately.
The production system for the statistics on buildings, dwellings and housing conditions was integrated into the information system of Statistics Finland’s built environment in the statistical reference year 2020. In connection to the production revision, the determination of the building stock was clarified in respect of
the stock of free-time residences, for example (see below). The renewal has some impact on the time series data. The new building classification (Classification of Buildings 2018) was also adopted as part of the production revision in the 2020 statistics. Data in accordance with the new building classification are available in terms of building data starting from 2005.
The change in the Classification of Buildings effected in conjunction with the production renewal impacted the statistics on buildings and free-time residences as follows:
The compilation of statistics concerning free-time residences changed in such a way that, according to the new Classification of Buildings, all free-time residential buildings are classified under the same building class, 021 ( (Free-time residential buildings), and are no longer separated into actual free-time residential buildings and rental holiday cottages. At the same time, these rental holiday cottages, of which there are some 14,000 in total, were removed from the class of commercial buildings describing the building stock; this must be taken into consideration in a review of the time series. In addition, detached houses in leisure-time use (of which there are approximately 40,000) are no longer included in the statistics on free-time residences, due to which the number of free-time residences decreased to some degree in 2020.
In the new Classification of Buildings, the class of residential buildings also includes residential buildings for communities and dwellings for special groups.
 

Coherence - cross domain

Statistics Finland’s statistics on the building stock and dwelling stock correspond with each other in such a way that for each dwelling in the dwelling stock (the statistics on dwellings and housing conditions), there is a corresponding building in the building stock (the statistics on buildings and free-time residences).
Statistics Finland’s statistics on the building stock and dwelling stock and, on the other hand, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s building and dwelling information are not entirely coherent, given that Statistics Finland aims to correct any deficiencies in the original data.
In the statistics, the permanent building identifier is used as of the statistical reference year 2014. This may have some impact on time series and annual change data. Furthermore, extensions to the dwelling and building stock and modifications comparable to re-construction can be registered under the start date of a building permit in the statistics on building and dwelling production, which describe new construction, but under a building’s original year of completion in the statistics on the building and dwelling stock.
The statistics on buildings and free-time residences include all buildings and dwellings which were occupied on the last day of the year, even if they were not completed by then. In such cases, the building’s year of completion is defined as the first year during which occupants moved in.
Buildings and dwellings that are no longer included in the actively used building and dwelling stock are removed annually from the building stock data included in the statistics on buildings and free-time residences. The data removed include, for example, buildings that have been torn down or destroyed and dwellings that have been unoccupied for a long time. It is also possible for a building previously not included in the building stock to be taken into use as a dwelling, in which case it is returned to the building stock in active use.
The number of completed buildings in Statistics Finland’s statistics on building and dwelling production, which describe new construction, do not increase the existing building stock with the same number. This is due to changes within the building stock:  buildings are torn down or they may be destroyed in a fire, for example, or an old building may be replaced by a new one or the intended use of an existing buildings may be changed, etc. In addition, a previously unused building may be returned to the building stock if permanent residents move in.
The data of the barometer on free-time residences (Kesämökkibarometri), implemented as a sample-based survey, may differ from the register-based statistics on free-time residences due to a different collection method as well as different concepts and definitions. 
 

Coherence - internal

Statistics Finland's building and dwelling stock statistics correspond to each other in the current information system (from 2005) so that the building corresponding to each dwelling is in the building stock. Statistics Finland's building and dwelling stock statistics and DVV's building and apartment data are not fully coherent, as efforts have been made to correct errors contained in the register in Statistics Finland. In addition, for example, buildings used for agricultural production, saunas and economic buildings are removed from Statistics Finland's building stock. In Statistics Finland's data, free-time residences are usually presented as their own data and the building stock without the data on free-time residences.

The differences between Statistics Finland's building stock statistics and the figures describing new production in the building production statistics are due, for example, to different picking dates and statistical unit data. In the New Production Statistics, the unit includes project data, including extensions. In the building stock statistics, the unit is the building and its characteristics. In addition, the building stock includes all those buildings containing apartments that were inhabited on the last day of the year, even if they have not yet been completed. It is also possible that a building not previously belonging to the stock will be taken for residential use, in which case it will be included in the building stock.

The volumes of completed buildings describing the new production of Statistics Finland's Construction Production Statistics do not increase the existing building stock by the same amount. This is because changes occur within the building stock, such as the demolition or combustion of a building or, for example, the construction of a new building to replace the old one, changing the purpose of the existing building to another, etc. In addition, a building that was previously unused may return to the building stock if permanent residents move into the building.
 

Source data and data collections

Source data

The statistics on buildings and free-time residences constitute total data based on the data concerning buildings and dwellings in the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s Population Information System, which are maintained by the municipal building supervision authorities and register offices. The data to be stored in the Population Information System are defined by the Act on the Population Information System and the Decree on the Population Information System.
The Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s information system pertaining to buildings and dwellings was created in the early 1980s. Its knowledge base is made up of data collected from owners or the occupants of a building or dwelling in connection to Statistics Finland’s 1980 census. The data collection was based on the Census Act and a separate Census Decree.
As of 1982, data on buildings and dwellings have been updated in the information system on the basis of building project notices which are filled in when applying for a building permit concerning a new building, an extension or modification work. Throughout the 1980s, the building and dwelling data of the Population Register Centre’s (the current Digital and Population Data Services Agency) Population Information System were checked and corrected in terms of various data. Statistics Finland developed a variety of processing rules for compiling the data, so that the register data could, in the future, be used in the compilation of annual statistics on the building and dwelling stock. Statistics Finland began the annual production of statistics on buildings from 1987 and the production of statistics on free-time residences from 1989.
On 1 January 2020, the name of the agency maintaining the Population Information System, serving as the data source, changed to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (formerly the Population Register Centre).
The data of the Tax Administration’s real estate register are used in the statistics for corrections and supplementations.
 

Data collection

Statistics Finland has an agreement with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and the Tax Administration on the supply of data both weekly and on annual level.

Frequency of data collection

The register of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency is updated continuously. Statistics Finland draws the data as both weekly and annual level data.

Methods

Data compilation

The data compilation makes use of corrections made in previous years, logical conclusions and data outside the basic data. The data of the Tax Administration’s real estate register, for instance, are used for checking building data and imputing missing data. The statistical data are also compared to other construction data of the same period, such as the figures of new production.
The aim is to correct the data of Statistics Finland with compiling rules in such a way that any probable removals – such as buildings that are old or in poor repair – are eliminated from the data. Detached houses that have been unoccupied for more than 15 years, for instance, are removed from the statistics. If permanent residents nevertheless move into such a building removed from the dwelling stock, the dwelling is returned to the dwelling stock.
Not all modification work constitutes construction subject to a permit, nor are all measures pertaining to a building’s facilities and network connections subject to a permit, due to which data about them are not always conveyed to the authorities and thereby to the statistics. This is why data on electrification or running water and sewage connections is missing from a large amount of the register data on free-time residences. Statistics Finland aims, to some extent, to deduce and correct errors in the original data and any data missing in terms of buildings. For example, data describing the same building have not been accepted twice if it is suspected that the data overlap. Statistics Finland also tries to deduce and correct other errors in the original data and any data missing in terms of buildings.
Some of the data concerning the facilities of buildings and dwellings have only been collected after the 1980 census, due to which they are partly incomplete. Such data pertain to lifts, balconies and mechanical ventilation, for example. Buildings used in agricultural production as well as the sauna buildings and outhouses of residential buildings are eliminated from the building stock, because data on them were not collected in the 1980 census, due to which they were not included when the register’s knowledge base was formed. Unique identifiers allow for linking other data to Statistics Finland’s data on the building stock. Such other data include the number of dwellings and residents in a building.
 

Data validation

When the source data are received, the variables are checked at Statistics Finland to ensure that they correspond with the data needed for the statistics. The numbers of the units are checked and compared to previous deliveries. Data validation is carried out at every stage of the processing of the statistical data (see the following Section, 18.5).

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 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 


The compiling of the statistics is also guided by the Population and Housing Census conducted every ten years. It is based on the UN’s recommendations and the EU’s Regulation on European Statistics.

International regulations and recommendations related to the Population and Housing Census: The EU Regulation on demographic statistics and the Conference of European Statisticians Recommendations for the 2020 Censuses of Population and Housing, (Chapter XIV. Household and family characteristics).

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

The data are processed with pseudonymous identifiers, i.e. artificial identifiers for persons, buildings and dwellings. The protection of individual pieces of data is applied case-specifically in regional breakdowns smaller than a municipality. 

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 data of the statistics are used by other statistics of Statistics Finland utilising housing and building data.

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

The quality of the statistics on buildings and free-time residences are assessed in several different stages of the statistical process. Coherence analyses against other, corresponding data related to buildings (such as the figures of the statistics on construction output), changes that have occurred in the operating environment, and the data of temporally earlier years are conducted annually. 

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

Mika Ronkainen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3425