23.4.2024 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

Finnish road statistics contain data on roads in and traffic on mainland Finland’s road network. Finnish road statistics are published annually, and data are presented as time series and by region. The statistics serve actors in the field of transport by producing statistical data to help in their planning, monitoring, supervising and decision-making. Data on traffic performances are used as source data for emission calculations.

Statistical population

Statistical data are based on data in the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s data system Tievelho. Performance data for highways in the road statistics are based on the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s highway traffic calculations. The total performance of road traffic is based on data on odometer readings saved in the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s transport register at the time of inspection and the performance data further processed from them by Statistics Finland.

Statistical unit

The statistical units are road length, traffic performance, passenger traffic performance and average daily traffic.

Unit of measure

The unit of road lengths is kilometre, the traffic performance is measured in million car-kilometres and the passenger traffic performance in billions of passenger-kilometres. Average daily traffic is measured with the number of motor vehicles.

Reference period

The data on the road network are from 31 December and the performance data describe the whole statistical reference year.

Reference area

Data in the Finnish road statistics are examined regionally by Employment and Economic Development Centre. Part of the data is also presented by municipality and region. Highways are divided into class I main roads, class II main roads, regional roads, collector roads and connecting roads.

Sector coverage

The Finnish Road Statistics cover the state of the Finnish highways well because the data on the highway network are comprehensively obtained from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s data system Tievelho. The highway traffic calculations of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency describe the traffic volumes of highways accurately.

Time coverage

The oldest data on roads start from 1940. Traffic performance has been presented beginning from 1975.

Frequency of dissemination

The data are published annually in April.

Concepts

Average daily traffic

The number of motor vehicles bypassing a certain point per year divided by 365.

Highway

A public road maintained by the state. Highways are classified according to their importance into class I main roads, class II main roads, regional roads and connecting roads.

Motorway

A motorway is a road intended only for fast-moving motor vehicle traffic. The different directions of the motorway are physically separated and the motorway does not cross at the same level with other transport routes.

Passenger transport performance

Total number of kilometres covered by passengers during a specific unit of time, usually one year. Unit passenger-kilometre.

Passenger-kilometre

A passenger-kilometre is a measurement unit describing the passenger carrying performance of some means of transport such as a passenger car, coach, train, boat, aircraft or any transport vehicle suited for the transporting of passengers. Two persons travelling five kilometres on board a vehicle generate ten passenger-kilometres. Transport kilometres multiplied by average number of passengers.

Private road

A road owned and maintained by another body than the public authority.

Street

A street is a road maintained by a municipality that runs in a town or other urban settlement and is built according to the town plan.

Vehicle-kilometre

Total number of kilometres driven by one vehicle class or a specified subgroup over a specified time period, usually twelve months.

Vehicle-kilometre

Unit of measurement representing the movement of a road vehicle over one kilometre.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The total performance of road traffic calculated by Statistics Finland describes the level of traffic performance for the mainland Finland well. The road network data are based on the data of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's Tievelho, which describe the road network accurately and are updated regularly.

Timeliness

The road network data are retrieved from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's Tievelho after the turn of the year.

Punctuality

As a rule, there is no delay between the release calendar and the actual release date.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The statistics are internationally comparable.

Comparability - over time

Due to changes in the calculation methods of streets and private roads and cars and vans, the figures for traffic performance and passenger traffic performance from 2016 onwards are not entirely comparable with previous years.

Starting from the statistical reference year 2022, road width is calculated only as the width of the paved section of the road, including the width of the roadway track and the width of the paved verge of the road. Before 2022, the width of the gravel section of the verge was also included in the width of the road, so the data are not fully comparable with newer data.

Source data and data collections

Source data

Statistical data are based on data in the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s data system Tievelho. Performance data for highways in the road statistics are based on the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s highway traffic calculations. The total performance of road traffic is based on data on odometer readings saved in the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s transport register at the time of inspection and the performance data further processed from them by Statistics Finland.

Data collection

The road network data are retrieved from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's Tievelho.
 

Frequency of data collection

The data for the statistics are collected annually.

Cost and burden

No costs or response burden.

Methods

Data compilation

In the production process, the source data describing the road network are homogenised into uniform data from which the statistical data are produced. Homogenising refers to dividing separate characteristics describing the road network into the shortest common part of the road, which enables tabulation of data relative to several variables. The traffic performance figures are derived from vehicle stock data.

Data validation

The source data are checked in the production process with respect to the most important data variables and the results are compared with earlier data. If differences are detected, the reasons for them are determined with the help of the data or by contacting the controller of the register.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Information and Statistical Services

Institutional mandate

The compilation of statistics is guided by the general act of the national statistical service, the Statistics Act (280/2004, amend. 361/2013).

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

The data of the statistics are protected with careful table design.

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 Finnish road statistics are available on the home page of the statistics on the day of their release. The data of the statistics are also available in Statistics Finland's StatFin database service.

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. 

Micro-data access

Special compilations of the statistical data can also be made on assignment.

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. 

User needs

Eurostat, the media and other users monitor the development of the road network.

Quality assessment

The total performance of road traffic calculated by Statistics Finland describes the level of traffic performance for the mainland Finland well.

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

Sami Lahtinen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3207

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

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