18.8.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The income distribution statistics describe the structure and distribution of households' and household-dwelling units' income by population group and region in Finland. The statistics are compiled annually and their data content is based on international recommendations (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). The income distribution statistics comprehensibly describe households' disposable monetary income, which is the primary income concept of the income distribution statistics. Another main income concept is factor income, i.e. wages and salaries, entrepreneurial and property income, current transfers received, as well as current transfers paid. Several indicators are produced based on the statistics, the main being the Gini coefficient describing income differentials, the average and median of households' and household-dwelling units' income, and the relative at-risk-of-poverty rate.

The total data on income distribution are entirely register-based data on the income of persons and household-dwelling units covering the entire population and they enable compilation of statistics according to detailed classifications, especially regionally. They are the primary national data source for describing income differentials by population group and regional income. The time series data of the total data have been compiled in a comparable manner starting from 1995.

The sample data are internationally comparable and they are available from 1966 onwards. The sample data are formed in compliance with the Regulation on ESS EU-SILC statistics (Regulation (EC) No 1177/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council). Due to limitations related to representativeness, the sample data are not suitable for detailed income distribution examinations between regions or population groups. On the other hand, the sample data utilise classifications and background data, in accordance with which data are not included in the total data. The most important of these classifications is socio-economic group.

Statistical population

The population of the income distribution statistics are private households and their members, i.e. the dwelling population in Finland at the end of the statistical reference year (31 December). The household-dwelling population is formed by all persons living permanently at dwellings. Good two per cent of the entire population are excluded from the statistics. They include 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 these statistics.

The target population and reference period (the last day of the statistical reference year) of the sample data are the same as in the total data. The sampling frame consists of total data based on the Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and Statistics Finland's population and dwelling data resource. 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 in the reference period, so-called over-coverage, are removed from it. 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. Excluded from the accepted sample in the interviews 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. The population for the statistical reference year is revised after the reference period of the statistics approximately three months later in the data of Statistics Finland's statistics on household-dwelling units and the total data of the income distribution statistics. The data are used in the calibration of the accepted sample in the interview of the statistics on living conditions, with which it is made to correspond to the population.

Statistical unit

The statistical units of the income distribution statistics are household-dwelling units, households, members of the households and consumption units.

The definition of a household differs between the total data and sample data of the income distribution statistics. In the total data, the household is a household-dwelling unit. A household-dwelling unit is formed of persons living permanently in the same dwelling or at the same address. The household-dwelling unit is used in all register-based statistics. In the sample data of the income distribution statistics, the household is defined based on shared housekeeping with the help of data collected with interviews. A household is formed of all those persons who live together and have meals together or otherwise use their income together. In the population, the correspondence on the individual level of households in the data has been around 94 to 95 per cent in recent years. By population group, the correspondence is weakest for students.

Unit of measure

The units of measure in the income distribution statistics are euros, %, numbers of households, persons and consumption units.

Base period

The base year for the real values of monetary data in the income distribution statistics is the statistical reference year 2018.

Reference period

The data of the income distribution statistics describe data for the statistical reference year, which is the whole calendar year, and for the end of the statistical reference year (31 December).

Reference area

Regional classifications corresponding to the EU's uniform NUTS classification of regional units (NUTS2, or classification of major regions, NUTS3 or classification of regions), sub-regional unit and municipality are used in the total data of the income distribution statistics.

Sector coverage

The data of the statistics are derived from two sets of basic data, total data on income distribution covering the entire household-dwelling unit population and the Survey on income and living conditions based on a representative sample.

The total data of income distribution are completely register-based data on persons’ and household-dwelling units’ income covering the whole population: They enable compilation of statistics according to detailed classifications, especially regionally. They are the primary national data source for describing income differentials by population group and regional income. The time series data of the total data have been compiled in a comparable manner starting from 1995.

The sample data are internationally comparable and they are available from 1966 onwards. The sample data are formed in compliance with the Regulation on ESS EU-SILC statistics (Regulation (EC) No 1177/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council). Due to limitations related to representativeness, the sample data are not suitable for detailed income distribution examinations between regions or population groups. On the other hand, the sample data utilise classifications and background data, in accordance with which data are not included in the total data. The most important of these classifications is socio-economic group.

Time coverage

The time series data of the total data of the income distribution statistics cover comparable data for the years 1995 to 2018.

The sample data of the income distribution statistics are available as internationally comparable from 1966 until 2018.

Frequency of dissemination

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

Concepts

Consumption unit

Income and consumption expenditure calculated per consumption unit can be used to compare households of different sizes and structures with each other. There are several different ways of calculating consumption units. From 2002, the income distribution statistics and the Household Budget Survey have used the OECD's adjusted consumption unit scale recommended by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, where
- the first adult of the household receives the weight 1
- other over 13-year-olds receive the weight 0.5
- children receive the weight 0.3 (0 to 13-year-olds).

The selected consumption unit scale has a significant effect on income levels and on placement of different population groups in the income distribution.

Current transfers paid

The household's current transfers paid are mainly formed of direct taxes and social security contributions. In addition, current transfers paid include compulsory pension contributions and unemployment insurance premiums, as well as child maintenance support paid. Taxes paid do not include church tax, voluntary individual insurance premiums (from 2000 regarded as savings in the income distribution statistics) and indirect taxes. Current transfers paid are based on register data, except for withholding taxes paid on interest income. From 2011 onwards, current transfers paid also include part of current transfers between households (e.g. bills paid for other households and money given for studying).

Current transfers received

Current transfers received by households and persons are formed of earnings-related and national pensions and other social security benefits, social allowances and other current transfers received.

Other social security benefits are such as rehabilitation allowances, daily and parental allowances, compensations of statutory accident insurance and earnings-related unemployment allowance.

Social allowances are such as child benefits, support for care of small children, conscript's allowance, social assistance, general housing allowance, study and research grants, basic unemployment allowance and labour market allowance.

Other current transfers received are current transfers received between households.

Disposable income

Before the statistical reference year 2011, the income distribution statistics primarily utilised the concept of disposable income. In the income distribution statistics and in the Household Budget Survey, households' disposable income included all salaries and wages, entrepreneurial income and property income (including imputed rent from owner-occupied dwellings and taxable sales profits from property), benefits in kind and current transfers received, from which sum, current transfers paid were deducted.

The formation of disposable income can be described as follows:

+ Wages and salaries
+ Entrepreneurial income
+ Property income (incl. imputed rent from owner-occupied dwellings and sales profits)
-----------------------------------------------
= Factor income
+ Current transfers received (incl. imputed rent from a rental dwelling from another household)
---------------------------------------------
= Gross income
– Current transfers paid
--------------------------------------------
= Disposable income

When social current transfers in kind are added to income, adjusted disposable income is obtained. This concept is not formed in the income distribution statistics.

The imputed rent of owner-occupiers was regarded as factor income (property income) and imputed rent for a dwelling rented from another household as current transfers received in the income distribution statistics. Imputed rent is still formed in the income distribution statistics but from the statistical reference year 2011, it is treated as a separate income item (see "Imputed rent"). Similarly, taxable realised capital gains or sales profits are treated as a memorandum item according to international recommendations.

Wages and salaries include income paid for households as pay - either in money or benefit in kind. Income from incentive stock options is included in the income concept in benefits in kind and thus in wages and salaries.

Entrepreneurial income includes income from agriculture and forestry, business activity and business group and copyright fees. Entrepreneurial income in agriculture also contains various subsidies and compensations such as agricultural subsidies, European Union agricultural aid and compensation for harvest losses.

Property income is rental, interest and dividend income received by households, imputed net rent from an owner-occupied dwelling, taxable capital gain and pensions based on private insurance and other income.

Current transfers received comprise earnings-related pensions and national pensions and other social security benefits, social assistance and other current transfers received.

Current transfers paid comprise direct taxes and social security contributions. In addition, current transfers paid comprise compulsory pension and unemployment insurance premiums and in the income distribution statistics also child maintenance support paid.

The key income distribution statistics concept, disposable income, is arrived at when current transfers paid are deducted from gross income. The concept of disposable income in the Household Budget Survey is based on register data, and does not, differing from the income distribution statistics, include wages and salaries subject withholding tax and tax-free interest income and current transfers between several households (e.g. child maintenance support).

Disposable money income

Households' disposable money income includes monetary income items and benefits in kind connected to employment relationships. Money income does not include imputed income items, of which the main one is imputed rent.

The formation of disposable money income can be described as follows:

+ wages and salaries
+ entrepreneurial income
+ property income (without imputed rent)
-----------------------------------------------
= factor income
+ current transfers received (without imputed rent)
---------------------------------------------
= gross money income
– current transfers paid
--------------------------------------------
= disposable money income

When current transfers paid are deducted from gross money income, the remaining income is the household's disposable money income.

The primary income concept used in the income distribution statistics is household's disposable money income according to international recommendations, in which case sales profits and taxes paid on them do not belong to the scope of the income concept. Following international recommendations, they are treated as a memorandum item outside the income concept.

The concept of disposable money income in the total statistics on income distribution differs from disposable money income in the income distribution statistics. As a conceptual difference, the income concept of the total statistics on income distribution includes taxable realised capital gains. For practical reasons, the total statistics on income distribution do not include the majority of interest income and current transfers received and paid between households (e.g. child maintenance support). Real property tax is not deducted in the total statistics on income distribution either.

Earned income

Earned income is the sum of earned and entrepreneurial income received by households and income recipients during the year.

The earned income concept of the income distribution statistics includes income items taxed in taxation both as earned and capital income. From the statistical year 1999 onwards, the concept of earnings has been used for earned income in the income distribution statistics. The content of the concept has not changed.

Entrepreneurial income

Entrepreneurial income includes income from agriculture and forestry, business activity and business group and copyright fees. Entrepreneurial income in agriculture also contains various subsidies and compensations such as agricultural subsidies, European Union agricultural aid and compensation for harvest losses. Income from agriculture does not include imputed income received from products taken into own use.

Equivalent income

Equivalent income is an income concept by which incomes of households of different types are made comparable by taking account of shared consumption benefits.

Equivalent income = the household's income divided by the number of consumption units in the household.

From 2002 the income distribution statistics have used the OECD's adjusted consumption unit scale recommended by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, where
- the first adult of the household receives the weight 1
- other over 13-year-olds receive the weight 0.5
- children receive the weight 0.3 (0 to 13-year-olds are defined as children)

The assumption is that income is evenly distributed inside the household between all household members in relation to the above-mentioned consumption need.

Factor income

In the income distribution statistics, factor income is monetary compensations received by households for participation in the production activity as wages and salaries, entrepreneurial income and property income.

GINI co-efficient

The Gini coefficient is the most common indicator describing income differences. The higher value the Gini coefficient gets, the more unequally is income distributed. The biggest possible value for the Gini coefficient is one. Then the highest earning income recipient receives all the income. The smallest Gini coefficient value is 0, when the income of all income recipients is equal. In the income distribution statistics, Gini coefficients are presented as percentages (multiplied by one hundred). The Gini coefficient describes relative income differences. The Gini coefficient does not change if the incomes of all income earners change by the same percentage.

Gross income

The household's gross income is obtained when current transfers received by the household are added to the household's factor income (wages and salaries, entrepreneurial and property income), but paid current transfers (e.g. taxes and social security contributions) are not deducted.

Household

A household is formed of all those persons who live together and have meals together or otherwise use their income together. The concept of household is only used in interview surveys.

Excluded from the household population are those living permanently abroad and the institutional population (such as long-term residents of old-age homes, care institutions, prisons or hospitals).

The corresponding register-based information is household-dwelling unit. A household-dwelling unit is formed of persons living permanently in the same dwelling or address. More than one household may belong to the same household-dwelling unit. The concept of household-dwelling unit is used in register-based statistics in place of the household concept.

Housing expenditure

Housing expenditure includes operating expenditure, interests on and amortisations of housing loans, capital charges, and real estate tax for the household's actual dwelling.

Income deciles

The income distribution is described by means of tenths or deciles. Sometimes fifths or quintiles are also used, formed in the corresponding way as deciles.

An example of how income deciles are formed:

Nowadays the decile groups or income deciles used in the income distribution statistics are formed by dividing first the household's income by the household's consumption units (so-called equivalent income). Each household member will have the same equivalent income. The persons are then arranged in the order of their income and divided into ten groups of equal size. Each income decile then has 10 per cent of the population. The first income decile contains the lowest income tenth and the last one the highest income tenth. The income shares of income deciles show how large share of the total sum of the income in question each decile gets.

Income share of housing costs

Housing costs include operating expenditure, interests on housing loans and real estate tax paid by the household for its actual dwelling. Depending on its tenure status, the dwelling's operating expenditure comprises maintenance charges, rents, water and waste charges, separate energy expenses, costs of maintenance repairs, and other operating and maintenance expenditure of the dwelling.

The income share of housing costs (in gross) indicates the share of housing costs in the household's disposable income (excl. real estate tax). In the income share of housing costs in net, housing costs and disposable money income do not include housing allowances received by the household as current transfers (general housing allowance, housing allowance for pensioners, students' housing supplement) and tax deduction benefit for interests on housing loans.

Low income

Low-income earners (persons at risk of poverty) are considered those whose household's disposable money income per consumption unit (so-called equivalent income) is lower than 60 per cent of the equivalent median money income of all households. The proportion of the population falling below this income limit is called the low income rate (at-risk-of-poverty-rate). The euro-denominated limit for low income varies by year. The definition is based on the recommendations of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. There is no official national definition for low income or poverty line in Finland.

From the statistical reference year 2011 onwards, the income distribution statistics started to use the money income concept meeting international recommendations for statistics on low income earning (poverty risk). In reports published before that, a wider income concept was used, that is, households' disposable equivalent income, when income included so-called imputed rent and sales profits.

Money income

Money income is obtained when imputed income items are deducted from household gross income.

Imputed items are imputed income obtained from an owner-occupied dwelling in own use. Money income includes benefits in kind connected to employment relationships.

Gross money income = the household's factor income (wages and salaries, entrepreneurial and property income) + current transfers received by the household.

Property income

Property income includes rental, interest and dividend income, pensions based on private insurance and other income (from 2000). Interest income subject to the Act on Withholding Tax is included in interest income as gross. Withholding taxes paid on them are included in current transfers paid. In international recommendations, sales profits are not counted as income, so taxable realised capital gains are not included in the income concept in the income distribution statistics. Instead, they are included in income in the total statistics on income distribution.

In the statistics published before the statistical reference year 2011, dwelling income and taxable sales profits were included in property income. From the statistical reference year 2011, dwelling income and sales profits were removed from the income concept, because the compilation of statistics is based on the concept of disposable money income fulfilling international recommendations. Data on the previous income concept including dwelling income and sales profits are still formed as reference data and they can be requested from Statistics Finland.

Reference person

In the income distribution statistics and in the statistics of household's assets the person with the highest personal income is chosen as the household's reference person. Personal income is defined according to register data and interview data.

Although income is the main criterion determining the reference person, in some cases (e.g. entrepreneur households) the activity of the whole household is taken into account. Households of pensioner parents with children (including those over the age of consent) are also special cases where the parent with the higher income is selected as the reference person if the combined incomes of the parents clearly exceed those of a child.

Socio-economic group

In the Household Budget Survey and income distribution survey a socio-economic group is formed for household members on the basis of the person's activity in the last 12 months. For determining the socio-economic group, persons are first divided into economically active and inactive. As a rule, all those who have participated in the production activity for at least six months during the survey year are counted as economically active. Economically active are further divided into self-employed and wage and salary earners on the basis of information reported in the interview. Self-employed are also such persons who have been taxed as employees in taxation (typically entrepreneurs working as employees in their own company). Economically inactive are grouped into students, pensioners, unemployed and others. Unemployed are persons who have been unemployed for at least six months during the year.

The socio-economic group of the household is determined by the household's reference person.

The classification is based on the Statistics Finland's classification standard of socio-economic groups from 1989. There account is taken of the person's occupation, status in occupation, nature of work and stage in life (Classification of Socio-economic Group 1989. Helsinki. Statistics Finland, Handbooks, 17).

Unemployed

In the income distribution statistics, persons who have been unemployed for at least six months during the year are classified as unemployed. Months of unemployment are asked from persons in the interview. Interview months are checked and where needed, corrected on the basis of register data (the Social Insurance Institution's register data on unemployment allowances and times of receipt, the tax register's unemployment allowances).

Wages and salaries

Wages and salaries include income paid to households as pay – either in money or benefits in kind. In the income concept, income from incentive stock options is included in benefits in kind and thus in wages and salaries. The concept of wages and salaries used in the income distribution statistics includes not only wages and salaries for regular working hours but also overtime compensations and income received from secondary jobs. Realised incentive stock options are also included in wages and salaries in the income concept of the income distribution statistics. Their generating costs are deducted from wages and salaries, but not travel expenses.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

Only administrative register data are used as data sources for the total data of the income distribution statistics, so the quality of the statistics depends on the quality of the source data and the error related to the processing of the data. The quality of data sources is good in statistics compilation based on a register system.

The sample data of the income distribution statistics is based on a representative sample survey. Most of the data derive from administrative data sources. Some of the data are collected by interviewing households. 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 sample data of the income distribution statistics are related to non-response. Unit non-response is corrected with weighting based on the sampling design (two-phase sampling design). The design weights are first corrected by stratum with the inverse figures 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 demographic distributions and income sums in the total data. See the methodological description of the statistical survey (Appendix link).  The error caused by item non-response is minor in the sample data and mostly concerns the interest income subject to withholding tax of the few income data collected with the interview. The item non-response is corrected by imputation.
In addition to non-response and random variation, the quality of the results of the income distribution statistics is also affected by coverage errors (the frame population differs from the basic target population) and measurement errors (the measured value of the result variable differs from its actual value). These error sources are minor in both datasets (total and sample data).

Some of the error sources in the income distribution statistics can cause systematic errors. Systematic errors are estimated by comparing the estimates with the data concerning the entire population available from the total data and other registers and with corresponding data from other statistics. As regards population data, the quality of the total data is examined, for example, in the quality description of Statistics Finland's statistics on dwellings and housing conditions. The coverage of income data in the total data is good relative to the used income concept (disposable monetary income). The data do not include income items that are entirely excluded from registers or that are not considered to be income. The coverage and quality of income data are studied by comparing total data with other statistical sources, such as the statistics of the Tax Administration, the Social Insurance Institution, the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and data on the household sector in Statistics Finland's national accounts. Comparisons are conducted regularly every year and more detailed information on them can be requested from Statistics Finland.

In the sample data of the income distribution statistics, the bias and accuracy of estimates are estimated with the help of standard errors of the data.

Timeliness

The data for the statistical reference year are released as final data based on the total data of the income distribution statistics approximately 11 to 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year. The sample data are completed for release as preliminary data around one year and as final data approximately 15 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

In the statistical reference year 2018, the total data of the income distribution statistics were exceptionally released 14 months from the end of the statistical reference year, because the completion of the Tax Administration's personal taxation data used as data source was delayed. The reason for this was a renewal of the information system. Preliminary sample data of the income distribution statistics were not published at all concerning the statistical reference year 2018, whereas final data were completed and published according to the normal schedule.

TP1

Preliminary data on income distribution statistics are released approximately 11 to 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

TP2

Final data on income distribution statistics are released approximately 11 to 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

TP2

Final data on income distribution statistics are released approximately 11 to 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

Punctuality

The data are supplied to users punctually in accordance with the release date stated in the release calendar, as preliminary around 11 to 12 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

TP3

The data are supplied to users punctually in accordance with the release date stated in the release calendar, as final around 15 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

TP3

The data are supplied to users punctually in accordance with the release date stated in the release calendar, as final around 15 months from the end of the statistical reference year.

Completeness

-

R1_U

-

R1_P

-

Data revision

The time series data of the income distribution statistics are revised for the statistical reference year and retrospectively for the time series data if the effect of the corrections on key result data is statistically significant and data sources are available for the revision. The time series data of the statistics can also be updated with extended data content, such as classifications.

Data revision - practice

The preliminary data of the income distribution statistics become revised for the statistical reference year if the data sources used for the statistics are updated, or there is a need for revision due to detected errors or deficiencies before the final data are published.

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.

A6

The average revision for the result indicators of the total data of income distribution statistics is 0 per cent in 1995 to 2018 and around 0 per cent for the result indicators of the sample data in 1987 and in 1993 to 2018.

A6

The average revision for the result indicators of the total data of income distribution statistics is 0 per cent in 1995 to 2018 and around 0 per cent for the result indicators of the sample data in 1987 and in 1993 to 2018.

Sampling error

Table. Confidence intervals and standard error of the at-risk-of-poverty rate in 1987 to 2018, sample data of the income distribution statistics

Table. Standard errors of households’ income and housing costs by socio-economic group in 2018, sample data of the income distribution statistics

A1a

See section 13.2.

A1b

See section 13.2.

Non-sampling error

Only administrative register data are used as data sources for the total data of the income distribution statistics, so the quality of the statistics depends on the quality of the source data and the error related to the processing of the data. The quality of data sources is good in statistics compilation based on a register system.

The sample data of the income distribution statistics is based on a representative sample survey. Most of the data derive from registers. Some of the data are collected by interviewing households. Other sources of error are coverage, measurement, non-response and processing errors.

The main sources of error in the sample data of the income distribution statistics are related to non-response. Unit non-response is corrected with weighting based on the sampling design (two-phase sampling design) (Section 18.5 Data compilation). The design weights are first corrected by stratum with the inverse figures 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 demographic distributions and income sums in the total data. See the methodological description of the statistical survey (Appendix link).  The error caused by item non-response is minor in the sample data and concerns interest income subject to withholding tax of the few income data collected with the interview. The item non-response is corrected by imputation.

The coverage error of the income distribution statistics is minor (Section 13.3.1.1. Over-coverage - rate Likewise, the processing error of the statistics compiled annually with an established production process is estimated to be relatively small (Section 13.3.4 Processing error).

Coverage error

The framework for the total data of the income distribution statistics is the total data based on Statistics Finland's population and dwelling data resource of 31 December. The sources of errors in the data have been checked and the quality is good.

The sampling frame for the sample data of the income distribution statistics consists of total data based on the Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and Statistics Finland's population and dwelling data resource. 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. 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. The over-coverage of the sample is checked in the interviews. 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.

A2

The over-coverage of the sample data of the income distribution statistics was 1.3 per cent of the gross sample (unweighted) in 2018.

Measurement error

The data of the income distribution statistics are compiled in an integrated manner according to the work stages of the established production process. Changes, for example in data sources or production systems, are tested and possible error sources are checked when forming the data. The measurement error is minor in statistics compilation based on a register system.

In the sample data of the income distribution statistics, 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 form. The data obtained from the data collection are checked and errors are corrected in the statistics.

Non-response error

The unit non-response of the income distribution statistics is corrected with weighting, which aims to remove non-response error. See the methodological description of the income distribution statistics (link).

A4

The unit non-response of the income distribution statistics was 22.8 per cent of the entire net sample in 2018 (unweighted data). A rotating four-panel design is used in the statistics. Net non-response by panel was 41.8 per cent in the first survey round, 14.0 per cent in the second survey round, 9.9 per cent in the third survey round and 7.1 per cent in the fourth survey round in 2018.

The unit non-response of the income distribution statistics is corrected with weighting.

A5

In the sample data of the income distribution statistics, the data collected with interviews contain item non-response: interest income subject to withholding tax, housing expenditure items. Missing data are corrected by imputation. The respondent donor method is used stochastically as imputation method. The sub-populations are formed from a stratum and variables selected on the basis of exploratory analyses.

In interest income subject to withholding tax, item non-response was 19.6 per cent of the approved sample in 2018 (unweighted data). In housing expenditure items, with the exception of electricity costs, non-response ranged between one and two per cent of the approved sample in 2018 (unweighted data). It was highest in electricity costs, 5.8 per cent in 2018.

Processing error

Data processing errors in the income distribution statistics are minor. The data are processed in the established production process by work phase.

Model assumption error

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

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The total data of the income distribution statistics describe household-dwelling units' income exhaustively according to the following regional classifications: the EU's uniform NUTS classification of regional units (NUTS2, or classification of major regions, NUTS3 or classification of regions), sub-regional unit and municipality.

The sample data are based on a nationally representative sample survey. The income concept of sample data is guided by the Regulation concerning ESS EU-SILC statistics (1177/2003; implementing Regulation 1980/2003), which makes the income data produced from sample data comparable between different countries. The income of the sample data in the income distribution statistics corresponds, apart from small exceptions, to the data published by Eurostat and the OECD. This kind of exception is caused by fringe benefits included in wages and salaries, which are included exhaustively in income in national statistics, but not in the EU's Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. The data are regionally comparable according to the NUTS2 or major region classification used in the statistics and nationally according to the statistical grouping of municipalities.

Comparability - over time

The time series data of the total data of the income distribution statistics are for the years 1995 to 2018. The time series formed on the basis of the total data of the income distribution statistics is not entirely comparable between 1995 to 2009 and 2010 to 2018.
Time series data on sample data are available from 1966 to 2018. Income has been updated retrospectively to the time series data starting from 1987. The comparability of the sample data time series is good for 1993 to 2018 and for the main income items relatively good from 1993 backwards to earlier statistical reference years.

In the total data of the income distribution statistics, the calculation method of forest income was revised, the formation of rehabilitation grants was specified and new income items were added to the income nomenclature starting from the statistical reference year 2010. New income items are child maintenance allowance, child support received, tax-free grants and daily allowances of conscripts. Paid child support was included in current transfers paid as tax-like payment for persons who have claimed deductions for maintenance payments in taxation. Child maintenance allowance is received directly from the Social Insurance Institution's registers, but child support received is derived from the tax deduction data of payers of maintenance payments. Specifications were also made to the formation of rehabilitation grants by removing the share of a person’s rehabilitation grant that is transferred directly to the employer.

The time series comparisons of income calculated on the basis of both sample and total data are affected to a small extent by the change in the calculation of forest sales proceeds. The change primarily affects farmers' income, which shows a slight change between 2013 and 2014. (For more details about the change in the calculation method, see the methodological description of the income distribution statistics). In addition, the taxation of forest income shifted to taxation based on sales income in 2006. Therefore, the handling of forest income also changed in the income distribution statistics. Income from forestry was in 2006 to 2013 principally based on the Tax Administration's annual tax return data and complementing data were no longer inquired in the interviews. The costs of forestry were estimated as a percentage share of forest sales proceeds, while previously they were calculated using a regression model based on interview data.

The temporal comparability of the income concepts of the income distribution statistics is also made more difficult by the 2005 dividend tax renewal, where the system of corporation tax credit was abandoned. Before the renewal, corporation tax credit was considered income in dividend, factor and gross income. Because the corporation tax credit was also included in current transfers paid, the renewal does not affect the comparability of disposable income. The changes caused by the tax renewal have been revised in the time series data of the income distribution statistics for 1993 to 2004. These changes have the same effect on temporal comparisons of income data produced on the basis of both total and sample data.

The imputed dwelling income from owner-occupied dwellings formed from the sample is still produced as a separate income component and it is still included in households' disposable income (but not in monetary income). In the 2006 statistics, the calculation method of housing income was renewed by taking into account, on the one hand, uniform practices with Statistics Finland's other statistics (especially the Household Budget Survey and national accounts) and on the other hand, the requirements of the regulation concerning the ESS EU-SILC statistics. The main changes are related to revisions in gross rent strata calculated for sample households with the stratum method and handling of depreciations related to owner-occupied dwellings. In the strata, gross rent based on the statistical grouping of municipalities has been replaced with municipality-specific data and, in larger municipalities, with sub-area data (since 2012, the gross rent by sub-area has been used for more municipalities than before). Stratum-specific gross rent values are still based on the average rents of new and old tenancies of non-subsidised dwellings in Statistics Finland’s rent statistics but the rent values of strata with low numbers of observations have been revised with the selling prices of old dwellings in housing companies. Depreciations are not subtracted from the dwelling income of those living in detached houses. (See section 3.4.) Dwelling income calculated using the new method has been updated retrospectively in the statistics’ time series data starting from 1993 so the income concepts are comparable in this respect when the time series data of the income distribution statistics are used as the data source.

Starting from the income distribution statistics for 2006, sample-based current transfers received between households have no longer been included in money or other gifts received by households. The reason for this is coherence with the income concept of the ESS EU-SILC statistics. The new calculation method decreases the households’ average disposable income by around EUR 150 per household.
 

CC2

The time series data of the total data of the income distribution statistics are comparable for the years 1995 to 2018, altogether 23 years in 2018. There are small differences in the formation of data between the years 1995 to 2009 and 2010 to 2018 (see below).
The time series data of the sample data of the income distribution statistics are comparable from 1987 to 2018, altogether 31 years. In addition, some data are comparable for 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981 and 1986. The comparability of the sample data time series of the income distribution statistics is good for 1993 to 2018 and for the main income items relatively good from 1993 backwards to earlier statistical reference years.

The time series formed on the basis of the total data of the income distribution statistics is weakened by the differences in data formation between 1995 and 2009 and 2010 to 2018. The calculation method of forest income was revised, the formation of rehabilitation grants was specified and new income items were added to the income nomenclature starting from the statistical reference year 2010. New income items are child maintenance allowance, child support received, tax-free grants and daily allowances of conscripts. Paid child support was included in current transfers paid as tax-like payment for persons who have claimed deductions for maintenance payments in taxation. Child maintenance allowance is received directly from the Social Insurance Institution's registers, but child support received is derived from the tax deduction data of payers of maintenance payments. Specifications were also made to the formation of rehabilitation grants by removing the share of a person’s rehabilitation grant that is transferred directly to the employer.

The time series comparisons of income calculated on the basis of both sample and total data are affected to a small extent by the change in the calculation of forest sales proceeds. The change primarily affects farmers' income, which shows a slight change between 2013 and 2014. (For more details about the change in the calculation method, see the earlier quality description of the income distribution statistics). In addition, the taxation of forest income shifted to taxation based on sales income in 2006. Therefore, the handling of forest income also changed in the income distribution statistics. Income from forestry was in 2006 to 2013 principally based on the Tax Administration's annual tax return data and complementing data were no longer inquired in the interviews. The costs of forestry were estimated as a percentage share of forest sales proceeds, while previously they were calculated using a regression model based on interview data.

The temporal comparability of the income concepts of the income distribution statistics is also made more difficult by the 2005 dividend tax renewal, where the system of corporation tax credit was abandoned. Before the renewal, corporation tax credit was considered income in dividend, factor and gross income. Because the corporation tax credit was also included in current transfers paid, the renewal does not affect the comparability of disposable income. The changes caused by the tax renewal have been revised in the time series data of the income distribution statistics for 1993 to 2004. These changes have the same effect on temporal comparisons of income data produced on the basis of both total and sample data.

The imputed dwelling income from owner-occupied dwellings formed from the sample is still produced as a separate income component and it is still included in households' disposable income (but not in monetary income). In the 2006 statistics, the calculation method of housing income was renewed by taking into account, on the one hand, uniform practices with Statistics Finland's other statistics (especially the Household Budget Survey and national accounts) and on the other hand, the requirements of the Regulation concerning the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The main changes are related to revisions in gross rent strata calculated for sample households with the stratum method and handling of depreciations related to owner-occupied dwellings. In the strata, gross rent based on the statistical grouping of municipalities has been replaced with municipality-specific data and, in larger municipalities, with sub-area data (since 2012, the gross rent by sub-area has been used for more municipalities than before). Stratum-specific gross rent values are still based on the average rents of new and old tenancies of non-subsidised dwellings in Statistics Finland’s rent statistics but the rent values of strata with low numbers of observations have been revised with the selling prices of old dwellings in housing companies. Depreciations are not subtracted from the dwelling income of those living in detached houses. (See section 3.4 Statistical concepts and definitions, dwelling income or imputed net rent). Dwelling income calculated using the new method has been updated retrospectively in the statistics’ time series data starting from 1993 so the income concepts are comparable in this respect when the time series data of the income distribution statistics are used as the data source.
Starting from the income distribution statistics for 2006, sample-based current transfers received between households have no longer been included in money or other gifts received by households. The reason for this is coherence with the income concept of the ESS EU-SILC statistics. The new calculation method decreases the households’ average disposable income by around EUR 150 per household.
 

Coherence - cross domain

The total data of the income distribution statistics are consistent with Statistics Finland's statistics based on total data. The statistical data of the sample data and the statistics on living conditions have been formed in an integrated manner by means of data collected with interviews and total data in the Survey on income and living conditions.

Besides the income distribution statistics, Statistics Finland's Household Budget Survey, taxable income and national accounts also contain income concepts.

There are no considerable conceptual differences between the sample data of the income distribution statistics and the Household Budget Survey. Both follow the definition of disposable income that is accordant with international recommendations. The housing costs in the income distribution statistics and the consumption expenditure of housing in the Household Budget Survey are congruent. The data of the Household Budget Survey contain all consumption expenditure related to the housing costs of the household’s actual dwellings and free-time residences (incl. imputed consumption). The statistics use the gross rent principle and the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP-HBS). In addition to the above-mentioned factors, the data of the statistics may differ for reasons related to sampling and production methods.

The statistics on taxable income based on taxation data describe the taxable income, deductions and taxes of natural persons. The topic area the statistics describe is less extensive than that of the income distribution statistics. The statistics on taxable income do not provide data by household, the statistical unit is income earner. The statistics do not include income items that are not subject to personal taxation.

The income distribution statistics describe the income and current transfers of the household sector and are thus an extension of the household sector’s income and use of income accounts of the national accounts. When comparing the income sums of the income distribution statistics for the whole country with the items of the national accounts’ income and use of income accounts, the differences in defining the sector, in certain definitions, and in the compilation methods of the statistics should be noted. Due to the differences, the figures of the national accounts and income distribution statistics on, for example, annual changes in households’ disposable income may differ considerably from one another. The disposable income of the national accounts includes imputed dwelling income but not sales profits (holding gains).

Coherence - sub-annual and annual statistics

The income distribution statistics are annual statistics.

Coherence -national accounts

The income distribution statistics describe the income and current transfers of the household sector and are thus an extension of the household sector’s income and use of income accounts of the national accounts. When comparing the income sums of the income distribution statistics for the whole country with the items of the national accounts’ income and use of income accounts, the differences in defining the sector, in certain definitions, and in the compilation methods of the statistics should be noted. Due to the differences, the figures of the national accounts and income distribution statistics on, for example, annual changes in households’ disposable income may differ considerably from one another. The disposable income of the national accounts includes imputed dwelling income but not sales profits (holding gains).

Coherence - internal

The content of the statistics is uniform, except for the effects of differences arising from definitional differences in the data on household and income (see Section 3.4), and the effects of special sources of error included in the sample data (see Section 13.1).

The income data of the total data and sample data are otherwise the same, but the sample statistics contain income data missing from registers that are collected with interviews (interest income, certain current transfers between households).

Source data and data collections

Source data

The total data of the income distribution statistics are statistical data covering the entire household-dwelling population, which are compiled on the individual level from several administrative files and registers. Thus, the statistics contain detailed data on the income of all household-dwelling units and persons belonging to them.

The following administrative files and statistical registers have been used in the compilation of the total data:

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  • 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)

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  • 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 target population of the total data is Finland's dwelling population at the end of the statistical reference year (31 December). The household-dwelling population is formed by all persons living permanently in dwellings. Good two per cent of the entire population are excluded from the statistics. They include persons registered as permanently resident at institutions (e.g. long-term residents of old people's homes, care institutions, prisons or hospitals), homeless persons, persons residing abroad and persons registered as unknown.


The total data are compiled by combining administrative and register data sources to persons on the basis of personal identity codes. The income of a household-dwelling unit is formed by adding up the income of persons belonging to the same household-dwelling unit.

The basic sample data of the income distribution statistics are compiled by combining the data collected from households by interviews and the register data of total data for the acceptably interviewed sample. A majority of classification data on households and the income data that are not available from registers have been collected by interviews in the Survey on income and living conditions. Statistics Finland's Data Collection Department is responsible for the interviews. The interviews are computer-assisted and conducted with the help of Blaise questionnaire software mainly as telephone interviews. The interview language is either Finnish, Swedish or English depending on the interviewee’s choice (since the statistical reference year 2014). In 2018, the average duration of an interview was roughly 30 minutes.

See the methodological description of the income distribution statistics.

Data collection

The total data of the income distribution statistics are statistical data covering the entire household-dwelling population, which are compiled on the individual level from several administrative files and registers. Thus, the statistics contain detailed data on the income of all household-dwelling units and persons belonging to them.

The main data collection method for the data collected with the interviews of the statistics on living conditions 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.

Frequency of data collection

The basic data for the income distribution statistics are collected annually.

A3

In the sample data of the income distribution statistics, 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

In Statistics Finland's income distribution statistics, 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

In the sample data of the income distribution statistics, households and persons receive a weighting coefficient with which their data are raised to represent the data of the basic population. First, design weights are formed for households relying on the probability of the sample person being included in the sample. 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. The weights corrected for non-response are calibrated with the CALMAR macro to correspond to the key known distributions of the population from the total data. The procedure aims at reducing the bias caused by the selectivity of non-response and produce as exact estimates as possible for the main income variables. In the calibration of the weights for the 2018 material, the following data were used:

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  • Statistical grouping of municipalities) size of household-dwelling unit age and gender groups of members level of education of persons aged 16 or over

  • 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)

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<w:anchorlock> </w:anchorlock></w:wrap></v:group>Number of persons belonging to low-income household-dwelling units in the household-dwelling population in the total data on income distribution (register-based income concept)


Of the calibration data, the number of persons belonging to low-income household-dwelling units was applied in the statistical reference year 2015 and the level of education in the statistical reference year 2016 to correct the increased bias caused by higher non-response. The effect on the educational distribution of persons aged 16 or over was significant: the number of persons with only comprehensive school or no education data grew and that of persons with university degrees decreased. By contrast, changes in median income and annual changes in population groups were small. The income relations between population groups did not change. The calibration change did not affect the comparability of key indicators.

Data validation

The correctness of the data formed for the total data of the income distribution statistics is ensured by checking the correctness and congruence of the data used from different source data for the derived classifications and variables. Checks are also performed in sample data once the total data have been combined with the sample.

As regards population data, the quality of the total data is examined, for example, in the quality description of Statistics Finland's statistics on dwellings and housing conditions. The coverage of income data in the total data is good relative to the used income concept (disposable monetary income). The data do not include income items that are entirely excluded from registers or that are not considered to be income. The coverage and quality of income data are studied by comparing total data with other statistical sources, such as the statistics of the Tax Administration, the Social Insurance Institution, the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and data on the household sector in Statistics Finland's national accounts. Comparisons are conducted regularly every year and more detailed information on them can be requested from Statistics Finland.

The main source of error in the sample data is unit non-response, which is corrected with weighting based on the sampling design. Besides non-response and random variation, the quality of the results is also affected by coverage errors (the frame population differs from the basic target population) and measurement errors (the measured value of the result variable differs from its actual value). Some of these error sources can cause systematic errors. Systematic errors are estimated by comparing the estimates with the data concerning the entire population available from the total data and other registers and with corresponding data from other statistics. Comparisons are conducted annually and information on them can be requested from Statistics Finland.

Seasonal adjustment

The income distribution statistics are annual statistics.

A7

Imputation rates (unweighted) of the data collected with interviews in the sample data of the income distribution statistics in the statistical reference year 2018:

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</w:wrap></v:group>Interest income subject to withholding tax 19.6%

  • Housing expenditure items: electricity 5.8% and other items one to two per cent.

Adjustment

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Documentation on methodology

The data content of the sample data of the income distribution statistics is based on the ESS EU-SILC statistics (EU-SILC, Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, Regulation No 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. 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 general act of the national statistical service, the Statistics Act (280/2004, amend. 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.

The data content of the sample data of the income distribution statistics is based on framework Regulation 1177/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning Community statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). 

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

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).

Sample data of the income distribution statistics are combined with the service set of Statistics Finland's income distribution statistics. The service data do not contain direct identifiers. To ensure data protection, the values of income variables which make identification easier are made less detailed. Deduction of the detailed regional level is prevented by randomising the municipal and real estate tax rates included in the data.

Sample data of the income distribution statistics and 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 (EU-SILC, Statistics on Income and Living Conditions). 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.
Statistical protection methods are described, for example, in the Handbook on Statistical Disclosure Control (2010).

Release policy

Statistics Finland's 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. Statistical data are released on the Internet at 8 am, unless otherwise indicated. The calendar is updated on weekdays. Statistics Finland's release calendar for the coming year is published every year in December.

Data sharing

Besides Statistics Finland, regional data from the total data of the income distribution statistics are also published as tabulated data in the statistics and indicator databank SOTKAnet maintained by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The income data of the income distribution statistics are used for Statistics Finland's statistics on living conditions. The sample data of the income distribution statistics and the statistics on living conditions are based on the same sample data. The data are used for the international ESS 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.

In addition, sample data from the income distribution statistics is supplied to the OECD (OECD IDD) and at set intervals to the Luxembourg Income Study's (LIS) international database. They publish internationally comparable data on their statistical pages.

Other

Data on the income distribution statistics 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

The data of the income distribution statistics are published in Statistics Finland’s Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) under Income distribution statistics on the home page of the statistics. The links on the home page lead to statistical releases, free statistical database tables (StatFin) and the description, concepts and definitions of the statistics.

Releases and footnotes to database tables describe the basic data set on which each data are based (total data or sample data). The population indicated in the tables also shows which basic data set the data are based on: the data produced from total data describe household-dwelling units or the dwelling population, and the data produced from sample data describe households or the household population.

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. Statistics Finland publishes international data on its web pages, see products and services, international statistical data.

Micro-data access

A service data set is compiled annually based on the sample data of the income distribution statistics, and it is released as anonymised unit-level micro data (so-called service data) for scientific research use and statistical surveys through Statistics Finland's research services. The use of service data is subject to licence. The application must contain the purpose for which the data will be used, a research plan and the signed pledges of secrecy from the persons participating in the research. The service data are chargeable.
The service data are also used for microsimulation.

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 sample data of the income distribution statistics and data of the statistics on living conditions are released to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, for the international, comparative ESS 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 ESS EU SILC micro data is available on Eurostat's web pages.

Data revision - policy

The preliminary data of the income distribution statistics become revised for the statistical reference year if the data sources used for the statistics are updated, or there is a need for revision due to detected errors or deficiencies before the final data are published.

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.

Relevance

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

User needs

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User satisfaction

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Quality documentation

The quality documentation of the income distribution statistics complies with the guidelines of Statistics Finland's Official Statistics of Finland (OSF).

Quality assessment

Quality assessment, see 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). More information about this is available on Statistics Finland's quality management pages.

Every year Statistics Finland conducts statistical auditing that helps to ensure the quality of statistics.

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

Kaisa-Mari Okkonen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3408

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