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Latest publication: Quarterly local government finances 2019, 3rd quarter

Published: 24 May 2019

Operating expenses of municipalities in Mainland Finland grew by 4.8 per cent in January to March 2019

The external operating expenses of municipalities in Mainland Finland were 4.8 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2019 than in the first quarter of one year earlier. External operating revenue declined by 2.1 per cent. Municipalities received a total of EUR 6.2 billion in tax revenue and EUR 2.2 billion in central government transfers to local government. The external operating expenses of joint municipal authorities grew by 8.5 per cent and operating revenue by 9.5 per cent. These data appear from Statistics Finland's statistics on quarterly local government finances, for which data were collected from 80 municipalities and 69 joint municipal authorities in Mainland Finland.

External quarterly data on the finances of municipalities and joint municipal authorities, EUR million 1)

  1st quarter
Municipalities Joint municipal authorities
2019 Change, % 2019 Change, %
Operating revenue total 1 602 -2,1 4 135 9,5
Operating expenses total 9 304 4,8 3 759 8,5
Annual contribution margin 750 -28,8 355 21,8
Loan stock 17 633 11,3 3 934 13,5
1) Operating expenses include expenses from production for own use. The change is calculated compared with the corresponding period in the previous year.

Finances of municipalities and joint municipal authorities

The external operating expenses of municipalities in Mainland Finland amounted to EUR 9.3 billion in January to March 2019. Operating expenses grew by 4.8 per cent from the corresponding period in 2018. External operating revenue amounted to EUR 1.6 billion and decreased by 2.1 per cent.

Municipalities’ tax revenue was EUR 6.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019. Municipalities received EUR 2.2 billion in central government transfers to local government. Tax revenue increased by 2.1 per cent and central government transfers by 0.7 per cent compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Tax funding formed of these two items was EUR 1,528 per capita. 1) The combined annual contribution margin of municipalities decreased by 28.8 per cent year-on-year and was EUR 0.7 billion in January to March.

At the end of March, municipalities' combined loan stock was EUR 17.6 billion. The growth from the year before amounted to 6.0 per cent. The loan stock per capita of municipalities in Mainland Finland was EUR 3,213. 2) Investment expenses stood at EUR 0.5 billion in January to March. Investment expenses grew by 21.2 per cent from the corresponding period in 2018.

The external operating expenses of joint municipal authorities in Mainland Finland totalled EUR 3.8 billion in January to March 2019 and they were 8.5 per cent higher than in the first quarter of one year earlier. External operating revenue grew by 9.5 per cent to EUR 4.1 billion. The combined annual contribution margin of joint municipal authorities was EUR 0.4 billion.

The investment expenses of joint municipal authorities totalled EUR 0.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019. Investment expenditure increased by 13.7 per cent from the respective period in 2018. At the end of March, joint municipal authorities' loan stock totalled EUR 3.9 billion. The loan stock grew by 2.0 per cent from the beginning of the year.

Information on the statistics

The statistics on quarterly local government finances are in the first to third quarters a sample survey that describes the development of the finances of municipalities and joint municipal authorities in Mainland Finland by quarter. For the statistical release on the fourth quarter, data are collected from all municipalities and joint municipal authorities in Mainland Finland. The data in the statistics on quarterly local government finances are preliminary and they might become revised in coming publications.

No data are released by municipality or joint municipal authority for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters that are based on a sample survey. The financial statement estimate data received from municipalities and joint municipal authorities in the data collection concerning the fourth quarter will be released at unit level starting from data concerning 2017 on Statistics Finland's website in the database Data on finances reported by municipalities and joint municipal authorities .

The data published in the statistics on quarterly local government finances are not directly comparable with the data of the statistics on local government finances by quarter because of the different way of handling local government enterprises. In the statistics on quarterly local government finances, local government enterprises are combined with the data on basic municipalities and joint municipal authorities, while this was not done in the statistics on local government finances by quarter published between 2013 and 2015.


1) The population data used were the population of Mainland Finland on 31 December 2018.
2) The population data used were the population of Mainland Finland on 31 December 2018.

Source: Quarterly local government finances, 1st quarter 2019, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Jens Melfsen 029 551 2578, Karen Asplund 029 551 3611, kuntatalous@stat.fi

Director in charge: Ville Vertanen

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Updated 24.05.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Quarterly local government finances [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-4139. 1st quarter 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 14.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ktan/2019/01/ktan_2019_01_2019-05-24_tie_001_en.html