Municipal elections, quality description

1. Relevance of statistical information

1.1 Summary of the information content of statistics

Statistics Finland produces official statistics on the municipal elections. The main content of the statistics is: the numbers and shares of votes gained by the parties divided into votes received in advance voting and on the actual election day, the council seats gained by the parties, the numbers and shares of votes gained by the candidates and the number of elected councillors by party, the number of persons entitled to vote and those who voted by sex, and the number of persons who voted by sex.

The statistics pages on municipal elections also contain analyses on the backgrounds of the candidates and elected councillors, as well as on those who voted.

Starting from 2004, the data can also be found by voting district in Statistics Finland’s StatFin statistical database.

1.2 Essential concepts
General

In the municipal elections councillors are elected to municipal councils. At the beginning of 2021, the number of municipalities is 293 in Mainland Finland (and 16 in Åland).
The municipal elections are held in accordance with the division of municipalities that came into effect at the beginning of the election year (2021) (the division of voting districts came into force on 1 January 2021, based on the decisions on the voting district division reported by municipalities to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency by 31 August 2020).
*If municipal elections are held in the year preceding a change in the municipal division entering into force, they must be held in accordance with the new municipal division in the municipalities to which the change applies. .
The municipal council decides how many councillors are elected in each municipality (Local Government Act 410/2015, Section 16). The number of inhabitants is determined based on the data in the Population Information System at the end of 30 November preceding the election year.

Legislation on elections

The first act concerning municipal elections was enacted in 1917. With the revision of election legislation in 1998 all provisions on elections were collected into one single act, the Election Act (714/1998), which entered into force on 8 October 1998. The provisions concerning municipal elections are included in it and in the Local Government Act 410/2015.

The amendment of the Election Act (563/2015) entered into force on 1 June 2015 when the name of the elections was changed in Finnish to ‘kuntavaalit’ and the time for holding the elections was changed from October to April. Municipal elections are held every four years on the third Sunday of April. If the third Sunday falls on Easter Sunday or the Sunday after it, the election day moves to the Sunday preceding Easter Sunday (Election Act 563/2015, Section 144).In the municipalities of the autonomous territory of the Åland Islands elections www.val.ax are also arranged every four years (next in October 2023) , but at a different time than in Mainland Finland.Elections are held in accordance with the Election Act in force, (Election Act in force www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/1998/en19980714 ), more details on the Ministry of Justice’s web pages www.vaalit.fi (=> Legislation) and www.finlex.fi , Election Act (714/1998). In municipal elections advance voting was possible abroad for the first time in 2000.

The amendment to the Election Act (939/2017), which allowed postal voting for Finnish citizens not resident in Finland and other voters staying abroad at the time of the elections, was confirmed on 14 December 2017 and it came into force on 1 November 2018. Postal voting was used for the first time in the 2019 Parliamentary elections and after that in the 2019 European Parliament elections . Government bill for an act on amendment to the Election Act (HE 101/2017).

The amendment to the Election Act (1223/2018) included some technical reviews, such as a change in the timetable of decisions concerning the division of voting districts and the possibility of sending an electronic notification of the right to vote (notification card) to persons entitled to vote.

The amendment to the Election Act (1132/2019) was connected to the establishment of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency on 1 January 2020.

Because of health and safety risks related to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), it was announced on 6 March 2021 that the municipal elections 2021 would be postponed.

The postponement of the municipal elections required amendment to the Election Act (HE 33/2021, PeVM 4/2021, EV 31/2021), the act (256/202) on the postponement of the municipal elections 2021 was confirmed on 29 March 2021.

The main principles of holding elections

All elections in Finland are held according to the following principles:

  • The elections are direct. Electors (those entitled to vote) vote direct for the persons they want to be elected.

  • The elections are proportional. In proportional elections each party (or other group) gains seats in relation to the votes cast for it compared with the votes cast for other groups (not in presidential elections).

  • The elections are secret. Secrecy of the ballot means that neither the election authorities nor anyone else get to know for whom voters have cast their votes or whether they have returned an empty ballot. By contrast, the information on whether a person entitled to vote has exercised his/her right, i.e. actually voted, is not covered by the secret of the ballot.

  • The right to vote is universal and equal. Universal franchise means that the right to vote only depends on requirements which citizens usually fulfil. Equal franchise means that every person entitled to vote has an equal right to influence the election results. In general elections everybody has one vote.

  • Voting is personal . The right to vote may not be used through an agent.

  • Voting must take place in front of election authorities. An exception is postal voting that does not take place in front of election authorities. In postal voting, the voter needs to have two witnesses who attest, by their signatures, that voting has taken place in such a manner that election secrecy has been preserved and electoral freedom respected while voting.

  • The Finnish election system is a combination of voting for individuals and parties , where a vote goes to both a party and a person (not in presidential elections).

Right to vote and eligibility

Entitled to vote in municipal elections are:

Every person that has reached the age of 18 no later than on the day of the election is entitled to vote provided that they are

  1. Citizens of Finland or another EU Member State as well as of Iceland and Norway and whose municipality of residence is the municipality in question (23 April 2021) on the 51st day before the election day; or

  2. Citizens of other countries whose municipality of residence is the municipality in question (23 April 2021) on the 51st day before the election day and who at that time have had a municipality of residence in Finland for an uninterrupted period of two years; or

  3. Persons employed by the EU or an international organisation in Finland and family members of such persons whose municipality of residence is the municipality in question (23 April 2021) on the 51st day before the election day, assuming that their data have upon their request been registered in the Finnish Population Information System and that they have notified to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency of their willingness to exercise the right to vote in the municipal election in writing no later than on 22 April 2021 (on the 52nd day before the election day).

Amendment to the Election Act (939/2017), which allows voting by post for Finnish citizens not resident in Finland (NB no right to vote in municipal elections) and other voters staying abroad at the time of the elections came into force on 1 November 2018. Postal voting was used for the first time in the 2019 Parliamentary elections and after that in the 2019 European Parliament elections.

Eligibility and nomination of candidates
Eligibility

Eligible as candidates in municipal elections are persons,

  1. Whose municipality of residence is the municipality in question

  2. Who are entitled to vote in municipal elections in some municipality, and

  3. Who have not been declared legally incompetent.

Section 72 of the Local Government Act prescribes the restrictions to eligibility.

As a rule, eligibility is determined in the same schedule as the person’s voting municipality, that is, according to the information drawn from the Population Information System 51 days prior to the day of the election (in the 2021 Municipal elections by Friday 23 April 2021). If the person changes his or her municipality of residence after that date, his or her eligibility follows with him or her.

The legislation has not set a clear deadline for the determination of eligibility of candidates but in practice, candidates’ municipality of residence has to be clear at the latest on the 32nd day prior to the day of the election (in the 2021 Municipal election by Friday 14 May 2021 *Ascension Day 13 May 2021), when the central election committees handle and decide the additions made to the candidate applications. Decisions on the candidates' municipality of residence are made based on the information in the Population Information System.

Nomination of candidates

Candidates in municipal elections may be nominated by

  1. Parties entered in the party register, and

  2. Constituency associations established by people entitled to vote.

Each party may nominate a number of candidates equalling the number of councillors to be elected multiplied by one and a half. For example, if 27 councillors are elected in the municipality, the party may have at most 40 candidates. Parties may form electoral alliances. The number of candidates nominated by an alliance may not exceed the maximum number of candidates for a single party.

A constituency association for the nomination of one candidate may be established by at least ten people who are entitled to vote in the municipality. In a municipality where the population at the end of November in the year preceding the election year is at most 1,500, a constituency association can be established by at least three people who are entitled to vote. If the municipality’s population is 1,501 to 2,000, a minimum of five people who are entitled to vote can establish a constituency association. Constituency associations may form joint lists with a maximum number of candidates equalling the number of councillors to be elected multiplied by one and a half.

Parties and constituency associations must deliver their lists of candidates (candidate application) to the central election committee of the municipality 40 days before the elections (by 9 March 2021 by 4 pm at the latest, possible to supplement until 4 May 2021). By the same deadline, notifications of electoral alliances and of joint electoral lists must also be delivered to the central election committee.

The central election committee of each municipality will publish no later than 1 March 2021 (on the 48th day before the election day) a notification indicating to whom, on which days and at which time and in which place candidate applications and notices are received.

The central election committee of the municipality checks the lists of candidates and in particular that the candidates are eligible and confirms the nomination of candidates on the 31st day prior to the day of the election (14 May 2021). The central election committee compiles a combined list of candidates in which the candidates of all parties, constituency associations and joint lists are enumerated in an order drawn by lot. The list contains the following information on the candidates: number (beginning with number 2), name, municipality of residence and title, profession or position. The combination of lists of candidates can be seen in the polling booth, for example.

The number of councillors elected depends on the population of the municipality (data at the end of 30 November of the year preceding the election year).

Local Government Act 410/2015, Section 16
“Unless the local council makes a decision about the number of local councillors, the number of local councillors elected shall be the minimum laid down by law. A local council decision about a larger number than the minimum, or a change to a previous decision, must be notified to the Ministry of Justice by the end of the year preceding the election year. A local council decision on the number of local councillors may be put into effect before it has attained legal force. However, action to put the decision into effect is not permitted if an administrative court forbids this.”

According to Section 16 of the Local Government Act (410/2015), a minimum number of councillors has to be elected, however, as follows:

Number of councillors according to the population of the municipality

Population Minimum
number of
councillors
                       at most 5,000 13
                     5,001 - 20,000 27
                   20,001 - 50,000 43
                 50,001 - 100,000 51
               100,001 - 250,000 59
               250,001 - 500,000 67
                       more than 500,000 79
Voting register

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency compiles a register of everyone entitled to vote (voting register) 46 days before the election day. The voting register includes personal data on each person entitled to vote (name, personal identity code, constituency, municipality of domicile and polling station) included in the Population Information System on the 51st day prior to the election day. The voting register is established based on the information included in the Population Information System on 23 April 2021.

The voting register is publicly available at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency from 41 days before the election day onwards (i.e. from 03 May 2021). In addition, everyone in the register is sent a notice of his or her right to vote (card of information) not later than 24 days before the election day (20 May 2021). The card states among other things the election day, the days for advance voting, the address of the polling station of the recipient and the addresses and telephone numbers of the election authorities. The voting register is later used to print out electoral rolls for the polling stations on the election day. Claims for rectification concerning the voting register must be made to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency not later than 16 days before the election day (28 May 2021).The Digital and Population Data Services Agency will decide the claims for rectification not later than on 25 May 2021.

The voting register becomes legally valid at noon 12 days prior to the election day, that is, on Tuesday 25 May 2021 at noon.

Voting

Persons with a right to vote can vote either 1) during advance voting, or 2) on the election Sunday (13 June 2021).

Advance votes in Finland (26 to 23 May 2021) are cast in general advance polling stations, in institutions and at voters' home under certain conditions. General advance polling stations in Finland are offices, post offices and other locations specified by municipalities. Advance votes abroad (2 to 5 June 2021) are cast at Finnish embassies and their trade missions and Finnish vessels (possible to start already on 25 May 2021). General advance polling stations abroad are the Finnish embassies and their trade missions specified in a Government decree. Each person entitled to vote can vote in advance in general advance polling stations in Finland and abroad at Finnish embassies. Anyone entitled to vote in municipal elections can cast their vote at embassies regardless of which country or municipality the person lives in. Thus, for example, persons entitled to vote that are on holiday or working on a posting abroad can cast their vote at embassies.

On the election day an enfranchised person may vote only in the polling station of his or her own voting district.

A voter need not give grounds for advance voting but may freely choose between voting in advance or voting on the election day.

Voting percentage = proportion of voters of persons entitled to vote Calculation of the result of the municipal elections Counting the advance votes

As a rule, counting of advance votes starts at 3 pm on the actual election day. The count may be brought forward in large electoral districts; the earliest possible starting time being 12 noon. The objective is to finish the counting of advance votes by 8 pm, from which time onwards preliminary data may be released.

Counting the votes cast on the election day

As soon as the doors of the polling stations have been closed at 8 pm the election board begins a preliminary count of the votes. The board opens the ballot box, counts the ballots within it, and notes down the votes of the candidates in a particular election protocol. Immediately thereafter the board informs the central election committee of the municipality of the votes of the candidates, i.e. of the election results in the voting district.

The central election committee again enters the results in the central calculation system in the Election Information System of the Ministry of Justice. Finally, the election board seals the ballots in a parcel and delivers it to the central election committee before Monday morning 9 am.

Determination of the election results

The so-called d’Hondt method is used to determine the election results. Thus, in the first stage of the calculation the total number of votes of each group, i.e.

  • A (single) party not belonging to an electoral alliance,

  • An electoral alliance,

  • A joint list, and

  • A constituency association not belonging to a joint list,

is counted.

Parties which have formed an electoral alliance are thus treated as a single group, as are constituency associations on a joint list. In the second stage of the calculation the candidates in each group are ranked in order of their personal number of votes.

In the third stage each candidate is accorded a comparative index, i.e. the candidate who has received most personal votes is accorded an index which equals the total number of votes of the group, the second best candidate half of that, the third best a third, the fourth best a fourth, and so on.

In the final stage all candidates within the municipality are listed in order from best to worst according to their comparative index, and the representatives elected from the municipality are chosen from this list.

Communication of preliminary results

The preliminary result of the elections is clear already on the evening of the election day. When the doors of the polling stations close, the result of advance voting that has been transferred to the election data system at 8 pm are published. Then the preliminary calculations of the election boards are transferred to the election data system as they become completed during the evening of the election day. Usually, the preliminary result is clear by 11 pm at the latest.

Control calculation and confirmation of election results

The Electoral District Committees start the control calculation of ballots on the Monday following the election day at 9 am. The results of the control calculation must be finished on the following Wednesday, 16 June 2021 at 6 pm at which time the Electoral District Committees confirm the final election results in the constituencies.

The term of office of the councils to be elected in 2021 will start on 1 September 2021 and will run until the end of May 2025 .

Changes in constituencies and municipalities and consolidations of municipalities

Changes in constituencies and municipalities and consolidations of municipalities concerning elections of different years are presented on the Internet in the Classifications section (on the homepage of Municipal elections).

Municipalities are placed into constituencies according to the constituency division in force. At the beginning of 2021, the number of municipalities is 293 in Mainland Finland (and 16 in Åland).

The valid statistical grouping of municipalities is used in the statistics (Statistics Finland, Municipalities and Regional Divisions Based on Municipalities). The municipal elections are held in accordance with the division of municipalities that came into effect at the beginning of the election year (2021) (the division of voting districts came into force on 1 January 2021, based on the decisions on the voting district division reported by municipalities to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency by 31 August 2020).

According to Section 23, Paragraph 1 of the act on municipal structures (1698/2009), municipal elections held in a year preceding a change in the municipal division taking effect are held in accordance with the new municipal division. This applies to those changes in the municipal division that enter into force on 1 January 2022. According to the reasoning of the Government proposal (HE 268/2014 vp), the Prime Minister's Office must in such cases make a decision concerning a change in the municipal division by the end of the year preceding the election (the year 2020).

At the beginning of 2021, the municipality of Honkajoki (099) was annexed to the town of Kankaanpää (214), the constituency remained unchanged as Satakunta (04). Nurmes (541) and Valtimo (911) were annexed to Nurmes (541) at the beginning of 2020, the constituency remained unchanged as Savo-Karelia (09).

At the beginning of 2021, five municipalities changed regions:
Kuhmoinen (291) moved from Central Finland to Pirkanmaa – the constituency changed from Central Finland (11) to Pirkanmaa (07)
Iitti (142) from Kymenlaakso to Päijät-Häme – the constituency changed from Southeast Finland (08) to Häme (06)
Joroinen (171) from South Savo to North Savo – the constituency changed from Southeast Finland (08) to Savo-Karelia (09)
Heinävesi from South Savo to North Karelia – the constituency changed from Southeast Finland (08) to Savo-Karelia(09)
Isokyrö from Ostrobothnia to South Ostrobothnia

In the statistical grouping of municipalities, municipalities are divided by the proportion of the population living in urban settlements and by the population of the largest urban settlement into urban, semi-urban and rural municipalities.
The classification is based on the locality delimitation made once a year and the information on the locality population derived from it.

Concept of urban settlement: An urban settlement is a cluster of dwellings with at least 200 inhabitants. The definition of urban settlement is based on the definitions made by the Finnish Environment Institute with geographic information methods utilising the building and population data of Statistics Finland's 250m x 250m grid data.


  1. Urban municipalities are those municipalities in which at least 90 per cent of the population lives in urban settlements, or in which the population of the largest urban settlement is at least 15,000.

  2. Semi-urban municipalities are those municipalities in which at least 60 per cent but less than 90 per cent of the population lives in urban settlements, or in which the population of the largest urban settlement is at least 4,000 but less than 15,000.

  3. Rural municipalities are those municipalities in which less than 60 per cent of the population lives in urban settlements, and in which the population of the largest urban settlement is less than 15,000, as well as those municipalities in which at least 60 per cent but less than 90 per cent of the population lives in urban settlements, and in which the population of the largest urban settlement is less than 4,000.

Classifications used

Statistics Finland's classification of municipalities, constituency, municipality, voting district, party (entered in the Party Register), age of the candidates and elected, country of residence.

Candidates have been nominated in the Municipal elections 2021 by the following registered parties (19/21):
  • Finnish Social Democratic Party (SDP)

  • Centre Party of Finland (KESK)

  • National Coalition Party (KOK)

  • Swedish People's Party in Finland (RKP)

  • Christian Democrats in Finland (KD)

  • Green League (VIHR)

  • Left Alliance (VAS)

  • Finns Party (PS)

  • Liberal Party - Freedom to Choose (LIBE)

  • Pirate Party of Finland (Pirate p.)

  • Animal Justice Party of Finland (EOP)

  • Citizens’ Party (KP)

  • Feminist Party (Femin. p.)

  • Blue Reform (SIN)

  • Finnish Nation First (SKE)

  • Movement Now (LIIKE)

  • Open Party (AP)

  • Finnish Communist Party (SKP)

  • Crystal Party (KRIP)

Data collection methods and data sources

Statistics Finland receives basic election data from the Ministry of Justice’s election data system, the technical implementation of which is assigned to TietoEVRY.

1.3 Acts, decrees and recommendations

According to the Statistics Act (280/2004, amend. 361/2013), the task of the National Statistical Service is to provide for general use statistics describing social conditions and their development. The Act on Statistics Finland (24.1.1992/48) assigns the task to Statistics Finland.

2. Methodological description of the survey

The statistics are based on total data. The basic data of the statistics are based on the Ministry of Justice's election data system consisting of five subsystems. They include:

  1. Basic data and geographical information system that includes, for example, data on constituencies, municipalities and voting districts and election authorities as well as polling stations (polling station register, which include data on general advance polling stations and polling stations on election day);

  2. Data on parties and candidates (candidate register) in which the following data on each candidate in the elections are entered: name, candidate number, profession, municipality of residence, party/constituency association that has nominated the candidate, and personal identity code (14 May 2021); The data on candidates also include the party register;

  3. Franchise data (voting register), for which data on every person entitled to vote are collected by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency on the 46th day (23 April 2021) prior to the election day. The voting register is formed separately for each election. The voting register includes personal data on each person entitled to vote (name, personal identity code, constituency, municipality of domicile and polling station) included in the Population Information System on the 51st day (23 April 2021) prior to the election day. The voting register gains legal force at 12 noon on the 12th day (25 May 2021) prior to the election day. The voting register is in use in the advance polling stations and every person that votes in advance is marked in the register. After the advance voting, electoral rolls for the polling stations on the election day are printed from the register. The voting register can, however, also be used in the polling stations instead of the electoral rolls on the election day. After the election, the data of the voting register are destroyed;

  4. A centralised result calculation system to which the electoral district committees and the central election committees submit their results of the elections;

  5. The result service system (statistical and information service system) by means of which the results of the elections and other statistical data are transmitted to the media and to the Statistics Finland.

Statistics Finland's election data system comprises four election data files: regional file, party file, candidate file and candidate register.

Background analysis of candidates and elected councillors

In connection with the election statistics, a background analysis is produced on persons entitled to vote, candidates nominated by the parties and elected representatives. The population of persons entitled to vote is based on the voting register (data drawn from the Population Information System on 23 April 2021) and the candidates on the candidate register of the Ministry of Justice. The background data on the persons combined with these registers are based on statistical data from Statistics Finland such as population, family and employment statistics, and the Register of Completed Education and Degrees. Of the persons entitled to vote only those resident in Finland are included in the review.

The analysis describes the persons entitled to vote, candidates and elected councillors with regard to certain variables. The background data usually relate to the years 2018 to 2020 . More recent data than that have not been available. The person's age is the age on the day of the election in full years.

The background variables used in the analysis are described in the following.

Constituency

The constituency used in the analysis is for the candidates the one for which the person stands as a candidate. For those entitled to vote the constituency is based on the information drawn from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency's Population Information System 51 days prior to the day of the election.

Foreign background

Foreign background is examined by means of two variables, that is, native language or origin. Persons whose native language is not Finnish, Swedish or Sami are regarded by language as coming from a foreign background. Persons whose both parents or the only parent were born abroad are regarded by origin as coming from a foreign background. The data are from the year 2020.

Main type of activity

The concept of main type of activity describes the nature of the person's economic activity. The population is divided by their main type of activity to the active and inactive population. These groups can be further divided into sub-groups. The classification is based on the person's activity during the last week of the year. The main type of activity is based on data derived from different registers.

The classification of main type of activity is as follows:

  • Employed

  • Unemployed

  • Aged 0 to 14

  • Students, pupils

  • Pensioners

  • Conscripts, conscientious objectors

  • Other inactive population

The information used in the analysis describes the person's activity during the last week of 2019.

Family status

In this analysis the population is divided into the following groups by family status:

  • Parent of a married/cohabiting family

  • Single parent

  • Childless couple

  • Living alone

  • Child living at home

  • Other

Parents of a married/cohabiting family include all married and cohabiting persons and partners in a registered partnership, who have their own and/or spouse's children living at home. Childless couples are married/cohabiting persons and partners in a registered partnership who have no children. People living with their own or adopted parent/s having the status of a child are defined as children living at home. The group "Other" includes persons without a family living together with others (for example, a lone mother/father living with the family of their child), homeless persons and institutional population. Persons living alone without a family belong to the group "Living alone".

The data on the person's family status are from the year 2020.

Number of children

In the analysis the number of children used is the number of the person's biological and adopted children. The data are from the year 2020.

Level of education

Those with basic level education have at most nine years of education. They have qualifications from primary schools, middle schools or comprehensive schools.

Those with upper secondary level qualifications have 12 years of education. These qualifications include matriculation examination and initial vocational qualifications attained in three years, which also give general eligibility for further studies at universities and universities of applied sciences.

Further and specialist vocational qualifications are further vocational education. In this review, they have been included in the same category as upper secondary level qualifications.

Lowest level tertiary education lasts two to three years after upper secondary level education. Such education includes qualifications of a technician engineer, diploma in business and administration, and diploma in nursing completed at educational institutes prior to the reform of the university of applied sciences.

Completion of lower-degree level tertiary education requires three to four years of full-time studies after upper secondary level education. Lower-degree level tertiary education comprises university of applied sciences degrees and lower university degrees.

Completion of higher-degree level tertiary education requires as a rule five to six years of full-time studies after upper secondary level education. Higher-degree level tertiary education includes higher university of applied sciences degrees, master's degrees and specialist's degrees in medicine, for instance.

Completion of doctorate or equivalent level tertiary education requires independent research work or doctorate theses fit for publication. The degrees are scientific licentiate and doctorate degrees.

Data on a person’s education derive from Statistics Finland’s Register of Completed Education and Degrees. The data used in the analysis concern the year 2019.

Disposable monetary income

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

The data are from the year 2019.

Median income

When income earners are put in the order of size by income, median income is the income of the middle income earner. An equal number of income earners remains on both sides of the middle income receiver. Median income is not as sensitive to extreme observations as mean income.

Dual citizenship

A person may have more than one nationality (Nationality Act, 1985/699 and Nationality Decree 1985/699). If a person has two nationalities and one of them is Finnish, he/she will be included in the statistics as a Finnish national. If a foreign national living in Finland has several nationalities, that person will be entered in the registers and statistics as a national of the country on whose passport he or she arrived in the country. Nationality is determined by the country of issue of passport. A person may have several nationalities or no nationality at all. Possession of an alien’s passport is also accepted as a nationality.

Income subject to state taxation

With certain exceptions, all income received as money or a benefit of monetary value is taxable. Certain social benefits, allowances and compensations are not taxable. These are such as child benefits, housing allowances and income support. Taxable are neither grants nor awards received from the general government.

Occupation

Occupation has been examined with the help of the Classification of Occupations 2010, which describes the occupational structure of society.

The data are from the year 2018.

Socio-economic group

The socio-economic group refers to a person's position in society. The formation of the socio-economic group for a person is based on information on the person's main type of activity, occupation, occupational status and industry.

The used classification of socio-economic groups is as follows:

  • Self-employed persons

  •    Farmers and forestry entrepreneurs

  •    Self-employed persons, not in agriculture and forestry

  • Upper-level employees

  • Lower-level employees

  • Workers

  • Unknown

The data are from the year 2018.

Employer sector

The employer sector classification describes the ownership and enterprise form of the workplace. It can be used to make a distinction between the public and private sectors, for example.

The classification used is as follows:

  • Private sector (incl. state majority-owned limited companies)

  • State

  • Municipality

  • Other or unknown

Data on the employer sector are based on the data in Statistics Finland's Register of Enterprises and Establishments on the type of owner and legal form of enterprises.

The data are from the year 2018.

3. Correctness and accuracy of data

The basic data of the election statistics derive from the Ministry of Justice’s election data system and from data supplied by the election authorities, which can be considered reliable.

4. Timeliness and accuracy of data

The confirmed data always differ somewhat from the figures of the preliminary statistics.

The results change once the result is confirmed in all respects: by voting district, municipality, constituency, party and number of votes gained by all candidates and by the elected councillors, whereby even their mutual order may change.

5. Accessibility and transparency/clarity of data

The first data, or preliminary statistics are published as soon as possible on the Internet, in the StatFin service and on the statistics pages on Municipal elections. Election data by municipality and voting district (from 2004) and the numbers of votes gained by elected councillors are entered in the StatFin service.

Releases and time series tables, in addition to the tables concerning the elections in question, are available in three languages (Finnish, Swedish and English) on the statistics pages on Municipal elections. The second, or final data are supplied to Statistics Finland after the election result is confirmed. After the confirmation of the election result, the confirmed data corresponding to the preliminary statistics are released on the statistics pages and the StatFin databases are updated.

6. Comparability of statistics

The municipal division of the election year is used in the statistics. If municipal elections are held in the year preceding a change in municipal division entering into force, they must be held in accordance with the new municipal division in the municipalities to which the change applies. The new statistical grouping of municipalities (urban, semi-urban and rural) was introduced starting from the year 2000. Prior to that, municipalities were grouped as follows: towns and other municipalities. Changes in constituencies and municipalities between elections have been considered in the statistics which contain comparative data with the previous elections.

Election results are presented on the statistics pages on municipal elections from 1921 onwards.

7. Coherence and consistency/uniformity and documentation

The Ministry of Justice publishes exhaustive information about different elections and the national candidate register and election result data on its web pages ( www.vaalit.fi ). The statistics on advance voters published by the Ministry of Justice differ from Statistics Finland’s statistics on advance voters, because they are defined on different grounds:

  • The Ministry of Justice counts the number of advance voters from the number of those entitled to vote, whereas

  • Statistics Finland counts the number of advance voters from the number of all persons who voted.

The classifications used in the statistics can be found on Statistics Finland’s web pages.


Source: Municipal Elections 2021, nomination of candidates and background analysis of candidates, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Sami Fredriksson 029 551 2696, Kaija Ruotsalainen 029 551 3599, Jaana Asikainen 029 551 3506, vaalit@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 04.06.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Municipal elections [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-1114. background analysis of advance voters 2021, Municipal elections, quality description . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.10.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kvaa/2021/01/kvaa_2021_01_2021-06-04_laa_001_en.html