Concepts and definitions

Active population

The labour force (active population) comprises all persons who were either employed or unemployed during the last week of the year. Participation in the labour force is determined on the basis of information derived from various registers.

Background country

During 2012, Statistics Finland has adopted a new origin classification. A similar classification is already used in the other Nordic countries. The origin and background country are determined based on the country of birth data of the person's parents. Using the origin classification it is easy to distinguish between persons born abroad and born in Finland with a foreign background.

Data on persons that died before 1964 have not been entered into the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre. There are nearly 900,000 persons among the Finnish population who have been born in Finland and both parent's country of birth is unknown because the parents of these persons have died before the Population Information System was established. People born in Finland before 1970, whose parents' background is not known, have been concluded to be persons with Finnish background if their native language is a national language (Finnish, Swedish, Sami). All such persons who have at least one parent who was born in Finland are also considered to be persons with Finnish background. The background country for all persons with Finnish background is Finland.

Persons whose both parents or the only known parent have been born abroad are considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons who have been born abroad and whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System are also considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons born in Finland before 1970, whose native language is a foreign language have been considered to be persons with foreign background, as have persons born in Finland in 1970 or after this, whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System.

If both parents of a person have been born abroad, the background country is primarily the country of birth of the biological mother. If a person only has knowledge of a father that was born abroad, the background country is the country of birth of the father. If either parent's country of birth is unknown, the background country for persons born abroad is their own country of birth. For persons born in Finland, whose parents' data are unknown and who have been deducted to be with foreign background, the background country is unknown.

For children adopted from abroad, the adoptive parents are regarded as the biological parents. Thus a child adopted from abroad by persons born in Finland is a person with Finnish background and their background country is Finland.

Commuting

Commuting refers to going to work outside the area where a person is resident. Net commuting refers to the difference between the numbers working outside the area and the numbers coming into the area to work from elsewhere. A positive net commuting value indicates that the number of people coming into the area to work exceeds the number of those going to work elsewhere from it. Net commuting can also be expressed as a value between two individual areas.

Conscientious objector

Conscientious objectors are defined as people who according to the data of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy have been doing their non-military service during the survey week.

Community service is based on the national defence obligation and also on the freedom of religion and conscience set out in the Constitution of Finland. A person liable for military service can, on serious grounds of conscience founded on religious or ethical conviction, be exempted from military service upon application, at which time he is ordered into non-military service, which is a substitute for military service in peacetime under the Finnish Conscription Act (1950/452).

Conscript

Conscripts are defined as persons who according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces have been doing their military service during the last week of the year. Persons taking part in refresher courses during the reference week are not regarded as conscripts.

Dependency ratio (economic)

Population structure is measured with the so-called economic dependency ratio which gives the numbers of persons unemployed or outside the labour force per one employed persons.

Employed

The employed labour force includes all persons aged 18 to 74 who were in gainful employment in the last week of the year and were not registered as unemployed job seekers in the job seeker register of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment or performing mandatory military or non-military service. Data on employment are based on the information of employment pension authorities and the tax administration.

Employed labour force resident in the area

Employed labour force resident in the area refers to all employed persons in the area concerned irrespective of the location of their workplaces. Employed labour force resident in the area forms the so-called employed night population.

Employee

Wage and salary earners (employees) are defined as persons aged between 18 and 74 who, according to the register data of employment statistics, have a valid employment relationship or employment pension insurance in the last week of the year. Persons employed by labour policy measures (other than business start-up allowance) in the last week of the year are also defined as wage and salary earners. It is required that the person defined as a wage and salary earner has received wage and salary income during the year, and that the person is not performing military or non-military service or has not been an unemployed job seeker in the job seeker register on the last day of the year.

If the person has self-employed person's pension insurance valid at the same time as the employment relationship, the person is defined as a wage and salary earner if his/her wage and salary income generated during the year is higher than his/her entrepreneurial income and he/she has not been a self-employed person in the statistics in the previous year.

If the person is not a self-employed person, unemployed, student, pensioner, performing non-military service or military service and his/her wage and salary income exceeds a defined income limit, he/she is defined as a wage and salary earner even if according to the employment relationship data, he/she did not have a valid employment relationship.

Employer sector

The classification of employer sectors describes the ownership and corporate form of the workplace. It can be used for distinguishing between the public and private sector.

The classification used is as follows:

  • Public sector
- state

- municipality
  • State-controlled companies
  • Private sector
  • Other or unknown.

The information on the employer sector is based on data from Statistics Finland's Business Register on the type of owner and juridical (legal) form. The classifications relating to these are presented in the publication 'Classification of sectors'.

Employment rate

The ratio of employed persons to the same-age population. In the employment statistics, the employment rate is calculated from the population aged 18 to 64.

Finnish background

All persons who have at least one parent who was born in Finland are considered to be persons with Finnish background. People born in Finland before 1970, whose parents' background is not known, have been concluded to be persons with Finnish background if their native language is a national language (Finnish, Swedish, Sami). The background country for all persons with Finnish background is Finland.

For children adopted from abroad, the adoptive parents are regarded as the biological parents. Thus a child adopted from abroad by persons born in Finland is a person with Finnish background and their background country is Finland.

See a more detailed definition of the origin classification: origin and background country.

Finnish origin

See Finnish background.

Foreign background

Persons whose both parents or the only known parent have been born abroad are considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons who have been born abroad and whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System are also considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons born in Finland before 1970, whose native language is a foreign language have been considered to be persons with foreign background, as have persons born in Finland in 1970 or after this, whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System. Persons, whose mother tongue is not Finnish, Swedish or Sami are regarded as foreign-language speakers.

See a more detailed definition of the origin classification: origin and backgorund country.

Foreign origin

See foreign background.

Inactive population

The inactive population refers to persons who were not employed or unemployed at the end of the year.

Legal form

Legal form identifies the legal status of a legal person. The classification of legal forms is based on the company forms of the Trade Register and on the requirements of taxation legislation. The legal forms of enterprises and corporations are recorded in the Business Information System.

Statistics Finland's classification of legal forms is based on this system and on the Tax Administration's coding of legal forms. Some of the Tax Administration's categories have been combined in Statistics Finland's classification.

Main type of activity

The concept of main type of activity describes the nature of a person's economic activity. The population is divided into people in the labour force and those outside the labour force. These categories can further be divided into subgroups. The classification is based on data on a person's main type of activity during the last week of the year.

The following classification is used:

Labour force

  • employed labour force
  • unemployed

Persons outside the labour force

  • 0-14-year-olds
  • students, pupils
  • pensioners
  • conscripts, conscientious objectors
  • others outside the labour force.

Information on the main type of activity is based on data obtained from various registers. Where the data conflict as to whether a person is in the labour force or outside it, priority is given to the former. If, within the labour force, the data conflict as to whether a person is unemployed or employed, priority is given to the former.

The group "others outside the labour force" consists of persons who are not in the labour force and do not belong to the following groups: 0-14-year-olds, students, conscripts, conscientous objectors or pensioners.

Months of employment

Months of employment refer to the total number of months the person was in gainful employment during a year. The data on months of employment derive from various registers.

From 2005 onwards, months of employment are calculated from the number of working days. One month of employment does not necessarily correspond to employment of a full month, but for example, the accumulation of 15 to 44 working days during the year corresponds to one month of employment and the accumulation of 45 to 74 working days corresponds to two months of employment. The accumulation month of days of employment has no significance for the number of months of employment.

Months of unemployment

Months of unemployment refer to the total number of months the person was unemployed during a year. The data are obtained from the job seeker register of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

From 2005 onwards, months of unemployment are calculated from the number of unemployment days. One month of unemployment does not necessarily correspond to unemployment of a full month, but for example, the accumulation of 15 to 44 unemployment days during the year corresponds to one month of unemployment and the accumulation of 45 to 74 unemployment days corresponds to two months of unemployment. The accumulation month of days of unemployment has no significance for the number of months of unemployment.

Occupation

The role of persons working at a similar job, which is based on the content of the work made for income acquisition purposes and in some cases on the education completed by the person.

In the employment statistics, the classification of occupations is based on occupational titles derived from various registers and given by employers to employees, which titles are classified into different occupational codes mainly according to industry, education, occupational status and sector. The occupational title is sometimes also called a job title, function or official title. Some of the occupational codes of the employment statistics (cf. industry-specific occupational codes with occupational titles) are derived already classified from the statistics on wages and salaries. Statistics Finland's national classification of occupations valid at each time is used for describing occupation. One occupational group can contain several occupational titles. On the other hand, the same occupational title can be classified into several occupational groups.

Occupations are produced for employed persons primarily based on the person's main employment relationship in the last week of the year. The data are collected from several different sources, such as the registers of employment relationships of central and local government, statistics on wages and salaries, and data collections from enterprises.

Origin and background country

During 2012, Statistics Finland has adopted a new origin classification. A similar classification is already used in the other Nordic countries. The origin and background country are determined based on the country of birth data of the person's parents. Using the origin classification it is easy to distinguish between persons born abroad and born in Finland with a foreign background.

Data on persons that died before 1964 have not been entered into the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre. There are nearly 900,000 persons among the Finnish population who have been born in Finland and both parent's country of birth is unknown because the parents of these persons have died before the Population Information System was established. People born in Finland before 1970, whose parents' background is not known, have been concluded to be persons with Finnish background if their native language is a national language (Finnish, Swedish, Sami). All such persons who have at least one parent who was born in Finland are also considered to be persons with Finnish background. The background country for all persons with Finnish background is Finland.

Persons whose both parents or the only known parent have been born abroad are considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons who have been born abroad and whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System are also considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons born in Finland before 1970, whose native language is a foreign language have been considered to be persons with foreign background, as have persons born in Finland in 1970 or after this, whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System.

If both parents of a person have been born abroad, the background country is primarily the country of birth of the biological mother. If a person only has knowledge of a father that was born abroad, the background country is the country of birth of the father. If either parent's country of birth is unknown, the background country for persons born abroad is their own country of birth. For persons born in Finland, whose parents' data are unknown and who have been deducted to be with foreign background, the background country is unknown.

For children adopted from abroad, the adoptive parents are regarded as the biological parents. Thus a child adopted from abroad by persons born in Finland is a person with Finnish background and their background country is Finland.

Other inactive population

A main type of activity category, which includes persons on whose activity no information was obtained from the source data, or who do not fulfil the criteria for other main type of activity categories.

Pensioner

Pensioners comprise all persons who according to the data of the Social Insurance Institution or the Centre for Pensions receive a pension (excl. those receiving family pension or part-time pension) and are not gainfully employed. All persons over 74 are also classified as pensioners. In addition, some persons have been classified as pensioners on the basis of pension income.

Persons working in the area

Persons working in the area refers to all persons who go to work in the area concerned irrespective of their place of residence. Persons working in the area form the so-called employed day population, the size of which can be regarded as a measure of the number of workplaces in the area.

Population

The population refers to the permanent resident population of an area (e.g. entire country, province, municipality). Those persons who according to the Population Information System had a legal domicile in Finland on 31 December belong to the permanent resident population in the country regardless of their nationality, as do Finnish nationals residing temporarily abroad.

Foreign nationals are domiciled in Finland if their stay is intended to last or has lasted at least one year. An asylum-seeker is not granted a legal domicile until his/her application has been approved.

The staff of foreign embassies, trade missions and consulates, their family members and personal employees included, are not counted among the resident population unless they are Finnish citizens. On the other hand, the Finnish staff of Finland´s embassies and trade missions abroad and persons serving in the UN peacekeeping forces are counted among the resident population.

Socio-economic group

The socio-economic group refers to a person's position in society. Formation of a socio-economic group for a person is based on data on the person's main type of activity, occupation, occupational status and industry. Statistics Finland's Classification of Socio-economic Groups valid at each time is used for the classification.

In the employment statistics, persons are classified according to their own activity, apart from persons aged 0 to 15 and the group "others outside the labour force" (mainly home-makers), who have been assigned the same socio-economic group as the reference person in the household. The socio-economic group of students is determined based on their own activity at the end of the year. Students over the age of 18, who have a valid employment relationship at the end of the year, are considered to belong to the employed labour force and thus they are defined as belonging to different socio-economic groups based on their occupation. However, working students under the age of 18 are classified as students (apart from students under the age of 16, who are always assigned the socio-economic group of the reference person in the household).

Status in employment

Status in employment describes the position of the employed on the labour market. . The status is classified as follows:

  • wage and salary earners
  • entrepreneurs

The data on status in employment are based on the person's pension insurance and amounts of wage and salary and entrepreneurial income.

Student

A student or a pupil is a person over 15 who is studying full-time in an educational institution and is neither gainfully employed nor unemployed.

When the population is classified by socio-economic status, the lower age limit is 16.

Data on studying have been obtained, among other sources, from Statistics Finland's student register. People in labour market training during the last week of the year are also counted as students. Persons aged 15 are also counted as students. Pupils aged under 15 belong to the main activity class "0-14 year-olds".

In certain examinations all persons studying in post-comprehensive educational institutes can be counted as students. Data on students have been collected according to the situation in September. However, during the last week of the year the main activity of the persons concerned may employed, unemployed or conscript.

Sub-area (of municipality)

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

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

Type of ownership

The enterprises and corporations included in the Register of Enterprises and Establishments are divided into the following categories by type of ownership:

Private domestic

State

Municipality

Region of Åland

Foreign-owned

Other type of ownership.

Unemployed

The unemployed labour force includes all persons aged 16 to 64 who were unemployed on the last weekday of the year. Data on unemployment derive from the job seeker register of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Unemployment rate

The ratio of unemployed persons to the labour force of the same age, i.e. employed and unemployed persons. In the employment statistics, the unemployment rate is calculated from the population aged 18 to 64.

Working-age population

The working-age population consists of all persons aged between 15 and 74 years.

Workplace

The number of persons working in a certain area can be used to describe the number of jobs in that area. Each employed person is thus thought to represent one job. This means that even part-time work is included in the workplace statistics. If, for example, the work of someone on maternity leave is done by a substitute, two workplaces may be registered. Employment may also be of temporary or short-term in nature.

In the register-based censuses and in the employment statistics no distinction has been made between work done at fixed workplaces and work of mobile nature. Instead, all persons are allocated to some establishment regardless of the nature of the work. If exact data on the location of a workplace are lacking, persons are placed in the municipality where they live. For the majority of self-employed the location of their workplace is the same as the municipality where they live.

Workplace numbers can be distorted by flaws in data sources. For example, where detailed information on the workplace of a person employed in a company with several establishments is missing, the person's workplace is fixed to that person's place of residence, or persons may accumulate in a company's main establishment.

Workplace self-sufficiency

Self-sufficiency in workplaces indicates the ratio between the number of people working in the area and the employed labour force living in the area. If the ratio exceeds 100%, the number of workplaces in the area is greater than the number of employed people living in the area. If the figure is below 100%, the opposite is true.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.6.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/kas_en.html