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5. Concepts

Parents of families with children - mothers and fathers - are women and men living in the same household with their own or their spouse’s children aged under 18. As the sample contains only a few same-sex parents of families with children, they are not included in the analyses.

Women and men without children are women and men without children aged under 18 living in the same household. Thus they include

  • Persons without any children;

  • So-called remote parents whose child lives or is registered at the address of the other parent; and

  • Parents whose children are aged over 18 or have already moved into their own household.

Age of the youngest child : Age of the family’s youngest (only) child in years. A child aged one has turned one, but is under two. Correspondingly, a child aged two has turned two, but is not yet three.

Family leaves comprise maternity and paternity leave, parental leave (incl. so-called “daddy” month) and child care leave. They are leaves which the parents of small children are entitled to take by law in order to care for the child until the youngest child reaches the age of three. The employment contracts of the parents remain valid during these family leaves. Persons on maternity or paternity leave and persons on leaves lasting under three months are classified as employed in the Labour Force Survey.

A person is employed if he/she has during the survey week been in gainful employment for at least one hour against pay in money or fringe benefits, or to make a profit, or has been temporarily absent from work. Persons absent from work during the survey week are classified as employed if the reason for absence is maternity or paternity leave or own illness or the absence has lasted for under three months. Mothers on child care leave are mostly classified as persons outside the labour force because the care leave is often taken after the maternity leave and parental leave, which means the total duration of the leave is over three months. Employed persons can be employees, self-employed or unpaid workers in enterprises of a family member.

The employment rate is the ratio of employed persons to the population of the same age. The employment rate of the total population is calculated as the ratio of employed persons aged 15 to 64 to the population of the same age.

The work attendance rate is the percentage share of those at work in all employed persons.

The unemployment rate is the ratio of unemployed persons to the active population (labour force) of the same age, i.e. employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate of the total population is calculated as the ratio of unemployed persons aged 15 to 74 to the active population (labour force) of the same age.

Level of education: Those with basic level education have at most nine years of education. They have qualifications from primary school, middle school or comprehensive school. Those with upper secondary level education have 11 to 12 years of education. These qualifications include matriculation examination, vocational qualifications attained in one to three years and initial vocational qualifications. Tertiary level education includes lowest level tertiary education (e.g. technician engineer, diploma in business and administration), lower-degree level tertiary education (university of applied sciences and lower university degrees) and higher-degree level tertiary education (master, specialist's degrees in medicine) and doctorate or equivalent level education (licentiate’s and doctor’s degrees). The description of levels of education (Classification of Education 2011, levels of education) in Finnish is available at the link: .

Source: Labour Force Survey 2016. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tarja Nieminen 029 551 3561, Anna Prnnen 029 551 3795,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Updated 10.10.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Families and work 2016, 5. Concepts . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.6.2023].
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