Application process for microdata

1. Researchers should contact Statistics Finland's research services and complete an application for licence to use statistical data.

The application for licence to use statistical data must contain:

  • As accurate a description as possible of the required data and the purpose for which they will be used
  • A research plan
  • Signed pledges of secrecy from all persons who will participate in processing of the data

The application for licence to use statistical data including appendices must be addressed to the Registrar's Office of Statistics Finland.
Street address: Työpajankatu 13, Helsinki 
Postal address: FI-00022 Statistics Finland

The signed documents can also be submitted in pdf-format via email:

If data from sources other than Statistics Finland are to be used in the research, these should be described as precisely as possible. The combining of external data with Statistics Finland's data always takes place at Statistics Finland within the framework of the Statistics Act. If the results of the inquiry are to be combined with Statistics Finland's data, this should be told to data suppliers already at the data collection stage.

It is advisable to contact research services already when the study is being planned and the application for user licence is being filled. We can provide information about, for example, the data that are available and the ways they can be used. At the planning stage, account should be taken of the pricing of research data.

2. Applications for licence to use statistical data are processed at Statistics Finland.

At this stage, it is established whether the data material can be formed and whether it can be released for research use.

The speed of the processing depends on the scope and complexity of the data that will be used in the research project. In the most demanding cases, the application for a user licence must be approved by the Board of Statistical Ethics. The Board convenes approximately once a month. In straightforward cases, the processing of an application takes from one week to a fortnight.

Once a decision has been made, it will be forwarded to the applicant by post.

3. Once a user licence has been granted, an information service agreement is made with the researcher about the desired service: release of sample data, working at the Research Laboratory or use of the remote access system.

The agreement specifies the delivery timetable of the data, and the content and price of the service. The agreement becomes valid when both parties have signed it.

4. The timetable specified in the agreement depends on the nature of the service.

The ready-made data files accessible at the Research Laboratory or via the remote access system can be used within two weeks once a user licence has been granted and both parties have signed the related agreement.

When the releasing involves sample data that are expansive or contain sensitive personal data, the construction of the material may take considerably longer. In such cases, it is advisable to consult the staff of research services in good time to establish the situation with their workload.