News 7 Jan 2016

What do Finns spend their money on?  

Statistics Finland examines how much money Finns spend on food, housing, transport, recreation and healthcare in 2016. Statistics Finland will interview over 8,000 households for the Household Budget Survey during the year.

Interviews will be carried out throughout 2016 in order to collect data on the variation in consumption according to seasons. In addition to the interview, households will collect receipts on their daily consumption for two weeks.

"The Household Budget Survey examines, for example, what the costs of living are in different areas of Finland or how consumption differs among people living alone and families with children", explains Senior Statistician Tarja Hatakka from Statistics Finland.  

"In terms of the survey, each household is equally important, the amount and type of consumption does not matter. The households that are selected for the survey are drawn randomly and a household that has been picked cannot be replaced with another for statistical reasons. Due to reliability of data, it is thus very important that households participate in the survey", Hatakka points out.

Statistics Finland's own interviewers that live across Finland are responsible for the data collection. They will always send a letter explaining about the Household Budget Survey before they contact the households. The collected data are published as tables and graphs, from which information given by individual respondents cannot be identified.

Data are used as basis for decision making

"The data derived from the survey on differences between consumption habits and daily expenditure are needed, for example, when estimating the effects of changes in value added tax on the subsistence of various types of households. These data cannot be obtained in any other way than by asking from the households", Hatakka explains.

Apart from comparisons of consumption expenditure between different population groups, the data collected in the survey will also be utilised for many other statistics and studies. The consumer price index that measures price development and inflation uses the Household Budget Survey as background information. National Accounts also utilise the data on spending by Finns when calculating private consumption. Private consumption forms more than one-half of the value of GDP. 

The Household Budget Survey also produces data on the use of public welfare services, such as education and health care services, and their importance for the subsistence of Finnish households. The survey can be used to follow the attainment of Finland's climate targets as concerns households.

The Household Budget Survey is carried out in all EU Member States and many other countries of the world. Household Budget Surveys have been conducted in Finland since 1966. The previous survey year was 2012. The results from the 2016 survey will be published as statistics and articles during 2017 and 2018.

Further information: Senior Statistician Tarja Hatakka +358 29 551 3553,

Link to the Household Budget Survey page

Home page of the statistics on households’ consumption