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Country Profile of Finland

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics Finland
Web address
Position in the government
Statistics Finland is an independent government agency administratively subordinated to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry’s direction manifests itself primarily as resources control and as agreements on the targeted results. The Ministry provides the framework of resources on the basis of midterm budgeting plans and the annual budget proposals submitted by Statistics Finland. The budgets are approved by the Parliament at the Government’s proposal. As a part of the management system employed in Finnish public administration - management by results – the Ministry of Finance and Statistics Finland draw up joint annual agreement, in which Statistics Finland undertakes to strive with the given resources towards the targets set for the improvement of its productivity, efficiency and services. In the framework of its budget and the agreement with the Ministry Statistics Finland may independently decide on the production of statistics, its other functions and the use of resources.

Statistics Finland is fully and independently responsible for its activities, services and statistics.
Organizational structure and finance
6 Statistical Directorates: Population Statistics, Social Statistics, Prices and Wages, Economic Statistics, Business Trends and Business Structures. Support Units: Secretariat of Director-General, Management Services, Information Services, IT and Statistical Methods.

Statistics Finland has a personnel of around 1.100, of whom 200 are employed as statistical interviewers. In addition to its head office in Helsinki, Statistics Finland has regional service offices in Turku, Tampere, Seinäjoki and Oulu. In addition to its head office in Helsinki, Statistics Finland has regional service offices in Turku, Tampere, Seinäjoki and Oulu.

Statistics Finland's operations are funded with appropriations from the national budget, income from the agency's charged activities, and with funding received from other government authorities and the EU. In 2008 seventy per cent of the funding came as appropriations for operating expenses, that is, from the national budget. In 2008 seventy per cent of the funding came as appropriations for operating expenses, that is, from the national budget. Revenue from charged activities made up 14 per cent and external financing four per cent of the total funds available. Revenue from charged activities made up 14 per cent and external financing four per cent of the total funds available.
Multi-annual or annual work program
Based on its own initiative Statistics Finland prepares and approves development plan for official statistics. This plan consists of a common vision of the Official Statistics of Finland and common principles of data collection (e.g. avoidance of burden of data providers, increasing data collection, advancing and increasing the utilisation of administrative data) data releases and statistical services as well as principles of advancing effective and rational Official Statistics of Finland as a whole. The plan does not include details in development of singular statistics. All other authorities producing statistics independently decide on the development, production and dissemination of their statistics.
Main duties
Statistics Finland combines collected data with its own expertise to produce statistics and information services for the needs of society, promotes the use of statistics and develops national official statistics.
Statistics Finland's task is to

- Compile statistics and reports concerning social conditions

- Collect and maintain data files on society

- Provide information service and promote the use of statistics

- Conduct studies and surveys related to statistics compilation and develop statistical methodology

- Develop the national statistical service in co-operation with other Government officials

- Participate in Finland's international statistical co-operation and co-ordinate it

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The origins of a statistical organisation in Finland date back to the mid-18th century when Finland was under Swedish rule and Tabellverket (Tables Office) was set up in Sweden for the purpose of keeping population statistics. This marked the beginning of the world's longest, continuous population statistics. The founding of an independent Statistical Office of Finland on 4 October 1865 is regarded as the start of the history of Statistics Finland.

- 1500-1700 State descriptions for rulers on conditions in different countries, the origin of statistics

- 1748 Tabellverket is established in Sweden

- 1749 The first Finnish population statistics are compiled

- 1865 The Statistical Office of Finland is founded on 4 October

- 1879 The first Statistical Yearbook of Finland is published

- 1948 Calculation of gross national income begins in Finland

- 1971 The Statistical Office of Finland is renamed Statistics Finland

- 1990 Finland becomes the second country in the world to draw a register-based Population Census

- 1995 European Union membership increases the international element in Finnish statistics

- 1995 Statistics Finland becomes the first statistical organisation in Europe to launch its online service on the Internet

Legal basis
Legal basis
The Statistics Finland Act (48/1992)
Council of State Decree on Statistics Finland (1063/2002)
The Statistics Act (280/2004)

The legal acts are available in English on

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Other statistical authorities are National Board of Customs, National research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health STAKES and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Information Centre. There are further 13 government agencies producing statistics (Civil Aviation Administration, Finnish Meteorological Institute, National Public Health Institute, National Land Survey of Finland, Agricultural Economic Research Institute, Finnish Maritime Administration, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finnish Rail Administration, Finnish Game and Fisheries Institute, Finnish Environment Institute, Finnish National Road Administration, Ministry of Labour, Insurance Supervision Authority) and three other producers of statistics are Bank of Finland, Social Insurance Institution and Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
Statistics Finland has an Advisory Board of Statistics Finland which supports its strategic management. The Advisory Board of Statistics Finland consists of the director General and seven members of whom one is a person elected by the staff of Statistics Finland. The Council of State nominates the rest. In present board formation the chairman comes from the Ministry of Finance. According to its name, the Board is advisory, decisions on work programmes etc. are made by Statistics Finland in the framework agreed with the Ministry of Finance.

Some functions typical to “traditional statistical council” are taken care by a set of activities in Statistics Finland. For example:
- Advisory Board of the Library of Statistics
- Advisory Board of Official Statistics
- Scientific Advisory Board
- expert working groups for certain statistics having representatives of users of statistics

Data collection
Most recent population census
31 December 2000
Access to administrative data
Notwithstanding the provisions on secrecy, state authorities shall be obliged to provide Statistics Finland with such data in their possession that are necessary for the production of statistics (The Statistics Act,
Data confidentiality
Data collected for statistical purposes are confidential irrespective of data sources. However, the data describing the activities of central and local government authorities and production of public services are public. Certain data in the business register are also publicly available (The Statistics Act, Section 18).

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
Information on Statistical releases of Statistics Finland is available on the website, On this page Statistics Finland's statistical releases are in chronological order. The statistical releases for the year 2006 are given in the release calendar of statistics separately, The exact times and topics for next week's statistical releases are issued on Fridays in the weekly news calendar (only in Finnish).
Main publications
A detailed listing of publications and on-line services can be found on the website,
Languages of main publications
Finnish, Swedish and English.
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Many different formats,
Availability of microdata for research purposes
Availability of microdata for research purposes
Confidential data may be released for use in scientific research concerning social conditions. Under the main rule, the data may be released only in forms not allowing the direct or indirect identification of persons or the direct identification of other data subjects. In exceptional cases, personal data on a person's age, sex, education and occupation may be released with identification information. The release of the data is always in the discretion of the statistical authority. The release of data must not, however, cause any damage or detriment to the data subject. The statistical authority shall issue any orders necessary for the protection of the data.

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