Press release 25.1.2012

Statistics Finland is making further utilisation of statistical data easier

Statistics Finland has confirmed new Terms of Use for the utilisation of already published statistical data. In them, Statistics Finland grants a universal, irrevocable right to the use of the data published in its website service and in related free statistical databases. The right extends to use for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. The aim is to make further utilisation of the data easier and thereby increase the exploitation and effectiveness of statistics in society.

At the same time, an open interface has been built to the StatFin database. The StatFin database is a general database built with AC-Axis tools that is free-of-charge and contains a wide array of statistical data on a variety of areas in society. It contains data from some 200 sets of statistics, thousands of tables and hundreds of millions of individual data cells. The contents of the StatFin database have been systematically widened in the past few years and its expansion with various information contents and regional divisions will be continued even further.

Several years of input to improve the accessibility of data

These measures are continuation to the widening of the supply of freely accessible data that was started at the beginning of the 2000s. Previous measures have included making the StatFin database free-of-charge, transition to the dissemination of basic statistical releases free-of-charge on the web, and addition of various information products and services to the agency's website service. Examples of these would be the set of pages on International statistics and the Regional and geographic information service containing key figures and comparison data on municipalities.

In 2008, a remote access system was introduced for research institutes and their researches, which allows them to use unit level data. Because data and privacy protection rules apply to unit level data, their use is always subject to a user licence and they must be edited for research purposes, so this service is charged for. Ready-made datasets have been produced for research purposes - and more will be produced in future - to speed up the service process. Further developing of the services will be continued.

More databases to be opened in future

"We will continue to open our databases basing on the feedback we receive from the users. Classification databases, for example, are such public data resources that could potentially be opened," says Director of Information Services Heli Mikkelä from Statistics Finland. "Before we make databases open, we must always make sure that sufficient metadata are attached to the data in them to support their use. Likewise, when we make statistical data openly available we must ensure that when opening data concerning small areas we do not jeopardise data and privacy protection."

Further information:

  • Terms of Use on the web
  • Heli Mikkelä, Director, Information Services (Terms of Use in general and development of information services), tel. +358 9 1734 3200
  • Leena Storgårds, Director, Business Structures (development of services for researchers), tel. +358 9 1734 2257