Population structure: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
Unit of measure
Annual population data by municipality are available in the StatFin statistical database service from 1972 onwards. Population statistics from 1750 onwards have been digitised into PDF format in the National Library's Doria service:
Publications on population structure and population changes in Doria
Publications on population census in Doria
Frequency of dissemination
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
Since the discontinuation of yearly checking of domicile registers in 1989, the Population Information System has been maintained only by notifications of changes to population information. Their correctness is determined by a reliability survey made of the addresses in the Population Information System.
The Digital and Population Data Services Agency has requested Statistics Finland to carry out sample surveys on the correctness of address data. Around 10,000 persons are asked whether their address in the Population Information System is correct. In the 2012 survey, the address was correct for 98.9 per cent of the respondents. The non-response of this survey was 16.9 per cent. Attempts were made to check the addresses for the persons in the non-response from other sources. The address could be ascertained as correct for 92.3 per cent and as incorrect for 5.9 per cent of the persons included in the non-response. The address of 1.8 per cent of the persons in the non-response could not be checked. Under the assumption that all the unchecked data for the persons in the non-response were incorrect, the final proportion of correct addresses would be 98.1 per cent.
A total of 15,555 persons who have probably moved abroad have been removed after analyses from the population data derived from the Population Information System for the end of 2019. These persons are mostly foreign citizens whose address is unknown and who have not received earned income, capital income, entrepreneurial income, unemployment benefit, pension income, income support or compensation from sickness insurance between 2017 and 2018.
Comparability - geographical
Comparability - over time
Coherence - cross domain
Coherence - internal
Source data and data collections
Frequency of data collection
Principles and outlines
Contact organisation unit
Legal acts and other agreements
The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.
Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.
Further information: Statistical legislation
Confidentiality - policy
The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.
Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Confidentiality - data treatment
In accordance with data protection practices, rules concerning less detailed data are applied when distributing data by area if the table contains variables specified as sensitive. Then figures below the threshold value are not reported or they are not divided into categories of sensitive variables.
According to the Statistics Act, data released for research use must be edited into a form from which statistical units cannot be identified directly or indirectly. In order to prevent indirect identification, the key variables in terms of identification must be edited using statistical data protection methods suitable for the situation.
Releasing the sample instead of the total data is the main data protection method.
In addition to sampling, Statistics Finland has used, for example, less detailed classification of variables, removal of variables or suppression of the variable values received by an individual unit as data limiting methods.
Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland
The statistics are available in the StatFin database after the release. In addition, statistics on chargeable databases and assignments are available as a charged service.
Accessibility and clarity
Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.
In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.
Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.
Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.
Data revision - policy
Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.
Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.
Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics
Are you looking for previously published documentation?
The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.Go to the archive page