Adult education survey

Description of the data collection

The adult education survey is an extensive survey of post-comprehensive school education and learning among the adult population in Finland. The survey produces internationally comparable data on the participation of the adult population in education, learning, the willingness and need to participate in education, opinions and attitudes concerning studying, as well as the obstacles to participation and the adult population’s language skills.

The Adult Education Survey is part of the Adult Education Survey project of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, and it is conducted in some 30 European countries. In Finland, the survey is implemented as a joint project between Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Adult Education Surveys have been conducted in Finland since 1980 at intervals of around five years.

In 2017, the data will be collected as a mixed-mode data collection by means of face-to-face interviews and an online survey.

From whom are data collected?

The interviewees have been drawn from Statistics Finland's population database and include people in different stages of life: young and aged persons, persons with families, persons living alone, unemployed and employed persons, pensioners, students, employees, self-employed persons and farmers. It is also important to obtain data from persons who have not participated in adult education.

Approximately 6,000 Finnish residents between the ages of 18 and 69 are interviewed in the survey. Each person selected to the sample represents around 500 people in Finland and cannot be substituted by another person.

What are the data used for?

The data produced in the survey are utilised by public administration, the economy and the media, such as researchers, enterprises and organisations.

Statistics Finland will publish the survey results on its website as a research report and as articles. Material comparable across the European Union will be formed of the data and forwarded to Eurostat for inclusion in an EU database. A separate service data file will be formed of the national Adult Education Survey data for research use and made accessible subject to a user licence.

The data from the data collection are used in the following statistics:

Data processing

The answers of an individual person cannot be identified in the statistics to be published. The Statistics Act (280/2004) obliges Statistics Finland to treat the data as confidential.


In 1980 to 2006, the Adult Education Survey was conducted as face-to-face interviews. In the 2012 survey, a mixed-mode data collection was adopted, where the option of a telephone interview was introduced as a tool for non-response work in addition to face-to-face interviews. In 2016, the mixed-mode data collection is revised so that respondents are, besides face-to-face interviews, offered the possibility to respond through the web in accordance with Statistics Finland’s strategic objectives.

How often are data collected?

Other regular