What are the data used for?

Statistics in support of decision-making

The data collected in inquiries and interview surveys are used to compile statistics and studies that are utilised in social decision-making like planning of public services and enacting of legislation.

In particular, central and local government organisations and research institutions utilise the statistics, but the media, enterprises and private individuals also benefit from them. Reliable statistics are also an important part of open public debate.

For example, municipalities use statistical data when they plan the locations of day-care centres, schools and health care services in different residential areas. Data are also needed to assess and monitor the effects of decisions that have been made. Statistics can be used to evaluate how changes in taxation would affect the financial position of various population groups, for example.

Impartial information for citizens

As a producer of official statistics, Statistics Finland's task is to offer reliable and impartial information to citizens on how society develops.

You can use statistics to compare wages and salaries and pay development in your industry. If you are buying or selling an apartment or a car, statistics provide information on price development. Statistics offer researched data on parliamentary elections, households' spending and saving, and many other areas of society.

Research purposes

The Statistics Act obliges Statistics Finland to extend the use of the data collected for statistical purposes in scientific studies and statistical surveys on social conditions.

Data collected for statistical purposes can be used in scientific research and statistical surveys. Permission to use can be granted only for such data from which the respondents cannot be directly identified.

The researcher mainly processes the data in Statistics Finland’s remote access system, in which case the data are controlled by Statistics Finland. Researchers handling Statistics Finland’s data always sign a pledge of secrecy.

Further information about research use of data is available on the Research Services’ microdata pages.

Statistics also cater for enterprises' information needs

Exhaustive statistical data are important for enterprises. It is, for example, important for an enterprise to monitor the development of production, labour and other costs in order to be successful. Enterprises also use statistics when planning marketing and target groups for their products.

The statistics compiled from the collected data thus also serve the information needs of enterprises. Similarly, Statistics Finland needs as detailed data as possible from enterprises in order to compile statistics.

All answers are important

In order for us to be able to produce reliable statistics we need sufficient data from individual persons, households, corporations and enterprises. Therefore, it is important that you answer Statistics Finland's inquiries.

Your responses are important even if you do not have experiences of the studied subject. For example, in the Labour Force Survey it is important to collect data from the employed, unemployed and the inactive population. Similarly, in the Adult Education Survey it is important to know how many have not participated in adult education.

It is your civil right to participate in data collections and by exercising this right you can have an effect on that decision-making is based on reliable information.