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Concepts and definitions


An action recorded in the time-use diary, which has afterwards been coded into a certain activity.

Category of activity

A name and the corresponding code given to each activity.


A household is formed of all those persons who live together and have meals together or otherwise use their income together. The concept of household is only used in interview surveys.

Excluded from the household population are those living permanently abroad and the institutional population (such as long-term residents of old-age homes, care institutions, prisons or hospitals).

The corresponding register-based information is household-dwelling unit. A household-dwelling unit is formed of persons living permanently in the same dwelling or address. More than one household may belong to the same household-dwelling unit. The concept of household-dwelling unit is used in register-based statistics in place of the household concept.

Household's reference person

The household reference person is usually the member of the household with the highest income. If more than one member of a household have the same income, or no member of the household has income, the oldest member of the household has been selected as the reference person.

Main activity

The main activity recorded by a respondent in a time-use diary.

Secondary activity

The secondary activity recorded by a respondent in a time-use diary. E.g. preparing breakfast may be a principal activity and listening to the radio a secondary activity.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Time use [e-publication].
Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.3.2024].
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