This page is archived.

Data published after 5 April 2022 can be found on the renewed website.

Go to the new statistics page

Concepts and definitions


A building refers to any independent structure permanently constructed or erected on its site. It has its own entrance and contains covered space intended for different purposes, usually enclosed within outer walls or walls separating it from other structures (buildings).

Caves and other subterranean spaces which are mainly enclosed within rock or similar walls and/or which do not contain structures comparable to the interior structures of buildings proper, for example underground oil tanks, are not buildings.

Stalls, kiosks, etc. that do not contain space separated by closed walls, and transportable caravans, ships, etc. are not classified as buildings.

The building stock statistics do not include:

  • free-time residences
  • buildings intended for storing liquids
  • buildings used only in agricultural production
  • sauna buildings belonging to residential buildings
  • outhouses of residential buildings
  • buildings entirely controlled by foreign missions
  • buildings of the Armed Forces
  • air raid shelters
except in cases where such buildings are occupied or contain business premises.

The data on buildings come from the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre.

Building material

The building material refers to the material from which the vertical supporting structures of the building are mainly made. The classification is as follows:

  • concrete, light concrete
  • brick
  • steel
  • wood
  • other, unknown.

Cubic capacity of a building

The cubic capacity of a building is calculated in accordance with the Finnish Standards Association's standard SFS 2460, RT 120.12.


A dwelling refers to a room or a suite of rooms which is intended for year-round habitation; is furnished with a kitchen, kitchenette or cooking area; and has a floor area of at least 7 square metres. Every dwelling must have its own entrance. A single-family house may be entered through an enclosed porch or veranda. If a dwelling is entered through the premises of another dwelling, it is not regarded as a separate dwelling but instead those two constitute one dwelling.

Intended use of building

The intended use of a building is determined according to the purpose for which the largest part of the gross floor area of the building is used. The categories are as follows:

  • residential buildings
  • free-time residential buildings
  • commercial buildings
  • office buildings
  • transport and communications buildings
  • buildings for institutional care
  • assembly buildings
  • educational buildings
  • industrial and mining and quarrying buildings
  • energy supply buildings
  • public utility buildings
  • warehouses
  • rescue services buildings
  • agricultural buildings and livestock shelters
  • other buildings.

The classification of the intended use of buildings is given in Statistics Finland's Handbook Classification of Buildings 2018. Not all the classes in the building classification are included in the Statitics Finland's building stock.

Residential building

A building used for dwelling in which the dwelling area makes up at least one-half of the total floor area (Classification of buildings).

Type of building

Residential buildings are classified according to type of building as follows:

  • Detached houses: residential buildings containing 1 to 2 dwellings, including semi-detached houses and other comparable detached residential buildings (e.g. permanently occupied free-time residences)
  • Terraced houses: residential buildings with at least three adjoining dwellings
  • Blocks of flats: residential buildings of at least three dwellings in which at least two dwellings are located on top of each other and which do not belong to the previous categories
  • Other buildings: also includes buildings whose type is unknown.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Building and dwelling production [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9590. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.6.2024].
Access method: