Archive of death certificates

Finnish residents' death certificates have been archived from 1936 onwards. The death certificates from 1936 to 1965 are located in the National Archive. For death certificates concerning these years, the data request should be made to the National Archive. More recent death certificates are archived at Statistics Finland.  

The death certificate data are confidential. The Act on the Establishment of Cause of Death (459/1973, Section 15) defines the purposes for which copies of death certificates and/or death certificate data can, however, be provided.

1) The copy of the death certificate can be released to the dead person's close relatives, pension institutions and official use

By law, confidential death data can be released to the deceased’s close relatives or a person who was close to the deceased.

Death certificate data are also issued to insurance or pension institutions for processing of benefit applications and to a court, authority or other organisation that is entitled to the data by law. In such cases, the request must come from the authority in question.

Close relatives do not usually need a death certificate when dealing with authorities. Information about the death is sent through official channels to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to be recorded in the Population Information System, from where the information is passed forward. In addition, taking care of the deceased’s affairs is possible with an official certificate obtained from a registration authority (Digital and Population Data Services Agency, parish).

The actual death certificate is issued only when all examinations required to establish cause of death are completed. This can take several months.

Close relatives receive the death certificate from the doctor who issued the burial permit and death certificate. In the case of forensic autopsy, the death certificate can be requested from the police. Statistics Finland's archive of death certificates serves customers who need death certificates from old years.

Instructions for requesting a death certificate

Individual copies of death certificates are free of charge for close relatives. A copy is taken of the original death certificate, so the certificate is in the language in which it was originally written by the physician.

If necessary, we provide a signed and stamped copy of the death certificate for handling matters abroad. The person concerned must see to the possible translation of the death certificate.

Use Statistics Finland's form to make a request for death certificate (requires identification).

In the top bar on the page that opens, select the link that says EN to view the instructions for identification in English.

If the request is for yourself, use the identification for logging in to the form. It can be found towards the end of the list. Central government and university actors have their own ways of logging in. If you have used the service before, identification may be bypassed automatically.

After identification, you will be directed straight to the correct form. If the language of the form is incorrect, select EN from the links at the top to access the form in English.

The form asks:

  • the deceased’s last and first names
  • personal identity code (date of birth)
  • time of death
  • latest municipality of residence
  • the relation of the requester of the death certificate to the deceased
  • the requester’s name, address and telephone number.

If you cannot use the form

If necessary, you can also send the request to Statistics Finland either by email or post. Send the data request to the following email address: or by post to:

Statistics Finland
Causes of death

If you wish, you can send the request via secured email at Please select as the recipient of secured email.

Instructions: Sending encrypted email to Statistics Finland.

2) Death certificate data are released for scientific studies and statistical surveys

In order to receive data, a licence to use statistical data must be applied for from Statistics Finland. The death certificates of persons who have died in the years 1936–1965 are archived in the National Archive that is responsible for information service related to them.

Use  Statistics Finland 's licensing service to fill in an application for data. With the application, the customer can request cause of death data and/or copies of death certificates. The application for licence must include a short research plan, a register description, and the names of the persons who will be processing the data.

Persons who will be processing the data must submit a pledge of secrecy if not previously submitted. You can submit a pledge of secrecy trough the Statistics Finland 's licensing service.

Please note that personal identification numbers should not be submitted with the application. Statistics Finland has no grounds to receive them before Statistics Finland's licence has been granted.

Data for research purposes are chargeable.

Findata processes licence applications that concern combining cause of death data with data from more than one of the register controllers mentioned in the Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data. Read more from Findata’s pages. Direct the application to Findata: Findata's e-service.

Further information


Further information about research use of death certificate data

Researcher services