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Finnish residents' death certificates have been archived from 1936 onwards.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.
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, which was issued either in Finnish or Swedish. Other language versions are not possible.
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 Suomi.fi 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: email@example.com or by post to:
Causes of death
00022 STATISTICS FINLAND
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: