Participation in adult education

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Education
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


Adult Education Surveys have been conducted at Statistics Finland since 1980 at intervals of around five years. From 2006, the survey has been carried out as part of the Adult Education Survey project of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, for which data are collected in some 30 European countries. In Finland, the survey has been implemented as a joint project between Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Adult Education Surveys have examined participation in education, learning and skills among the adult population. In addition, data have been produced on adults’ opinions and attitudes concerning studying, willingness and need to participate in education and obstacles to and conditions for participation.

The population of the survey has been Finland’s resident adult population. The adult population has been defined in each survey as all persons aged 18 to 64 and living permanently in Finland. The survey data are based on face-to-face interviews implemented by means of a sample of around 5,000 persons.

Data content

The adult education survey provides information about participation of adult population in general and vocational adult education and changes in the participation since 1980. It also gives information about the population's willingness to, need for, obstacles to participation in education and views on education.

Adult education is described by its organisers, contents, scope and perceived effects. Data on specific, additional topics, such as information technology or foreign language skills and diverse everyday learning environments have also been collected on each survey round. Since the 1990 data collection, the produced information has included large volumes of data describing the working lives and work histories of the adult population.

The collected basic data are confidential.

Classifications used

Age, sex, level of education, socio-economic group, municipality group

Data collection methods and data sources

Collection of data has been made as face-to-face and telephone interviews.

Data collections

Updating frequency

The Adult Education Survey 2012 is Statistics Finland's sixth Adult Education Survey on participation in education by the adult population, which covers the whole adult population. The Adult Education Survey 2012 was implemented as a joint project of Statistics Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Prior to this, Adult Education Surveys have been made in Finland in 1980, 1990, 1995 and 2000. The first European-wide Adult Education Survey, to which our national survey was integrated, was conducted in 2006.

The Adult Education Survey 2012 is a part of the Adult Education Survey research project (EU-AES) coordinated by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Data for the next survey will be collected in 2017.

Time of completion or release

Results from the Adult Education Survey 2012 have been reported in the publication Osallistuminen aikuiskoulutukseen vuonna 2012 (in Finnish only) (May 2014).

Time series

Adult Education Survey data are available for the years 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2006 and 2012.


adult education, vocational adult education, vocational education, employer-sponsored training, self-directed studies, language skills, computers, education, other education than that leading to a qualification, information technology, education leading to a qualification

Contact information

Additional information

Based on research needs, the population has in some years been extended from the upper end of the age limit, for example, the population for the 2012 survey were people aged 18 to 69. The population for EU-AES includes persons aged 25 to 64.

Last updated 15.01.2018