Households’ consumption

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Income and Consumption
Related topics: Living Conditions
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


Statistics Finland's Household Budget Survey produces data on changes in the consumption expenditure of households and on differences in consumption by population group. The survey also studies households’ housing conditions, possession of durable goods and income. In addition, the survey produces data on the benefit gained from the use of social services and the amounts of food bought home.

The survey is a sample survey, for which data are collected from households with telephone interviews and diaries filled in by them, and from purchase receipts and administrative regis-ters. From 1966 until 1990, the survey was conducted regularly at five-year intervals. From 1994 to 1996 the survey was carried out annually. Since then, Household Budget Surveys have been carried out in 1998, 2001 2006 and 2012.

Time series data by background variable on consumption over the 1985-2006 period were published as database tables in spring 2008. An exhaustive report was published in Statistics Finland’s Income and Consumption publication series in spring 2009. Prior to this, results from the Household Budget Survey were reported on in diverse periodicals of Statistics Finland. Composite data are available to customers from the Household Budget Surveys of 1985, 1990, 1994–96, 1998, 2001, 2006 and 2012. Statistics Finland can compile statistics to customer requirements from the data.

Data content

The Household Budget Survey contains data describing households’ use of money for diverse purposes, such as food or transport, during one year. There is also plenty of information about the structures and activities of households, and their possession of durable goods, housing conditions and income and the benefit gained from the use of social services. Data are available as a separate file on the amounts of food bought home.

The produced statistics are public but the basic data from the survey are confidential. The data system generates a service set of unidentifiable data whose use is subject to a separate permission.

Classifications used

Consumption expenditure is classified according to the national COICOP-HBS classification (around 900 headings). The main consumption groups are food, drinks and tobacco, clothing and footwear, housing and energy, domestic furnishings and appliances, health, transport, telecommunications, culture and leisure, education, and hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Statistical data on household consumption expenditure are available according to regional divisions (e.g. NUTS 2), size and structure of household, income bracket classifications, and by socio-economic group and age of reference person.

Data collection methods and data sources

The survey is a sample survey whose population in 2012 comprised 3 551 households. The data are collected with interviews, diaries and purchase receipts kept by households, and from administrative registers. Information is collected with interviews about the household’s background data, its ownership and purchasing of durable goods, residential costs etc. After the interview, the households keep a diary about their consumption expenditure and retain receipts on their purchases for a fortnight. The data on education and income are derived from registers.

Data collections

Updating frequency

The next data collection is due in 2015.

Time of completion or release

Preliminary data will be published approximately twelve months from the end of the statistical reference year. For example, preliminary data from the Household Budget Survey of 2012 will be were published in 30th December 2013 and database tables in February 2014.

Time series

The data were collected for the first time in 1966. Since then the survey has been conducted in 1971, 1976, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2006 and 2012. Time series containing comparable data have been produced from the surveys between 1966 and 1990, and between 1985 and 2012.


consumer durables, consumption, consumption expenditure, cost of living, expenditure, Household Budget Survey, households, housing, income, living conditions, public welfare services, socio-economic group, use of money

Contact information

Last updated 26.08.2014