Concepts and definitions

Active population

The labour force (active population) comprises all persons aged 15-74 who were either employed or unemployed during the last week of the year. Participation in the labour force is determined on the basis of information derived from various registers.

Background country

See origin and backgorund country.

Commuting

Commuting refers to going to work outside the area where a person is resident. Net commuting refers to the difference between the numbers working outside the area and the numbers coming into the area to work from elsewhere. A positive net commuting value indicates that the number of people coming into the area to work exceeds the number of those going to work elsewhere from it. Net commuting can also be expressed as a value between two individual areas.

Conscientious objector

Conscientious objectors are defined as people who according to the data of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy have been doing their non-military service during the survey week.

Community service is based on the national defence obligation and also on the freedom of religion and conscience set out in the Constitution of Finland. A person liable for military service can, on serious grounds of conscience founded on religious or ethical conviction, be exempted from military service upon application, at which time he is ordered into non-military service, which is a substitute for military service in peacetime under the Finnish Conscription Act (1950/452).

Non-military service is provided for in the Non-Military Service Act (1991/1723) and Non-Military Service Decree (1991/1725).

Conscript

Conscripts are defined as persons who according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces have been doing their military service during the last week of the year. Persons taking part in refresher courses during the reference week are not regarded as conscripts.

Dependency ratio (economic)

Population structure is measured with the so-called economic dependency ratio which gives the numbers of persons unemployed or outside the labour force per one employed persons.

Economic activity

This item indicates whether a person has been in the economically active population for most of the year. The economically active population is defined as comprising all persons aged betweeen 15 and 74 who were employed or unemployed for at least six months during a year.

Since the 1985 population census, main type of activity has been determinded on the basis of the concept of labour force, in which the reference period is the last week of the year (instead of the full year). However, the concept of economic activity provides complementary information on employment.

Under this concept the population is divided into the following groups:

Economically active

  • employed
  • unemployed

Economically inactive

  • children aged 0-14
  • students
  • pensioners
  • conscripts, conscientious objectors
  • other economically inactive

Economic activity is determined on the basis of monthly data on employment and unemployment from different sources. Part of the population has been classified as economically active on the basis of their earned income.

Education

Education refers here to education leading to a qualification or degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree (qualification or degree-oriented education) refers to education leading to the completion of the full syllabus of comprehensive school (school-leaving certificate), completion of the full syllabus of upper secondary general school (matriculation examination certificate), International Baccalaureate certificate, Reifeprüfung certificate, European Baccalaureate certificate, Gymnasieexamen certificate, initial vocational qualification, basic vocational qualification, specialist vocational qualification, university of applied sciences degree, higher university of applied sciences degree or university degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree is classified by the classification of education.

Employed

The employed labour force comprises all persons between 18-74 who were employed during the reference week and were neither registered as unemployed jobseekers at the labour exhange office nor undergoing military or non-military service. Information on employment is based on data from employment pension and tax authorities.

Employed labour force resident in the area

Employed labour force resident in the area refers to all employed persons in the area concerned irrespective of the location of their workplaces. Employed labour force resident in the area forms the so-called employed night population.

Employee

Wage and salary earners (employees) are defined as persons aged betweeen 18 and 74 who according to the employment register of a pension insurance scheme are in an employment relationship during the last week of the year and who according to the Ministry of Labour's register of job applicants are not unemployed on the last working day of the year, and who are not conscripts or conscientious objectors during the last week of the year. It is further required that if, in addition to being employed the person is paying premiums on a self-employed person's pension insurance, his or her taxable wage income shall exceed his/her income from entrepreneurship. If a person aged 15-74 is not self-employed, unemployed, a student, pensioner, conscript or conscientious objector and if his/her wage income exceeds the specified level of earnings (which is set by means of inference from the data on wage and salary earners from the Labour Force Survey), that person will be classified as a wage and salary earner even if the source data on employment indicate that he/she is not in an employment relationship.

Employer sector

The classification of employer sectors describes the ownership and corporate form of the workplace. It can be used for distinguishing between the public and private sector.

The classification used is as follows:

  • Public sector
- state

- municipality
  • State-controlled companies
  • Private sector
  • Other or unknown.

The information on the employer sector is based on data from Statistics Finland's Business Register on the type of owner and juridical (legal) form. The classifications relating to these are presented in the publication 'Classification of sectors'.

Employment rate

The ratio of employed persons to the population of the same age. The employment rate of the total population is calculated as the ratio of 15 to 64-year-old employed persons to the population of the same age.

Finnish background

All persons who have at least one parent who was born in Finland are considered to be persons with Finnish background. People born in Finland before 1970, whose parents' background is not known, have been concluded to be persons with Finnish background if their native language is a national language (Finnish, Swedish, Sami). The background country for all persons with Finnish background is Finland.

For children adopted from abroad, the adoptive parents are regarded as the biological parents. Thus a child adopted from abroad by persons born in Finland is a person with Finnish background and their background country is Finland.

See a more detailed definition of the origin classification: origin and background country.

Finnish origin

See Finnish background.

Foreign background

Persons whose both parents or the only known parent have been born abroad are considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons who have been born abroad and whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System are also considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons born in Finland before 1970, whose native language is a foreign language have been considered to be persons with foreign background, as have persons born in Finland in 1970 or after this, whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System. Persons, whose mother tongue is not Finnish, Swedish or Sami are regarded as foreign-language speakers.

See a more detailed definition of the origin classification: origin and backgorund country.

Foreign origin

See foreign background.

Income subject to state taxation

The information is based on data in the tax files of the National Board of Inland Revenue concerning income subject to state taxation.

Average income refers to income calculated per income earner. Median income generally provides a better picture of the income level within a certain group. Median income indicates the amount of income that divides income earners into two groups of equal size. One half of the income earners have lower, and one half higher, incomes than the median.

Net income means income obtained by subtracting taxes from income subject to state taxation (income tax, wealth tax, punitive tax increase, municipal tax, church tax, social security contributions and forestry levies).

Income subject to state taxation is divided into the following categories according to source:

1. Wage income:

wages and salaries subject to preliminary collection of taxes, wages and salaries from work at sea, reimbursements of expenses by employer, holiday pay in building and construction, wages and salaries to reservists, income from abroad taxed in Finland, value of purchased services in forestry, value of purchased services in partnerships, redemptions, service charges and other income subject to advance payment of taxes

2. Entrepreneurial income:

earned income and capital income in agriculture and forestry, earned income and capital income in trade and business, income from partnerships

3. Other income subject to state taxation:

other earned income, pension income, unemployment benefits and other social security benefits.

A person's earned income consists of his or her entrepreneurial income and wage and salary earnings. Income subject to state taxation does not include scholarships and grants received from public corporations for studies or research, earned income from abroad if the person has worked abroad for at least six months, part of the social security benefits received from the public sector and tax-exempt interest income.

Statistics Finland's annual publication "Statistics on income and property" contains descriptions of the different types of income.

Legal form

Legal form identifies the legal status of a legal person. The classification of legal forms is based on the company forms of the Trade Register and on the requirements of taxation legislation. The legal forms of enterprises and corporations are recorded in the Business Information System.

Statistics Finland's classification of legal forms is based on this system and on the Tax Administration's coding of legal forms. Some of the Tax Administration's categories have been combined in Statistics Finland's classification.

Locality

An urban settlement is a cluster of dwellings with at least 200 inhabitants. The delimitation is based on the population information of the previous year. Urban settlements are defined and delimited in co-operation with the Finnish Environment Institute using geographic information methods that utilise the building and population data of Statistics Finland's 250 m x 250 m grid data. The population size of grids containing buildings and their neighbouring grids, as well as the number of buildings and their floor area, are reviewed in the definition. From the uniform clusters of dwellings generated in the defining stage, the ones with at least 200 inhabitants are selected.

Main type of activity

The concept of main type of activity describes the nature of a person's economic activity. The population is divided into people in the labour force and those outside the labour force. These categories can further be divided into subgroups. The classification is based on data on a person's main type of activity during the last week of the year.

The following classification is used:

Labour force

  • employed labour force
  • unemployed

Persons outside the labour force

  • 0-14-year-olds
  • students, pupils
  • pensioners
  • conscripts, conscientious objectors
  • others outside the labour force.

Information on the main type of activity is based on data obtained from various registers. Where the data conflict as to whether a person is in the labour force or outside it, priority is given to the former. If, within the labour force, the data conflict as to whether a person is unemployed or employed, priority is given to the former.

The group "others outside the labour force" consists of persons who are not in the labour force and do not belong to the following groups: 0-14-year-olds, students, conscripts, conscientous objectors or pensioners.

Months of employment

Months of employment refers to the total number of months that the person was in gainful employment during a year. The data on months of employment derive from various registers.

Months of unemployment

Months of unemployment refers to the total number of months that the person was unemployed during a year. The data are obtained from the Ministry of Labour's job applicant register.

Occupation

Occupation refers to the work a person does, regardless of his or her occupational status (wage or salary earner-entrepreneur), education or the industry of the place of work. So the occupation of a secretary working at a factory is the same as that of a secretary working in an office if their work requires the same professional skills. The professional skills and specialisation required in a particular job (occupation) have been taken into account in the classification of occupations.

Since 2004, occupation has been annually defined in the employment statistics for everyone belonging to the employed labour force and it describes the activities of the last week of the year. The occupation of an employed person is determined based on the occupation of the principal job. Occupational data are collected from several different sources, such as the registers of employment relationships of employer organisations, central and local government, statistics on wages and salaries, and data collection from enterprises. The occupation is classified based on the Classification of Occupations used at Statistics Finland.

Origin and background country

During 2012, Statistics Finland has adopted a new origin classification. A similar classification is already used in the other Nordic countries. The origin and background country are determined based on the country of birth data of the person's parents. Using the origin classification it is easy to distinguish between persons born abroad and born in Finland with a foreign background.

Data on persons that died before 1964 have not been entered into the Population Information System of the Population Register Centre. There are nearly 900,000 persons among the Finnish population who have been born in Finland and both parent's country of birth is unknown because the parents of these persons have died before the Population Information System was established. People born in Finland before 1970, whose parents' background is not known, have been concluded to be persons with Finnish background if their native language is a national language (Finnish, Swedish, Sami). All such persons who have at least one parent who was born in Finland are also considered to be persons with Finnish background. The background country for all persons with Finnish background is Finland.

Persons whose both parents or the only known parent have been born abroad are considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons who have been born abroad and whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System are also considered to be persons with foreign background. Persons born in Finland before 1970, whose native language is a foreign language have been considered to be persons with foreign background, as have persons born in Finland in 1970 or after this, whose parents' data are not included in the Population Information System.

If both parents of a person have been born abroad, the background country is primarily the country of birth of the biological mother. If a person only has knowledge of a father that was born abroad, the background country is the country of birth of the father. If either parent's country of birth is unknown, the background country for persons born abroad is their own country of birth. For persons born in Finland, whose parents' data are unknown and who have been deducted to be with foreign background, the background country is unknown.

For children adopted from abroad, the adoptive parents are regarded as the biological parents. Thus a child adopted from abroad by persons born in Finland is a person with Finnish background and their background country is Finland.

Pensioner

Pensioners comprise all persons who according to the data of the Social Insurance Institution or the Centre for Pensions receive a pension (excl. those receiving family pension or part-time pension) and are not gainfully employed. All persons over 74 are also classified as pensioners. In addition, some persons have been classified as pensioners on the basis of pension income.

Persons working in the area

Persons working in the area refers to all persons who go to work in the area concerned irrespective of their place of residence. Persons working in the area form the so-called employed day population, the size of which can be regarded as a measure of the number of workplaces in the area.

Socio-economic group

Socio-economic group refers to a person's position in society's structural and functional systems. Formation of a socio-economic group for a person is based on data on the person's main type of activity, occupation, occupational status and industry. Statistics Finland's Classification of Socio-economic Groups is used for the classification.

In the employment statistics, persons are classified according to their own activity, apart from persons aged 0 to 15 and the group "others outside the labour force" (mainly home-makers), who have been assigned the same socio-economic group as the reference person in the household. The socio-economic group of students is determined based on their own activity at the end of the year. Students over the age of 18, who have a valid employment relationship at the end of the year, are considered to belong to the employed labour force and thus they are defined as belonging to different socio-economic groups based on their occupation. However, working students under the age of 18, are classified as students (apart from students under the age of 16, who are always assigned the socio-economic group of the reference person in the household).

Status in employment

Status in employment describes the position of the employed on the labour market. . The status is classified as follows:

  • wage and salary earners
  • entrepreneurs

The category of entrepreneurs also comprises the family members who work in the enterprise without pay.

The data on status in employment are based on the person's pension insurance and amounts of wage and salary and entrepreneurial income.

Student

A student or a pupil is a person over 15 who is studying full-time in an educational institution and is neither gainfully employed nor unemployed.

When the population is classified by socio-economic status, the lower age limit is 16.

Data on studying have been obtained, among other sources, from Statistics Finland's student register and the State Study Aid Centre's study grant register. People in labour market training during the last week of the year are also counted as students. Persons aged 15 are also counted as students if they are not gainfully employed or unemployed during the last week of the year. Pupils aged under 15 belong to the main activity class "0-14 year-olds".

In certain examinations all persons studying in post-comprehensive educational institutes can be counted as students. Data on students have been collected according to the situation in September. However, during the last week of the year the main activity of the persons concerned may employed, unemployed or conscript.

Sub-area (of municipality)

Municipal sub-areas are formed of operationally functional wholes defined by the municipality itself, which are the basis of the municipality's regional planning and monitoring. Statistics Finland is responsible for digitising new sub-area boundaries and for maintaining name files. Municipalities have the opportunity to check their sub-area division once a year.

The division into sub-areas is a hierarchical three-level classification which has a 1-digit major area level, a 2-digit statistical area level and a 3-digit small area level. Sub-areas are numbered consecutively using these three hierarchical levels. The 6-digit sub-area code is bound to the 3-digit municipality code, so the sub-area code consists of a total of nine characters.

Type of ownership

The enterprises and corporations included in the Register of Enterprises and Establishments are divided into the following categories by type of ownership:

Private domestic

State

Municipality

Region of Åland

Foreign-owned

Other type of ownership.

Unemployed

The unemployed labour force comprises persons aged 15-74 who were unemployed on the last working day of the year. Data on unemployment are obtained from the Ministry of Labour's register on job applicants.

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is the ratio of the unemployed to the active population (labour force) of the same age, i.e. employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate of the total population is calculated as the ratio of 15 to 74-year-old unemployed persons to the active population (labour force) of the same age.

Working-age population

The working-age population consists of all persons aged between 15 and 74 years.

Workplace

The number of persons working in a certain area can be used to describe the number of jobs in that area. Each employed person is thus thought to represent one job. This means that even part-time work is included in the workplace statistics. If, for example, the work of someone on maternity leave is done by a substitute, two workplaces may be registered. Employment may also be of temporary or short-term in nature.

In the register-based censuses and in the employment statistics no distinction has been made between work done at fixed workplaces and work of mobile nature. Instead, all persons are allocated to some establishment regardless of the nature of the work. If exact data on the location of a workplace are lacking, persons are placed in the municipality where they live. For the majority of self-employed the location of their workplace is the same as the municipality where they live.

Workplace numbers can be distorted by flaws in data sources. For example, where detailed information on the workplace of a person employed in a company with several establishments is missing, the person's workplace is fixed to that person's place of residence, or persons may accumulate in a company's main establishment.

Workplace self-sufficiency

Self-sufficiency in workplaces indicates the ratio between the number of people working in the area and the employed labour force living in the area. If the ratio exceeds 100%, the number of workplaces in the area is greater than the number of employed people living in the area. If the figure is below 100%, the opposite is true.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 14.12.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/kas_en.html

Share