Household Budget Survey

Description of the data collection

Statistics Finland’s Household Budget Survey produces information 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, the benefit gained from the use of social services and income.

The next round of data collection for the Household Budget Survey will start in 2022. As part of the preparations for the new round, Statistics Finland will carry out a pilot data collection measuring the usability of the data collection application of the Household Budget Survey in autumn 2021. A total of 700 households have been selected for the pilot data collection. The selected households are asked to use the app and give their opinions on the app and the response experience. Participation in the survey takes place only once and the respondent is not bound by it in any way.

The actual Household Budget Survey is based on a sample for which the data are collected with face-to-face and telephone interviews, from diaries completed by households, from receipt information and from administrative register data. The sample of the survey has been around 8,000 households in the collections in the 2000s.

The Household Budget Survey belongs to EU-harmonised surveys. The harmonisation concerns the concepts, definitions and classifications. The survey is based on a so-called gentlemen's agreement, not a regulation.
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. The latest collection was made in 2016.

From whom are data collected?

The target population of the survey comprises private households permanently resident in Finland, i.e. the so-called household population. Excluded from the population are persons permanently resident abroad, persons without a postal address and the institutional population (e.g. long-term residents of old people’s homes, care institutions, prisons or hospitals).

In the pilot data collection for 2021, the target population is formed similarly as in the actual Household Budget Survey, with the difference that the households drawn to the sample have been formed around Finnish-speaking persons based on register data. This is because the app to be tested is not translated into other languages before changes are made to it based on the results of the pilot data collection.

In addition to Finnish, the actual Household Budget Survey can be answered in Swedish and English. Participation in the survey is voluntary for those selected to the sample. It is, however, important to include the answers from as many households as possible selected to the sample to represent all Finnish households in order for the survey to be successful.

What are the data used for?

The data collected in the pilot data collection for 2021 will be used only for developing the app of the Household Budget Survey and for planning the 2022 survey round.

Statistics Finland publishes studies and reports on the Internet, in Statistics Finland’s periodicals and in a printed volume based on the data collected in the actual Household Budget Surveys data. The EU-harmonised data (HBS) are delivered to Eurostat.

The data from the data collection are used in the following statistics:
Value of household production
Households' consumption

Data processing

The Statistics Act (280/2004) obliges Statistics Finland to treat the data as confidential. In the statistics to be published the data are reported in statistical form so that individual respondents cannot be identified from them.

The data collected in the pilot data collection for 2021 are also treated as confidential. They are not published in any form.

The data from the data collection are used in the following statistics:


The survey is based on a sample for which the information has been collected by interviewing households, from diaries completed by households, from receipt information and from administrative registry data. In the 2012 data collection, face-to-face interviews were for cost reasons replaced with two telephone interviews. In 2016 both face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted. Pilot data collections anticipating the 2022 data collection are carried out in 2020 and 2021 to gather data on the usability of the web questionnaire and the app.

How often are data collected?

Other irregular