Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Register of Social Assistance
Data content: The Register of Social Assistance contains information on households receiving primary social assistance and preventive social assistance, and on recipients of rehabilitative work benefits paid as social assistance (since 2001).
The statistics provide the following data annually: age structure among recipients, type of household, socio-economic status, duration of recipiency, amount of assistance and the number of recipients each moth during the calendar year. Data concerning November only: sources of income and activities among recipients. In addition, information is gathered on those who have participated in the rehabilitative work programme. Specific classifications exist for socio-economic status, sources of income and activities in November and rehabilitative work participants.
Method of data collection and data source: Municipal social care departments submit data for the register and statistics. The data are submitted electronically or on statistical forms. Updating frequency: Each year. Completion and release: The register and the annual statistics are completed in November. Times series: The Register of Social Assistance and the annual statistics have been maintained since 1985, but the statistics also contain time series data on the number of clients from 1996 onwards. Services: Tables and investigations on request.
Products: A Statistical Summary is published each year on the basis of the Register of Social Assistance. National Institute for Health and Welfare maintains a social assistance database, from which data can be retrieved as desired.
Classification by sex
male, female, combined
Municipality, sub-region, region, area for the regional state administrative agency, major region, Mainland Finland/Åland, hospital district, university hospital special responsibility area, whole country
The indicator gives the percentage of those who have received social assistance during the calendar year in the 25-64 age group. Population figures refer to the last day of the year. Since 1991, data have been collected on the spouse's personal identity code in addition to that of the reference person. In other words, data broken down by sex are available from 1991 onwards. Reference person is the person primarily responsible for the economic support of the household.
The indicator gives the percentage of working-age population who receive social assistance. Social assistance recipiency has been used as a poverty indicator. It is, however, often associated with short-term poverty caused by a difficult life situation.
Individual level data in the Register of Social Assistance are confidential. For the sake of privacy protection, no municipality level data with less than five cases are published.
In terms of age information, the age of the spouse has only been available since 1991.
Hannele Tanhua (email@example.com)
Sirkka Kiuru (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Act on Social Assistance 30.12.1997/1412 (HE 217/1997) and related amendments.
As stated in the Act, social assistance is last-resort financial assistance paid in order to ensure the person's or family's livelihood and to help them cope independently. Social assistance is aimed at ensuring the person or family at least the minimal living needed for a life of human dignity. It may be primary or preventive social assistance or it may consist of a premium grant or travel allowance paid in the context of rehabilitative work.