Description of statistics: Statistics on basic social assistance

Produced by: Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Web page: Statistics on basic social assistance

The statistics on basic social assistance contain data on the payments of basic social assistance made by Kela and on the number of individual and household recipients of the assistance. Social assistance is a last-resort form of income support.

Data content

Recipients of assistance, households having received assistance, and the amount of assistance paid.

Classifications used

General demographic and regional classifications. Assistance funding categories and allocation of the assistance towards different expense categories. Type of household and categories of income received by the household. Recipient’s role in the household (applicant, spouse, child) and principal activity.

Data collection methods and data sources

The statistics on basic social assistance are compiled from individual-level datasets based on the benefit databases created in the course of administering and paying out basic social assistance.

Updating frequency

Kela releases both monthly and calendar-year statistics on basic social assistance starting with the data for January 2017.

Time of completion or release

Monthly statistics are published in the Kelasto statistical database on the 8th of the month following the reference month. Annual statistics are released by the end of February of the following year.

Time series

Kela has paid out basic social assistance since 2017. Previously all forms of social assistance were paid out by municipalities. During the transitional stage (before 1 January 2017), municipalities were authorised to issue decisions on basic social assistance which were valid until March 2017. The statistics for January-March 2017 are therefore not comparable with earlier or later statistics.

The statistics compiled by Kela only cover the basic social assistance payments made in mainland Finland. Nationwide statistics are produced by the National Institute for Health and Welfare. 


Statistics (data), basic social assistance, social assistance.