Helena Laaksonen

Data for Health Research from FSD

FSD data collections offer a wide variety of data on social sciences and increasingly on health research as well. Our data catalogue can be browsed by title or by keyword. At the moment, there are more than 1,400 keywords that have been used to describe the archived data.

All quantitative datasets archived at the FSD have study descriptions in English. More detailed information on the variables of each dataset can be found in the codebooks attached to each dataset. However, there are codebooks in English only for those datasets which have already been translated into English. More datasets are translated on request. Most qualitative datasets are available in Finnish only.

Finnish Data Series

There are several individual datasets suitable for health research. You may also find suitable datasets in series that concentrate primarily on other themes, such as the Finnish Local Government 2004 and the Finnish Local Government Barometers. Likewise, health issues often play a major role in series and individual datasets studying welfare. Some of the Finnish and international data series that include health themes and have been archived at the FSD are listed below.

University Student Health Survey

The series charts the physical, mental and social health of undergraduate students of higher education institutions in Finland. Other main themes include health-related behaviour and associated attitudes, social relationships, studies and financing studies, opinions on and the use of student health services. In addition to core questions, each survey contains questions on particular themes. Surveys are conducted by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) at four-year intervals. Data collection began in the year 2000. There are four student health survey datasets in the FSD data catalogue, the latest from the year 2008.

School Well-being Profile

The series focuses on well-being at school. The respondents are students and school personnel who are divided into four target groups: primary schools (grades 4-6), lower secondary schools (grades 7-9), upper secondary institutions, and personnel. One of the four well-being categories in the series is health status. The data are collected during each school year through an Internet survey. The first datasets archived at the FSD are from the school year 2004-2005.

Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (JYLS)

The study has continued to follow the same individuals for over 40 years, since 1968. When the project was launched, 369 eight-year-old children participated in the research. They were randomly selected from second-graders in primary school. After the first data collection, data have been collected when the respondents have been 14, 20, 27, 33, 36, 42, and 50 years old. The latest data collection took place in 2009. The research themes include health behaviour and health. There are 30 datasets in the series. Access application procedure of these datasets differs from the FSD's ordinary procedure. More information on this procedure can be found in the detailed description of the datasets.

Health Promotion Barometers

The barometers chart the views of municipal and organisational decision makers on the present state and the future of health promotion. In addition, the surveys investigate respondent attitudes towards current health issues from the administrative point of view. The surveys were conducted annually 1992-2011 by the Finnish Centre for Health Promotion (nowadays SOSTE, the Finnish Society for Social and Health). There are 13 Health Promotion Barometers from the years 2005-2011 archived at the FSD.

Unrecorded Alcohol Consumption in Finland

The series investigates the use of home-made, smuggled and privately imported alcoholic beverages, and the use of pure alcohol. Eight datasets are archived at the FSD, from 1995 onwards. The data have been produced by the Social Research Institute of Alcohol Studies and from 1996 onwards by the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) (nowadays known as the National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL).

Finnish Attitudes towards Alcohol Control Policies

The series has been produced by the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), nowadays called the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The data have been collected by TNS Gallup Finland and explore, among others, opinions on alcohol retail outlets, alcohol marketing and advertising and age limits for alcohol purchase. The FSD collections cover seven datasets from 1996 onwards.

International Data Series

International Social Survey Programme – ISSP 2011

The cross-national ISSP surveys have been conducted since 1985. In 2011, the main topic of the survey was, for the first time, health. While the international data are not yet available, the Finnish data are already disseminated by the FSD.

European Social Survey – ESS 2004

ESS is conducted biennially in over 20 countries. There have been questions relating to health in all data collection rounds. One of the rotating modules in ESS 2004 was health and care seeking. Additionally, all ESS datasets contain information on welfare, which is closely connected to health.


The surveys are funded by the European commission and chart the social and political opinions of EU citizens. The datasets contain a wide range of information that can be used in health research.

European Values Study (EVS) and World Values Survey (WVS)

The surveys have been conducted since the 1980's and they have investigated the social, political, moral and religious values of the citizens of different countries. Questions relating to health have explored, for instance, trust in the health care system and the respondents' health status.

Other data archives, such as the ICPSR and European CESSDA member archives, also contain extensive data on health.

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