Title of statistical activity: Farm Structure Survey

Code of statistical activity: 21208

  1. Contact
  2. Metadata update
  3. Statistical presentation
  4. Unit of measure
  5. Reference period
  6. Institutional mandate
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Release policy
  9. Frequency of dissemination
  10. Accessibility and clarity
  11. Quality management
  12. Relevance
  13. Accuracy and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Eve Valdvee

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".

Leading Statistician-Methodologist

1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 625 9397

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

In the Farm Structure Survey, the whole activity of agricultural holdings is observed, including land tenure, management, crop and animal farming, labour force, other gainful activities, etc. The key indicators are number of holdings, utilised agricultural area, livestock units, standard output and labour input. The main indicators are published by size classes.

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

Classification of agricultural holdings based on the types of agricultural production

Classification of utilised agricultural area

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Agricultural holdings

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Agricultural holding – a unit with single technical and financial management which produces agricultural products or maintains its land in good agricultural and environmental condition and where:

- there is at least one hectare of utilised agricultural land or

- there is less than one hectare of utilised agricultural land and agricultural products are produced mainly for sale.

Labour input in annual work units (AWU) – agricultural work in the holding during 12 months for 1,800 hours.

Livestock unit (LSU) – a standard measurement unit that enables the aggregation of data on different species of livestock and poultry. Livestock units are defined on the basis of the feed requirements of individual animal categories. A dairy cow corresponds to one livestock unit, the coefficients of other animals are smaller (e.g. bovine animal – 0.8; fattening pig – 0.3; broiler – 0.007). The coefficients of livestock units are established with the Commission regulation (EC) No 1200/2009.

Standard output – monetary value of gross agricultural production at farm-gate prices corresponding to the average situation of any agricultural activity, which is calculated on the basis of crop area, number of livestock and standard output coefficients.

Type of farming is determined on the basis of the share of standard output. If the share of one activity is at least two thirds of the standard output of a holding, the holding is considered to be a specialist holding, otherwise it is engaged in mixed farming.

Utilised agricultural area – area utilised in the survey year by agricultural holdings for agricultural production or maintained in good agricultural and environmental conditions (incl. arable land, permanent grassland, fruit and berry plantations, nurseries and kitchen gardens).

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.

Agricultural holding

3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Agricultural holdings


The frame is compiled based on the Statistical Register of Agricultural Holdings.

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

Estonia as a whole

3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.

2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016

3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Agricultural holdings, animals, poultry, beehives, employed persons – number

Land use, incl. land tenure, agricultural area, agricultural crops and fallow, wooded area, unutilised agricultural area, other land – ha

Animal farming for all species of livestock as a total – livestock unit (LSU)

Manure export/import from holding – tonnes

Labour input – annual work unit (AWU)

Standard output of the holding (economic size) – euro

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.


6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 571/88

Regulation (EU) No 378/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 as regards the financial framework for the period 2014-2018

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2015/220 of 3 February 2015 laying down rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1217/2009 setting up a network for the collection of accountancy data on the incomes and business operation of agricultural holdings in the European Union

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2015/1391 of 13 August 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1200/2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards livestock unit coefficients and definitions of the characteristics

Commission Regulation (EU) No 715/2010 of 10 August 2010 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 as regards adaptations following the revision of the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and the statistical classification of products by activity (CPA) in national accounts


Not available


Not available

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 34 and § 35 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the Statistical Database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the Statistical Database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the Statistical Database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.

Over three or four years

10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

A news release when data are published. The news releases can be viewed at https://www.stat.ee/news-releases.

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published under the subject area “Economy / Agriculture” in the Statistical Database at http://pub.stat.ee.

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 34, § 35, § 36, § 37, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Data serve as input for statistical activities 21207 “Economic accounts for agriculture”, 21209 “Statistical Register of Agricultural Holdings” and 21214 “Crop farming”.

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.

Handbook on implementing the FSS and SAPM definitions

Typology handbook

Manual for Data Suppliers

A general description of the methodology can be found in the relevant EU legislative acts.

10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council, a national methodological report is prepared for each survey in accordance with Eurostat’s requirements (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Agricultural_census_in_Estonia).

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Rural Affairs

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

Methodology and organization of the Farm Structure Survey are in compliance with the requirements of regulations No (EC) 1166/2008, EC 1200/2009, etc.

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.

The methodology of the survey, thorough checking of the data and comparison with administrative data, previous surveys and other sources ensure sufficient accuracy of the key indicators and accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EC) 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

The error due to probability sampling is estimated for all published indicators. Sampling errors are in accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

The aim is to reduce non-sampling errors through continous methodological and survey process improvements, incl. minimizing under- and over-coverage of the frame.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Timeliness Length of time between data availability and the event or phenomenon they describe.

Preliminary results are published two months after the end of data collection and final results 11 months after the end of data collection.

14.2. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

The data are comparable with the data of other European Union countries.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

Comparable data are available since 2001. The data of the 2001Agricultural Census, which was conducted according to national requirements, have been recalculated on the basis of the EU harmonised definition of a holding. The new typology of agricultural holdings applied since 2010 has been a basis for recalculations back to year 2007.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

The data are closely related to other agricultural statistics. The methodology of labour force data in the Farm Structure Survey differs fundamentally from the Labour Survey in social statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

The outputs of the statistical activity are coherent.

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

In order to reduce costs, all holdings can submit their data electronically since 2010. In order to reduce burden, administrative data are used as much as possible.

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


The population includes 17,000 objects. The sample size for the 2016 survey is 6,750.


Data on land use in the survey year and data on rural development aid in the last three years are received from the register of agricultural support and land parcels of the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB).

Data on farm animals in the survey year are received from the register of farm animals of ARIB.

The following data are received from the Agricultural Board: data on organic farming in the survey year from the register of organic farming; since 2013, data on certified seed fields in the survey year from the database of certified seed lots.

Since 2016, the data on other land use of agricultural holdings is received from the land cadastre of the Land Board.

Since 2016, the number of male and female employed persons is received from the employment register of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.


Not used

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.

Over three or four years

18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data are collected through the web channel for electronic data submission and by phone interviews. From the agricultural holdings who do not submit their data on the web, the data are collected by phone interviews.

The questionnaires and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website at https://www.stat.ee/andmete-esitamine (in Estonian).

Administrative data are received by e-mail.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

Arithmetic and qualitative controls are used in the validation process, including comparison with the data of previous periods, other surveys and administrative data sources.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

Data from the register of agricultural support and land parcels and from the register of farm animals of the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) as well as from the register of organic farming are used. Missing data are collected from agricultural holdings.

For statistical units weights are calculated, which are used to expand the data of the sample survey to the total population. These data are expanded separately in each stratum. The ratios of the population size to the number of respondents in the stratum are used as expanding factors. If necessary, recalculation of weights or post-stratification are used.

In case of missing or unreliable data, missing values are imputed according to set rules. In order to compensate for the data that agricultural holdings did not report, these data are replaced with administrative data, data from previous periods or similar holdings.

Microdata are aggregated to the level necessary for analysis. This includes summation of data according to the classification and/or described size classes.

The collected data are converted into statistical output.

Additional indicators are calculated which were not collected but which are necessary for producing output. New variables are calculated by applying arithmetic and logical conversions to already existing variables. This may be done repeatedly; the derived variable may, in turn, be based on previously derived variables.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Not applicable

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

The survey is co-financed by the European Commission.