Title of statistical activity: Household Budget Survey

Code of statistical activity: 40203

  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.

Population and Social Statistics Department

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

Anet Müürsoo

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

Leading Analyst

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

78 Tiigi Str, 50410 Tartu, 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 8402

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.

Average expenditure per household member in a year by type of settlement, county, educational level and sex of the head of the household, and type of household broken down into main categories of expenditures: food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, clothing and footwear, housing, household equipment and operation, health, transport, communication, recreation and culture, education, restaurants and hotels, miscellaneous goods and services

Number of households by structure, county, labour market situation of the household, size of the household, kind of dwelling, time of completion of the dwelling, number of rooms per household member, condition of the dwelling, heating facility, useful floor area per household member, running water and sewerage, lavatory, hot running water, washing facilities, distance to the nearest places of importance, possession of durable goods, possession of savings

Self-assessed economic situation of households compared to one year ago and five years ago

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

Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements (EHAK)

Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK 2008) based on NACE Rev. 2

International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 08)

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)

Classification of fields of education and training

Classification of Ethnicities

International Standard Codes for the Representation of the Names of Countries (ISO 3166)

Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages (ISO 639-2)

Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP)

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


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

Adult – a household member aged 18 or more (as of the day of the interview) or a household member who has a partner or children in the household.

Child – a household member aged 0–17 (as of the day of the interview), who does not have a partner or children in the household.

Consumption expenditure – monetary and non-monetary expenditure per household member that is connected with consumption. Consumption expenditure is divided by purpose according to the classification of consumption (COICOP-HBS) developed by Eurostat.

Expenditure decile – the variation line of households divided into ten equal parts. Division points are called decile points and the parts of variation line between them are called decile intervals or deciles. Households whose expenditure is smaller than the first expenditure decile point belong to the first expenditure decile interval and those whose expenditure exceeds the ninth expenditure decile point belong to the tenth expenditure decile interval, i.e. the extreme expenditure decile intervals are actually open (with one final point).

Expenditures (outgoing) – main indicators of the Household Budget Survey. These expenditures are divided into two: consumption expenditure and other expenditure. Mortgage payments, real estate purchases, financial investments, expenses on major repairs or construction and other investments are not taken into account here.

Head of the household – the household member with the largest long-term contribution to the household’s income.

Household – a group of people who live in a common main dwelling (at the same address) and share joint financial and/or food resources and whose members consider themselves to be one household. Household can also consist of one member only.

Income quintile – the variation line of households (or members of households) divided into five equal parts. Division points are called quintile points and the parts of variation line between them are called quintile intervals or quintiles. Households whose income is smaller than the first income quintile point belong into the first income quintile interval and those whose income exceeds the fourth income quintile point belong to the fifth income quintile interval, i.e. the extreme income quintile intervals are actually open (with one final point).

Main dwelling – the dwelling where a person spends/has spent, during a longer period,

- most of the year,

- most of the time free from work/studies.

Main dwelling of a legally married or cohabiting person is the dwelling where he/she spends most of the time spent with his/her partner or/and children.

Non-monetary consumption – consumption of non-monetary income and other expenditure converted into monetary value.

Other expenditure – donations, monetary gifts, alimonies paid out of household, fines, etc.

Retired household – a non-working and non-unemployed household with at least one non-working old-age pensioner.

Rural settlement – a small town and a village.

Savings – deposits, endowment insurances, stocks and other savings.

Unemployed household – a non-working household with at least one unemployed member aged 15 or more (i.e. who is not working, is looking for a job and is prepared to start working within two weeks).

Urban settlement – a city, a city without municipal status and town.

Working household – a household with at least one working member aged 15 or more.

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



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

Households whose usual place of residence is in Estonia, and the members of these households, excluding persons living in institutions (children’s homes, care homes, monasteries, convents, etc.).


Persons registered in the population register and their household members

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

Estonia as a whole



Urban and rural settlements

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

1996–2007, 2010–2012, 2015–2016, 2019–2020

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.

Number of households

Percentage of households

Expenditures – euros

Percentage of total expenditure

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.


Not available


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 § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 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 the 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 the 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.

Every two years

10. Accessibility and clarity

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

Not published

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 “Social life / Households” 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 § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 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.

Public use data files are available free of charge to anybody interested in doing statistical analysis based on microdata:


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

Data serve as input for statistical activities 20206 “Energy consumption and production (annual)”, 21401 “National accounts (annual)”, 21403 “Tourism satellite accounts”, 21405 “National accounts (quarterly)”, 21407 “Sector accounts”, 22107 “Travelling of Estonian residents”, 40204 “Consumption expenditure forecast”, 40205 “Living conditions”, 40416 “Employment and financial statistics of the cultural sector” and 40611 “Integration of disabled persons”.

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

Household Budget Survey. Methodology, Statistics Estonia (2012)


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

Data on the quality of the population, sample and respondents are published in the Statistical Database.

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 Economic Affairs and Communications

Ministry of Rural Affairs

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Social Affairs

Eesti Pank (central bank of Estonia)

University of Tartu

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.

In compliance with the rules (regulations)

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 accuracy of source data is monitored by assessing the methodological soundness of data sources and adherence to methodological recommendations.

Data on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are considered underestimated, as people generally give imprecise answers to questions about buying and using these products.

Expenditure data do not include expenditure on pension insurance, housing loan payments, real estate purchases, financial investments, expenditure on major repairs or construction or other investments.

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 and the sampling errors of household expenditure estimates are published in the Statistical Database.

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

Although the registration of place of residence is obligatory in Estonia, there is some under-coverage of persons and households in the population register. Assuming that all persons living permanently in Estonia are registered in the Population Register and considering the amount of imprecise addresses in the population register, the under-coverage of households may be at most 1–1.5%.

Measurement errors can stem from the questionnaire (its wording, design, etc.), the interviewees, the interviewers and the data collection method. While it is impossible to completely avoid this type of errors, Statistics Estonia has tried to reduce them as much as possible.

The data are checked in three stages: initial check upon data entry during the interview (on the laptop), secondary check of newly received data at the office and finally data cleaning.

Data entry mistakes have decreased thanks to the continuing development of primary logic checks in the data entry program.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

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

The data are published 90 days after the end of the reference year (T + 90).

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 Household Budget Survey collects data according to the classification COICOP-HBS which has been developed by Eurostat. Data for Estonia are comparable with the data for countries that use the same classification.

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

The Household Budget Survey started in 1995 as a household income and expenditure survey (LSKU). Interview and diary methods were used. First, a questionnaire was completed for the participating household. The income, taxes and expenditure diary and the food expenditure diary were kept by the households for a period of one month. All participating households were interviewed several times; the household was included in the sample every three months.

In 2000, the survey was updated – the sampling design changed, new questions were added to the questionnaire, a follow-up interview was added.

In 2008 and 2009, the survey did not take place.

In 2010, the survey was updated – the sampling design changed, the number of questionnaires and diaries was reduced (only one household questionnaire and one diary, to be kept by the household for two weeks, remained). Retrospective questions regarding major purchases during the preceding 12 months as well as questions about housing costs in the previous month were added to the questionnaire.

Differences in classifications:

In 1996–1997, expenditures were coded according to an internal classification of Statistics Estonia;

In 1998–2003, expenditures were coded according to the version of COICOP-HBS included in the document “Household budget surveys in the EU: methodology and recommendations for harmonization 2007”;

In 2004–2007 and 2010–2012, expenditures were coded according to COICOP-HBS 2003.

In the Statistical Database, the average monthly expenditures per household member are published for 1996–2007. Since 2010, the average annual expenditures per household member are published.

The expenditure categories (except for food and non-alcoholic beverages) for 1996‒2007 do not include non-monetary expenditures, as non-monetary expenditures form a separate category.

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

The consumption expenditure and living conditions of households are closely related to other statistics in this field. Coherence issues should be taken into account when comparing data relating to similar variables from other sources – Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), national accounts (NA).

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

The sum of lower level expenditures does not necessarily equal the corresponding higher level expenditure, because some expenditures have been coded on a higher level.

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

Cost of statistical activity 30 thousand euros (data for 2018)

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.

Not applicable

18. Statistical processing

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


Data has been collected by sample survey.

Total population size: 1,137,000 persons.

The sample size: 7,781 persons.

Type of sampling design: stratified unproportional systematic sampling. In the case of this sampling procedure, the population is divided into non-overlapping subpopulations or strata, and independent subsamples are drawn separately from each subpopulation following the systematic sampling procedure and applying different inclusion probabilities. The population was stratified by the county of the address person’s place of residence: 1) Harju, Ida-Viru, Lääne-Viru, Pärnu, Tartu counties; 2) Jõgeva, Järva, Lääne, Põlva, Rapla, Saare, Valga, Viljandi, Võru counties; 3) Hiiu county.


Data on percentage of loss of capacity for work (20, 30, etc. up to 100) and on degree of disability (moderate, severe, profound) are received from the Estonian National Social Insurance Board.


Not used

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


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

Data are collected from individuals. The methods used for collecting the data include a personal interview (CAPI) and an expenditure diary filled in by the respondent (PAPI). The diary can also be filled in online (CAWI). The interviews are conducted by Statistics Estonia's interviewers with relevant training. The Survey Fieldwork Information System is used to manage and monitor data collection. The questionnaires have been designed to be filled in electronically by the respondent. The information related to data submission is available on Statistics Estonia's website at https://www.stat.ee/11757.

The data are collected with the official statistics questionnaires “Household Budget Survey. Questionnaire” and “Household Budget Survey. Diary”.

The data from the Estonian National Social Insurance Board are received via an FTP-server.

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 other data. Before data dissemination, the internal coherence of the data is checked.

For publishing the data of expenditures the following criteria are used as a basis:

- the expenditure should occur at least 40 times in the dataset;

- the expenditure should not increase or decrease by more than 200% without a convincing reason;

- the relative standard error of the expenditure should not exceed 25%.

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

The expenditures from both the household questionnaire and the diary book (including receipts) are coded using the COICOP-HBS classification. Then annual expenditures by expenditure groups are calculated for each household.

From the household questionnaire the following are taken into account when calculating household’s yearly expenditures:

- expenditures made on housing (administrative and maintenance costs, repairs fund, disposition of garbage, water and sewage, central heating, hot water, electricity, gas), fixed phones, mobile phones, Internet, television, residential surveillance, rent made during the previous month with coefficient 12;

- large expenditures (over 100 euros) made on goods and services mentioned in questions C09-C49 during the previous 12 months with coefficient 0,96;

- large expenditures (over 200 euros) made during the previous 12 months with coefficient 0,96;

- expenditures made on heating materials (firewood, briquette, coal, fuel oil) and estate tax during the previous 12 months with coefficient 0,96;

- in-kind income received during the previous month from the employer, as an entrepreneur or a business owner, with coefficient 12;

- in-kind contributions received during the previous 12 months from the state, municipal government, private citizens, other foundations or organizations or for business activities with coefficient 1.

Selling of motor vehicles is considered negative expenditure, the difference of the value of bought and sold vehicles is taken into account.

From the diary book the expenditures (including consumption of self-own produced foodstuffs) are as a rule taken into account with coefficient 26 when calculating household’s yearly expenditures, with the following exceptions:

- expenditures made on housing (administrative and maintenance costs, repairs fund, disposition of garbage, water and sewage, central heating, hot water, electricity, gas), fixed phones, mobile phones, Internet, television, residential surveillance, rent are not taken into account (are taken into account with coefficient 0);

- expenditures made on goods and services mentioned in questions C09-C49 are taken into account with coefficient 0,96 if they exceed 100 euros;

- all expenditures are taken into account with coefficient 0,96 if they exceed 200 euros;

- expenditures made on heating materials (firewood, briquette, coal, fuel oil) and estate tax are taken into account with coefficient 0,96.

Unknown quantities in the diary (food, beverages and tobacco) are imputed based on the sum of the expenditure, using the average annual price per unit of the respective expenditure type. Similarly, unknown sums (food, beverages and tobacco) are imputed based on the recorded quantities, using the average annual price per unit of the respective expenditure type.

The costs of self-produced foodstuffs are imputed based on the quantities, using the average annual price per unit.

Uncoded expenditures are divided into 12 main consumption expenditure groups taking into account the additional information recorded for the expenditure. If additional information is not sufficient for determining the type of expenditure, the main group is imputed to the expenditure.

Some additional variables are imputed using statistical methods, including total cost of housing and rent.

If the household completed the household questionnaire, but did not keep the diary book, the missing diary is imputed by hot-deck method.

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 applied

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

Not available