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Discontinuation of education

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Education
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


Statistics Finland has been compiling statistics on discontinuation of post-comprehensive school education from individual-based data on students and qualifications since the academic year of 2000-2001. The data on discontinuation are obtained by examining the situation of students having studied in September xxxx in September xxxx+1. If a person has not continued to study or has not qualified during the year in question, he or she is defined as having dropped out of education.

The central object of examination in these statistics is the sector of education: upper secondary general education (aimed at young people), vocational education (aimed at young people), polytechnic education (Bachelor’s degrees) and university education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees). Data have also been compiled from other points of view, for example by educational institution, field of study or region. In accordance with the Statistics Act, the personal data from which these statistics are compiled are confidential. As a rule, the statistics produced from them are public.

Data content

The statistics describe discontinuation of education with data on students having discontinued education by field of education, students having discontinued vocational education and education leading to a qualification or degree.

The number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education differs from the total number of students in education leading to a qualification or degree. For example, students with deficient personal identification numbers have been removed from the data. Upper secondary general education comprises day schools, vocational education upper secondary level vocational education exclusive of preparatory education for a skills examination, apprenticeship education and education organised through labour policy measures and by vocational special schools. In respect of polytechnic education, all education leading to a qualification or degree is included, while university education comprises education leading to lower or higher-degree level degrees.

Classifications used

The statistics contain data on discontinuation of education

  • by sector of education (upper secondary general education, vocational education, polytechnic education and university education)
  • by educational institution
  • by field of study and field of education
  • by region and municipality.

As special compilations, statistics can also be compiled by other educational and regional classifications and data on, for example, employment can be combined with them.

Data collection methods and data sources

The statistics on discontinuation of education are based on individual-based student and qualification data that Statistics Finland has collected from organisers of education, the national database of higher education institutions and the register of matriculation examinations. Discontinuation is deduced based on these data. Data on comprehensive school drop-outs are based on school-specific data collected by Statistics Finland from organisers of education. The data are total data. The data are collected electronically.

Data collections

Updating frequency

The statistics are produced annually.

Time of completion or release

The data are ready in March.

Time series

Statistics on discontinuation of education have been produced starting from the academic year 2000-2001. Earlier data from 1995 and before it on discontinuation of education are not comparable with these data.


discontinuation of studies, education, educational institutions, school drop-outs, students

Contact information

Last updated 06.09.2019