National Health Index



Unit at THL:

Welfare State Research and Reform / Population Health

On other websites:

The National Health Index developed during this project will provide data on the need for social and healthcare services and social security benefits in relation to the disease groups and health problems with the greatest disease burden.

The index also helps targeting preventive measures to promote wellbeing, health and safety.

Development of the National Health Index

Figure 1. Development of the National Health Index 

The new National Health Index will be based chiefly on two previous indexes: the Morbidity Index of THL, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and Kela’s Health Barometer (Figure 1).


This project will develop a National Health Index that gathers more comprehensive data than the previous indexes on the health, work capacity and functional ability of the Finnish population. The index is calculated using a wide range of data from registers maintained by Kela, THL, Statistics Finland and the Finnish Centre for Pensions. 

The index will provide a means to observe and forecast changes in morbidity and incapacity for work, including differences between regions and population groups. Such data are crucial in monitoring the attainment of the objectives set out for the health and social services reform and the social security reforms. The National Health Index will also provide data for assessing the effectiveness of services or of the social security system. In addition, the National Health Index will be a source of key data for the municipal and regional welfare reports.

The project’s objectives are to

  • develop a National Health Index based on the Morbidity Index of THL and Kela’s Health Barometer; 
  • supplement and review the contents of the subindices by disease groups and incapacity for work;
  • use the index to assess population health in municipalities and wellbeing services counties with different demographic structures;
  • produce information on topics such as socio-economic differences between population groups; 
  • use the index to study changes in population health over time and to forecast future trends, taking into account demographic changes and the potential for disease prevention; and
  • establish a process for producing index data and to ensure regular updates to the index as well as open access to the data.


THL, Kela, Finnish Centre for Pensions, Statistics Finland


Kela and THL

Contact information

Päivikki Koponen
Chief Specialist
tel. +358 29 524 8868
e-mail [email protected]