National Health Index 2019–2021

Similar differences in morbidity and work disability between wellbeing services counties: the best situation in Uusimaa and Ostrobothnia

The healthiest Finns live in Ostrobothnia, in the wellbeing services counties of Uusimaa and in Helsinki, while the unhealthiest live in North Savo and North Karelia. Incapacity for work is highest in North Savo, Kainuu and North Ostrobothnia and lowest in Uusimaa.

The differences between the wellbeing services counties are revealed in the National Health Index data published for the first time. The data are based on register data for 2019–2021. The indexes comprehensively describe the prevalence of diseases and work disability in the wellbeing services counties in relation to Finland’s population.

The dataset of the National Health Index covers several indicators on the population’s morbidity and work disability. The index data are produced in cooperation by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland.

The dataset includes both the morbidity index and its disease group-specific subindices and work disability index and its subindices.

The morbidity index contains 10 disease groups. Its subindices describe the prevalence of cancers, coronary disease, cerebrovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, severe mental health disorders, accidents, memory disorders, respiratory diseases, diabetes and alcohol-related diseases. In the morbidity index, the prevalence of each disease group is weighted on the basis of its burden in terms of mortality, work disability, impact on quality of life and the costs of health and social services.

The work disability index has three subindices: disability pension, sickness allowance and positive decisions on vocational rehabilitation.

Download the full statistical report

Differences in morbidity and work disability between wellbeing services counties 2019–2021, age-standardised indices (map: Statistics Finland 2023).

Tables and images

Background information

Description of the statistic

The figures of the health index describe the health and work ability of the population of the wellbeing services counties and municipalities in relation to the entire country [entire country = 100). The more common morbidity or incapacity for work in the region, the greater the index value.

Both an age-standardised and a non-standardised version of the indices is produced. The age-standardised results level out the effects of age structures, so the results can be used in comparisons between regions. The non-standardised index in turn describes the actual burden of disease and work disability in the region.

In addition to the population's age structure, many factors contribute to the regional differences in morbidity and work disability. Lifestyle, such as smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, sleeping and eating habits have an impact, but lifestyle itself is affected by many things. Unemployment, financial situation and education are reflected in the population's health and work ability. The functioning of health and social services as well as cultural and genetic factors also play a role.

When comparing the index figures, it should be noted that a well-functioning healthcare system may be visible as a higher level of morbidity as diseases are screened, diagnosed and treated efficiently. Similarly, work disability is also affected by the availability of health services, which depends on the coverage and extent of occupational healthcare services, among other things. In the morbidity index, the regional differences may also be affected by differences in how comprehensively information is obtained from the regions (wellbeing services counties) and how it is transferred to THL’s Care Register for Health Care.

The dataset of the National Health Index is available from 2017 to 2021. The results were first produced for all wellbeing services counties, later in autumn 2023 for municipalities and collaborative areas of wellbeing services counties. The data will be updated on an annual basis.


Kansallinen terveysindeksi 2019–2021
Det Nationella hälsoindexet 2019–2021
National Health Index 2019–2021

Statistical report 72/2023, 31 May 2023.

Kansallinen terveysindeksi. THL, Kela, Finnish Centre for Pensions, Statistics Finland

The name of the National Health Index in Finnish is "Kansallinen terveysindeksi 2019–2021" and in Swedish "Det nationella hälsoindexet 2019–2021".

Further information

Päivikki Koponen
tel. +358 29 524 8868

Elsi Lindell
tel. +358 29 524 7989
email: [email protected]

Kati Sarnola
tel. +358 20 635 7885
e-mail [email protected]

Quality Description