THL’s Morbidity Index 2019

Apparent differences between the wellbeing services counties, but morbidity has decreased throughout the country.

THL’s morbidity index takes into account seven different disease groups and four different weight aspects. The disease groups included in the index are cancers, coronary artery disease (CAD), cerebrovascular diseases (CVD), musculoskeletal diseases (MSD), mental disorders, accidents and dementia.

Indices grouped by disease characterise the prevalence of illnesses in a specific age group compared to the morbidity of that age group nationwide (entire country = 100). The more common the morbidity in the region, the greater the index value. In the entire country, the morbidity index is 100 in the most recent statistical year.

When comparing the wellbeing services counties to the entire country in 2017–2019, the healthiest Finns lived in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (Helsinki 80, West Uusimaa 81, Vantaa-Kerava 83, East Uusimaa 84) and Ostrobothnia (88), and the unhealthiest in North Savo (130), North Ostrobothnia (121) and North Karelia (121).

The traditional  East-West division remains clearly visible with Eastern Finland having a greater prevalence of diseases and Western Finland being healthier. The reference figures are age-standardised, which means that the effect of the different age structures in the wellbeing services counties has been eliminated.

The largest differences in disease groups between regions are observed in musculoskeletal disorders, severe mental disorders, coronary artery disease and accidents. MSDs are most common in North Savo, where the index value is 157, more than three times higher than in the regions with the lowest prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders: Helsinki (50) and West Uusimaa (57). The MSD index is also high in Kainuu (144), North Ostrobothnia (142) and North Karelia (141).

Severe mental disorders are most common in North Savo (145) and least common in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the Wellbeing services county of Ostrobothnia (East Uusimaa 73, West Uusimaa 80, Ostrobothnia and Helsinki 81 and Vantaa-Kerava 82).

The differences between the wellbeing services counties are clear also in the CAD index (range 76–133) and the accident index (range 79–132). CAD is diagnosed most often in South Karelia (133), North Savo (129) and Central Ostrobothnia (127). Accidents requiring hospitalisation are most prevalent in North Karelia (132). CVDs and cancers are fairly evenly distributed throughout Finland, however.

In the comparison of cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, morbidity is highest in Kuopio (125), Oulu and Kotka (113), and lowest in Espoo (75) and Helsinki (80).  Although the situation in cities with the highest morbidity appears to be partly due to different diseases, the common factor is that musculoskeletal disorders and severe mental disorders are more common than average.

Download the full statistical report

Differences in morbidity between Finnish municipalities and wellbeing services counties. THL´s Morbidity Index 2017-2019.


Background information

Description of statistics

THL's Morbidity Index is available from 2000 to 2019. The results, including confidence intervals, have been produced for all municipalities, wellbeing services counties, counties and hospital districts in accordance with the most recent division into municipalities.

Both an age-standardised version of the morbidity index and a non-standardised version are published. The age-standardised results level out the effects of age structures, so the results can be used in comparisons between regions. On the other hand, the non-standardised index describes the actual burden of disease in the region.

In the future, THL’s morbidity index will no longer be updated as such. It will be replaced by a new National health index, which combines the traditional THL's Morbidity Index and Kela’s health barometer (Terveyspuntari).


THL:n sairastavuusindeksi 2019
THL:s sjuklighetsindex 2019
THL’s morbidity index 2019

Statistical Report 19/2022, 26.05.2022.
THL’s morbidity index. THL.

Further information

THL's morbidity index
Seppo Koskinen
Tel. +358 29 524 8762

National health index
Päivikki Koponen
Tel. +358 29 524 8868

E-mail address: [email protected]