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Statistics Estonia, central bank to launch household finance survey

Cash registers at a supermarket.
Cash registers at a supermarket. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

From February 1 through June 30, the Bank of Estonia and Statistics Estonia will be carrying out research to collect data on the assets, liabilities, income and expenses of Estonian households via the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), a joint survey run regularly by all the central banks of the euro area.

Households that have previously taken part in the HFCS will be contacted by Statistics Estonia alongside new households selected via random sampling; in total, around 3,600 households will be invited to participate in the survey, according to a press release.

Households can respond to the survey themselves using Statistics Estonia's online questionnaire or they can opt to answer questions via phone interview. All participant data will be protected, as will their anonymity, the agency and central bank confirmed; the data collected is only published in generalized form.

The survey questionnaire consists of two parts – one focusing on the household as a whole, and the other covering household members individually. Survey questions regarding the household as a whole are to be answered by the member most familiar with household finances; individual questions are to be answered by household members aged 16 and over.

Estonia participating for fourth time

The Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) has been carried out regularly in euro area countries since 2010. The survey aims to collect internationally comparable data on all eurozone countries that their central banks can then use in their economic policy analysis for assessing the impact of monetary policy or analyzing financial stability and payment systems. This data can also be accessed by researchers from outside the central banks.

Previously conducted in Estonia in 2013, 2017 and 2021, the HFCS marks the country's only that provides a picture of how households' assets and liabilities are distributed, as well as how they change over the years. The results of the previous surveys can be found on the Bank of Estonia website.

Authored by Merike Kukk, Jaanika Meriküll and Tairi Rõõm from the Research Division at the Bank of Estonia, "The distribution of wealth within households and wealth inequality," a collection of scientific articles from 2021-2023 based to a large extent on the data from previous HFCS, was awarded this week with the Estonian Academy of Sciences' Mihhail Bronštein Award in Economics.

The results of this year's survey will be published in 2026.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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