Research into the financial behaviour and consumption habits of Estonian households

The Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) is a joint survey run regularly by all the central banks of the euro area to collect internationally comparable data on the incomes, assets, liabilities and spending habits of households in the euro area. The survey is coordinated by the European Central Bank.

The data collected in the survey provide information on the distribution and trends in household wealth. Central banks use the data in their economic research and economic policy analysis, for assessing the impact of monetary policy, analysing financial stability and payment systems, and much more. These data are also accessible by researchers from outside the central banks.

Eesti Pank has run three waves of the HFCS survey in 2013, 2017 and 2021. The surveys that were carried out jointly with Statistics Estonia collected information on the assets, liabilities, income and consumption of households in Estonia. The HFCS survey has a panel component, which means that sampled households are invited to participate in up to four consecutive waves of the survey.

The 2021 wave of the survey covered:

  • socio-demographic data: the household composition and the age, family status, education level and other characteristics of household members
  • real assets and their financing: the main residence of the household, other real estate, transport vehicles, and collateralized loans
  • other financial liabilities and credit limitations: data on consumer loans, credit cards and bank account overdrafts of the household, and information on loan applications and credit constraints
  • business assets and financial assets: ownership of private businesses, financial investments by the household and investment funds, bonds, securities and other financial assets
  • employment: current employment status, tenure, work abroad, etc.
  • income: income from wages, self-employment and pensions, rental income, income from financial investment, etc.
  • pensions and insurance: pension contributions, whole life insurance policies, expected future pension payments, inter-generational transfers and gifts: inheritance, gifts and assets obtained by restitution or privatization
  • consumption: the consumption and saving behaviour of the household

The results of the survey are published in generalised form on the websites of Eesti Pank and the European Central Bank. The results of earlier surveys can be found online:

Confidentiality of the data

Statistics Estonia and Eesti Pank ensure that the data of survey participants and the anonymity of the participants are protected. The data collected are published only in a generalised form and cannot be associated with individual respondents. The data are processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the Official Statistics Act.