The indicator describes the trend in mortality due to homicide for women, men and the whole population in ten-year periods from 1760 to the present day. The number of victims is proportioned to the population: mortality is expressed as the annual number of victims per 100,000 people. Indicator data have been gathered by the National Research Institute of Legal Policy from the information published by the Finnish criminologist Veli Verkko and Statistics Finland. Until 1936, the number for men and women do not include infanticide, infanticides are included in the total number of homicides in the period prior to 1936.
In addition to Sweden, Finland is the only country in the world where comparable data are available on homicide trends for such a long period. For this, thanks are due to the Kingdom of Sweden’s population statistics system, in which information on mortalities due to intentional violence has been recorded since the mid-1700s. However, the data on the 1700s and early 1800s are fairly incomplete. According to studies by Heikki Ylikangas and Kirsi Sirén, the number of victims given is around 30 to 50 per cent lower than the actual numbers. At present, the number of homicides registered in the statistics on causes of death is around 10 per cent lower than the actual figure.