Statistics Netherlands (CBS) enables people to have debates on social issues on the basis of reliable statistical information.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS)

In a society where the amount of information is growing explosively, free access to reliable and integral data is crucial. As the national statistical office, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) provides reliable statistical information and data to produce insight into social issues, thus supporting the public debate, policy development and decision-making while contributing to prosperity, well-being and democracy.

CBS was established in 1899 in response to the need for independent and reliable information that advances the understanding of social issues. This is still the main role of CBS. Through time, CBS has grown into an innovative knowledge institution, with continuous adoption of new technologies and developments in order to safeguard the quality of its data and its independent position.

Corporate news

More up-to-date information about Statistics Netherlands (CBS) can be found under 'corporate news' (see right column). This includes articles about new services, new products, international developments and events organised by CBS.

CBS and the law

The Statistics Netherlands Act constitutes the legal basis for CBS. In addition, CBS has Regulations of the board.

In addition, statutory provisions and acts regarding data supply include (Dutch only): 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the GDPR Implementation Act in the Netherlands stipulate what is and what is not permissible with regard to personal data.

Autonomous administrative body

As of 3 January 2004, CBS has the status of an autonomous administrative body (in Dutch: ZBO). This means that CBS performs public service tasks, but operates independently and not under the direct authority of a Dutch ministry. The Minister of Economic Affairs is politically responsible for relevant legislation, budget and conditions. CBS is financed from the state budget.


View the organisation chart (pdf)

Advisory Council

CBS has an Advisory Council. As stipulated by the Statistics Netherlands Act, the Advisory Council’s main task is to provide the Director General with solicited and unsolicited advice about the performance of his tasks and the exercise of his powers. When the position of Director General becomes vacant, another task of the Advisory Council is to make a recommendation to the Minister

Annual reports and annual plans


CBS was founded on 9 January 1899.

By the end of the 19th century, there was a growing demand for statistical information. The Dutch government felt the need to exert more control over society. The large-scale industrialisation process had given rise to social malpractices. Statistical data had to provide a solid basis for future policy initiatives to reduce social inequality. Various ministries kept statistics, but these were often incoherent, incomplete and inaccurate. Therefore, the government decided to establish Statistics Netherlands (CBS) with collecting, processing and publishing of reliable statistical data as its main priorities.

Ever since 1899, CBS has gradually transformed into a modern, innovative organisation which actively responds to the needs of Dutch society. CBS shares its information with other levels of government, politics, universities, media and the private sector.