Business demography according to European norm

What does the survey comprise?


The purpose of business demography according to the European norm is to present
present data on:

  • the active population of enterprises;
  • enterprise births;
  • enterprise survivals (followed up to five years after birth);
  • enterprise deaths;
  • high-growth enterprises;
  • demography of enterprises that operate as employers

Description of domain

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) follows the European definition of an enterprise. An enterprise can have one or more locations (establishments) where business activities are performed. In statistics on business demography every enterprise is counted only once, regardless of the number of establishments. Separate tables on regional statistics are available on enterprise establishments.

Enterprises are classified according to economic activities, size classes and legal forms. Economic activity classfication is based on the enterprise’s main activity according to the so-called Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) of CBS. Size class classification is based on the number of employees working at the enterprise.

Date/year survey started

Figures on business demography according to the European norm are available from 2010.


Figures on business demography according to the European norm are updated on a yearly basis.

Publication strategy

Figures on business demography according to the European norm are published to two years before the current year (T – 2). Figures are final to four years before the current year (T – 4). Figures on reporting years (T – 2) and (T – 3) are provisional.

How is the survey conducted?

Main sources

Statistics on the theme business demography are based on information from the General Business Register (GBR) from CBS.

Structure of integration framework

The GBR is assembled from a combination of registers from the Chamber of Commerce, the tax authorities, the Institute for Employee Insurance (UWV) and the Dutch Bank (DNB). The GBR contains information on the economic activity, the size class and the legal form of an enterprise.

As of April 2014, CBS started using the New Trade Register (NHR) as the sole source of units. Data from the tax authorities are no longer used to define business units, but are used to determine economic activity for units. This methodological change is incorporated on data from 2007 onward.

For the most complex, usually internationally active enterprises, determination of (daughter) enterprises in the Netherlands is performed together with the enterprise itself. The same is true for the determination of the (main) economic activities.

Quality of the results

Sequential comparability

Figures on business demography are a stable series from 2007 onwards without methodological changes. Therefore, figures are comparable for all periods.



Quality strategy

Manual and automated checks on events in the GBR that could be of influence on the figures.