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Country Profile of Netherlands

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics Netherlands
Web address
http://www.cbs.nl/en-GB/menu/home/default.htm
Position in the government
On 3 January 2004, Statistics Netherlands became an autonomous agency with legal personality. There is no longer a hierarchical relationship between the Minister of Economic Affairs and the organisation. However, the minister is responsible for setting up and maintaining a system for the provision of government statistical information; in other words the minister is politically responsible for legislation and budget, for the creation of conditions for an independent and public production of high quality and reliable statistics. The costs of tasks and activities undertaken to put this legislation into practice are accountable to the government's budget.
Organizational structure and finance
The senior management of Statistics Netherlands is assured by an Executive Board, consisting of the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General. There are three statistical divisions: Business Statistics, Social & Spatial Statistics and Macro-Economic Statistics & Dissemination. In addition there is a division for Technology and Facilities. In direct support of the Executive Board are 4 Central Departments: Policy Staff, Operational Management, Facility Services and Personnel & Organization.

In addition, Statistics Netherlands is also managed by a Central Commission for Statistics (CCS). The CCS is made up of a chairman and an even number of other members totaling no fewer than six and no more than ten. Members are appointed (or a period not exceeding four years, with the possibility of a one-time re-appointment) and dismissed by the Minister of Economic Affairs. The chairman and the other members may not also be civil servants subordinate to the Minister. The CSS has a general oversight function for official statistics in The Netherlands; its duties are among others to foster the provision of statistical information for the government which meets the needs of practice, policy and science, to assess the work programmes of Statistics Netherlands, and to draw up management regulations.
Multi-annual or annual work program
In addition to an annual work programme, the Director-General has to submit a multi-annual work programme at least every five years, for approval by the Central Commission of Statistics.
Main duties
Statistics Netherlands is responsible for collecting, processing and publishing statistics to be used in practice, by policymakers and for scientific research. In addition to its responsibility for (official) national statistics, Statistics Netherlands also has the task of producing European (community) statistics.


Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The Central Bureau of Statistics (internationally known as Statistics Netherlands) was established by Royal Decree in 1899.

Statistics Netherlands is responsible for collecting, processing and publishing statistics to be used in practice, by policymakers and for scientific research. In addition to its responsibility for (official) national statistics, Statistics Netherlands also has the task of producing European (community) statistics. The legal basis for Statistics Netherlands and its work is the Act of 20 November 2003 governing the central bureau of statistics. The information Statistics Netherlands publishes incorporates a multitude of societal aspects, from macro-economic indicators such as economic growth and consumer prices, to the incomes of individual people and households. Statistics Netherlands' statistical programmes (the long-term statistical programme and the annual work programme) are set by the Central Commission for Statistics. This is an independent commission that watches over the independence, impartiality, relevance, quality and continuity of the statistical programme. The Director-General decides autonomously which methods to use to make these statistics, and whether or not to publish results.

Statistics Netherlands aims to reduce the administrative burden for companies and the public as much as possible. To this end it uses existing administrative registrations of both government and government-funded organisations. The information from these files is supplied to Statistics Netherlands free of charge. Only if they do not contain sufficient information, Statistics Netherlands is allowed to conduct supplementary surveys among companies and private persons. Companies are usually obliged by law to supply information to Statistics Netherlands and can be forced to cooperate under certain circumstances; Statistics Netherlands may use sanctions such as administrative fines. For its part Statistics Netherlands is obliged to keep all individual data confidential. As an exception data sharing with Eurostat, NSIs in EU member states, Dutch Central Bank and academic researches is allowed under certain restructures.

On 3 January 2004, Statistics Netherlands became an autonomous agency with legal personality. There is no longer a hierarchical relationship between the Minister of Economic Affairs and the organisation. However, the minister is responsible for setting up and maintaining a system for the provision of government statistical information; in other words the minister is politically responsible for legislation and budget, for the creation of conditions for an independent and public production of high quality and reliable statistics. The costs of tasks and activities undertaken to put this legislation into practice are accountable to the government's budget.


Legal basis
Legal basis
The legal basis for Statistics Netherlands and its work is the Act of 20 November 2003 last amended by the Act of 15 December 2004 governing the central bureau of statistics (Statistics Netherlands).


Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
The system of official statistics of The Netherlands is highly centralized. Some ministries produce statistical information in support of managing their own areas of work.


Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
There are about 25 committees providing Statistics Netherlands with technical and other advice in various specific areas of statistics. Most of the members of these committees represent user groups.


Data collection
Most recent population census
1 January 2001
Access to administrative data
Article 33 of the Statistics Netherlands Act ensures the access of the Director-General to administrative data.
Data confidentiality
Articles 37-40 of the Statistics Netherlands Act contain the provisions to guarantee the use of the collected data for statistical purposes only, as well the safeguarding of individual data against disclosure.


Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
Annually and weekly, published on website and sent to the media.
Main publications
The Netherlands in figures

The Netherlands on the European scale

Statistical Yearbook

StatLine (searchable Internet database)
Languages of main publications
Many publications are available in both Dutch and English.
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Many publications are available in different formats (paper, CD, website)
Availability of microdata for research purposes
Article 41 of the Statistics Netherlands Law authorizes the Director-General to provide microdata to certain, specifically defined categories of researchers.




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