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International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC)

FP Classifications
International Recommendations/Methodology

The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) consists of a coherent and consistent classification structure of economic activities based on a set of internationally agreed concepts, definitions, principles and classification rules. It provides a comprehensive framework within which economic data can be collected and reported in a format that is designed for purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policy-making. The classification structure represents a standard format to organize detailed information about the state of an economy according to economic principles and perceptions.

In practice, the classification is used for providing a continuing flow of information that is indispensable for the monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the performance of an economy over time. The classification is used to classify statistical units, such as establishments or enterprises, according to the economic activity in which they mainly engage. In addition to its primary application in statistics and subsequent economic analysis, where information needs to be provided for narrowly defined economic activities (also referred to as “industries”), ISIC is increasingly used also for administrative purposes, such as in tax collection, issuing of business licenses etc.

The scope of ISIC in general covers productive activities, i.e., economic activities within the production boundary of the System of National Accounts (SNA). These economic activities are subdivided in a hierarchical, four-level structure of mutually exclusive categories, facilitating data collection, presentation and analysis at detailed levels of the economy in an internationally comparable, standardized way.

A number of ISIC-related resources, such as correspondence tables, are accessible from the link provided below.


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