The annual Business demography data collection covers variables which explain the characteristics and demography of the business population. The methodology allows for the production of data on enterprise births (and deaths), that is, enterprise creations (cessations) that amount to the creation (dissolution) of a combination of production factors and where no other enterprises are involved. In other words, enterprises created or closed solely as a result of e.g. restructuring, merger or break-up are not considered. The data are drawn from business registers, although some countries improve the availability of data on employment and turnover by integrating other sources.
Until 2010 reference year the harmonised data collection is carried out to satisfy the requirements for the Structural Indicators, used for monitoring progress of the Lisbon process, regarding business births, deaths and survival. Currently, business demography delivers key information for policy decision-making and for the indicators to support the Europe 2020 strategy. It also provides key data for the joint OECD-Eurostat "Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme". In summary, the collected indicators are as follows:
Population of active enterprises
Number of enterprise births
Number of enterprise survivals up to five years
Number of enterprise deaths
Related variables on employment
Derived indicators such as birth rates, death rates, survival rates and employment shares
An additional set of indicators on high-growth enterprises and 'gazelles' (high-growth enterprises that are up to five years old)
The complete list of the basic variables, delivered from the data providers (National Statistical Institutes) and the derived indicators, calculated by Eurostat, is attached in the Annexes of this document. Geographically EU Member States and EFTA countries are covered. In practice not all Member States have participated in the first harmonised data collection exercises. The methodology laid down in the Eurostat-OECD Manual on Business Demography Statistics is followed closely by most of the countries (see Country specific notes in the Annexes).