Statistics Explained

Glossary:Statistical unit

The statistical unit is the entity for which the required statistics are compiled. It may be an observation unit in which information is received and statistics are compiled or an analytical unit, which statisticians create by splitting or combining observation units with the help of estimations or imputations in order to supply more detailed and/or homogeneous data than would otherwise be possible.

European business statistics uses four statistical units:

Enterprise group links are stored in the business registers and thus the enterprise groups can be recovered as fifth statistical unit. However, the enterprise group is not used as statistical unit in any statistics, but for the purpose of enterprise delineation and for profiling Moreover, the enterprise group links are needed for FATS and FDI statistics.

An enterprise may consist of one or more kind of activity units or one or more local units. A kind of activity unit may consist of one or more local kind of activity units. An enterprise may be part of an enterprise group.

Related concepts


  • Regulation 696/1993 of 15 March 1993 on the statistical units for the observation and analysis of the production system in the Community
  • Notice of intention of the Business Statistics Directors Groups and the Directors of Macroeconomic Statistics on the consistent implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 696/93 on statistical units
  • OECD - Frascati Manual 2002