The Business Demography Program is responsible for the provision of a range of information about the structure, characteristics and performance of businesses in the Australian economy and conceptual developments regarding business definitions and classifications. This information is part of a consistent framework for all ABS business statistics. A particular, but not exclusive, focus of the program is on providing information about small businesses.
Key external clients of the program are Australian and State government agencies and industry associations.
Government policy analysts at all levels of government and researchers make extensive use of ABS business statistics. Business and business operator counts produced by the program are important for users in understanding the likely impact of particular policies or events. The data are used mainly to monitor the structure and performance of the business sector; and to assess the need for, and effectiveness of, policies relating to the business sector.
The program releases an annual publication Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (ABS cat. no. 8165.0) which provides data relevant to users interested in understanding businesses that actively trade in goods or services.
The publication Counts of Australian Business Operators (ABS cat. no. 8175.0), first released in 2008, sources data from the Census of Population and Housing (Census) and the Forms of Employment Survey. The next release is due in 2013, using data collected in the 2011 Census and Forms of Employment Survey.
These outputs, together with a range of relevant information, are available on the Business Demography Topics @ a Glance page on the ABS website.
The main medium term developments in the program are to:
- investigate the feasibility of linking ABS business counts data with aggregate employment and annual turnover data – due December 2012
- examine the feasibility of enhancing outputs by including additional small business data – due mid- 2013
- improve the international comparability of ABS business demography statistics using the Eurostat-OECD Manual on Business Demography Statistics as a framework – ongoing.
Environment Statistics & Integration Branch
Topics @ a Glance - Economy