Business Demography Statistics

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Business demography statistics provide an annual snapshot as at February, of the structure and characteristics of New Zealand businesses. Statistics produced include counts of enterprises and geographic units by industry, region, institutional sector, business type, degree of overseas ownership, enterprise births, enterprise deaths, survival rate of enterprises and employment levels. The series covers economically significant private-sector and public-sector enterprises that are engaged in the production of goods and services in New Zealand.

The new business demography series produced from 2007 is based on the Statistics New Zealand Longitudinal Business Frame (LBF), which is created from the Statisitcs New Zealand Business Frame(BF). To enable trends to be studied, the new series has been back cast to February 2000 and released annually on a provisional basis.


Business demography statistics are used for the research purposes and support policy analysis on regional, national and international level.

Citation Information


Business Demography Statistics

Alternate Title



Statistics New Zealand

Coverage Information

Temporal Coverage

  • 2000 to present

Topical Coverage

  • Businesses
  • Enterprises

Significant events impacting this study series

Usage and limitations of the data

There are a number of limitations associated with business demography data. These limitations include:

Non-coverage of 'small' enterprises that fall below the economic significance criteria Partial coverage of enterprises in the gap between the BF economic significance condition of $30,000 of sales subject to GST and the compulsory GST registration threshold of $60,000 (applied from 1 April 2009). The level of this partial coverage cannot be quantified, but some businesses do register for GST when their activity is below the compulsory GST registration threshold. The residential property operators industry (ANZSIC 2006 class L6711) contains only partial coverage, so must be analysed with caution.

Lags in recording enterprise births and deaths.

The published time series is subject to revision each year as the latest data from the LBF is incorporated for relevant years. Revisions of any significance will typically be confined to the last end points of the series.

Statistics on the number of business births and deaths and surviving businesses rely on a variety of data sources to identify a continuing business (which for example undergoes a change of legal ownership and restructuring) as well as genuine business start-ups and closures. These data sources are not comprehensive and are of lower quality for small non-employing businesses. When businesses register for GST and are added (or 'birthed') onto the BF, they are given a new reference number. Company restructuring or changes of ownership can result in a new GST registration being filed, even though it relates to an existing business. Both the BF and the LBF have procedures in place to identify links between new and existing businesses, but there is no guarantee that all links will be identified. There will also be some false positive links identified. So some caution is required in the interpretation and use of these statistics.

Non-availability of overseas ownership information for some of the units on the BF.

Information on enterprise ownership links (needed for identifying BF enterprise groups) being limited to administrative data sources with only large businesses being covered by direct surveys. Difficulties in maintaining industrial and geographic classifications for medium and smaller enterprises (that are primarily maintained on the BF using administrative data). Some caution is required with the use of back-cast ANZSIC 2006 statistics as some of the classification data has been imputed (estimated).

Main users of the data

The main users of Business Demography data are New Zealand community, business, government agencies and international organisations.


4 Annual

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