Revisions of International Statistical Economic Classifications

The revision of international statistical classifications includes a comprehensive overview of user needs as well as conceptual frameworks and user tools related to the development, creation and application of classifications.

The reasons for revisions of international statistical classifications are mostly multiple. Classification systems require modernisation of classification structures from time to time.

Changes in the structure of the economy over time lead to the creation of new activities, products and services, or to an increase in the importance of certain economic areas of activity that require a more detailed approach.

One of the main tasks of international and national statistical bodies is to monitor changes that occur in the economy and society, and for which statistical data are collected and systematised for the purposes of conducting various policies. Depending on the results of analyses carried out, revisions of statistical classifications are initiated whenever deemed necessary. Mostly, only additional methodological issues are discussed that determine whether new solutions are better or not. The intervals between revisions should not be too long, as the importance of classification decreases over time, but also not too short, due to negative effects they could impose on consistency of time series.

The general objectives of revisions are as follows:
  • removing weaknesses in existing versions of classifications in the ISCAP system,
  • reflecting changes in the technology or organisation of the economy,
  • meeting new and continued requirements for various data,
  • achieving greater comparability with or consistency between different classifications (primarily ISIC – NACE – NAICS, but also ANZICS, JSIC and NatSIC).

Revision of NACE classification