CSO marks 75 years of counting the Irish economy

June 5, 2024

The Central Statistics Office is today marking 75 years since it was first established in 1949.

The CSO was established to gather, analyse and publish independent statistics and insights about Irish society, economy and environment.

It publishes monthly and quarterly figures on many aspects of Irish life, including inflation figures, unemployment figures, residential property prices, retail sales figures, exports and imports stats, GDP and other economic statistics as well as agriculture and farming figures and baby names.

In a statement today, it said that while its methods and role have evolved over the years, its commitment to confidentiality, accuracy, quality, transparency, and independence remains the same.

The CSO said the statistics its publishes are independently compiled and verified and it publishes its methodology and sources. “Our independence to publish statistical analysis is protected by Irish and European law, as is your data confidentiality,” it added.

The number of CSO employees has risen from around 10 in 1949, to 500 in 1982, to more than 1,000 today spread over three locations in Cork and Dublin, as well as teams of interviewers around the country.

Recently appointed CSO Director General Jennifer Banim – the first female Director General of the CSO – said the colleagues she meets in Ireland and Europe speak highly of the CSO’s reputation, which she said is built on its independence, its reliability, its professional approach and its willingness to help.

“Now in its 75th year, the CSO has established a strong connection with the Irish people based on our principles of confidentiality, quality, accuracy, and integrity,” she said.

“It’s an exciting time for the office as we evolve to offer more supports and services across the wider civil and public service and explore new data sources to provide greater and more timely insight,” she said.

“These opportunities only arise because of the trust that people and institutions have invested in the CSO over the years, and maintaining this trust is key as we look forward to the next 75 years of public service,” she added.

CSO’S key milestones

June 1949 – The Central Statistics Office (CSO) was set up in Dublin Castle on a non-statutory basis.

1951 – The 1951 Census of Population was the first Census taken by the CSO and marked the start of taking the Census of Population in Ireland at five-year intervals. It was produced more regularly than other countries due to the scale of migration and social change.

1955 – The first National Farm Survey was conducted.

1961 – Monthly Index of Retail Sales established.

1964 – First Sample Survey of Road Freight Transport.

1973 – Ireland joined the EEC which would later become the European Union, which saw the introduction of some mandatory EU statistical requirements.

1986 – The National Statistics Board was set up.

1992 – The Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics were adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and have since been recognised as a global standard around the world which the CSO adhere to.

1993 – The Statistics Act, 1993, replaced earlier Acts in full. It included the mandate for data collection as well as access to administrative data, the definition of an Officer of Statistics, and statistical confidentiality.

1994 – The CSO, the National Statistics Board, and the Director General of the CSO were established on a statutory basis.

February 1994 – The CSO decentralised to Cork and closed its office in St Stephen’s Green House, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2.

1997 – The first European Statistical Law was finalised and outlined the new standards for the production of official European statistics, common principles, governance, confidentiality, and the right of access to administrative data for statistical purposes.

2000 – The CSO’s Swords office in Co Dublin opened.

2005 – The European Statistics Code of Practice was introduced to complement the European Statistical Law to provide a common quality framework for the production of European Statistics across the whole EU.

2011 – The World Statistics Congress was hosted by the CSO in Dublin at the new National Conference Centre, where more than 2,000 participants from all over the world attended.

2018 – New CSO logo launched.

March 2020 – The majority of CSO staff move from office-based work to working from home for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions.

2023 – The CSO issued more than 350 releases and publications in 2009, when the CSO marked its 60th Anniversary. In 2023 there were 447 releases and publications, just over 200 press releases in Irish and English, and more than 100 infographics.

May 2024 – The CSO appoints a new Director General, Jennifer Banim.

June 2024 – Launch of new Trust & Transparency section on CSO website and the marking of the CSO providing the people of Ireland with trusted statistics for all.

Article Source – CSO marks 75 years of counting the Irish economy – RTE

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