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Business Demography NACE Rev. 2 2008

New enterprises accounted for 5.8% of enterprises in 2008

There were 11,8001 new enterprises of an estimated 203,100 in the business economy in 20082. These new enterprises had an estimated 13,900 persons engaged in 2008 or an average of 1.2 persons per enterprise3.

Business sector J “Information and communication”, with a birth rate of 10.0%, had the highest percentage of new enterprises. This was followed by sector N “Administrative and support service activities”, with 6.6%. Sector L “Real estate activities” with 4.2% had the lowest birth rate.

Main Results:

  • The total number of enterprises in the business economy fell by 4,700 to 203,100 between 2007 and 2008.
  • There was a 31,331 (i.e. 2.1%) reduction in the number of persons engaged to 1,476,300 in the business sectors covered between 2007 and 2008.
  • The majority of new enterprises are small in employment terms in their first year. Of the 11,800 births in 2008, 74% had no registered employment during this year, while a further 23% had between 1 and 4 employees.
  • Of the 13,300 new enterprises in 2007, 78% survived to 2008. The employment of these surviving enterprises increased by 89% from 11,500 to 21,700 between 2007 and 2008.
  • Of the 16,900 new enterprises in 2006, 12,100 or 71% were still in existence in 2008. The total employment of these surviving enterprises increased by 157% from 12,500 to 32,200 between 2006 and 2008.


Business Demography provides a detailed breakdown of the population and related employment of active enterprises and newly birthed enterprises in the business economy, covering NACE Rev 2 sectors B – N4, broken down by economic activity and employment size class or legal form.

This release covers the reference year 2008. 2007 and 2006 data is also included for comparison. All enterprises newly birthed since 2006 will be followed for 5 years to assess their survival rate and any resulting effect on employment.

In moving Business Demography figures onto the new NACE Rev 2 classification a number of methodological changes were implemented to take full advantage of data from administrative sources, and as such, are not directly comparable with those previously published under NACE Rev 1.1. For further details, please see the background notes at:


Detailed data tables are available on CSO’s data dissemination service at:


For further information on the NACE Rev. 2 classification of economic activity, see the link below:


1All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

2A new enterprise birth occurs when an enterprise is created from scratch and actually starts activity. The population of active enterprises as measured by Business Demography covers all enterprises that are active on administrative sources during the reference year. This ensures better coverage of small enterprises than with traditional methods of surveying enterprises. See background notes for full variable definitions.

3Employment is calculated on an annualized equivalent basis for the reference year. No distinction is made between full time and part time employment. For example, if a person is registered as an employee for 26 weeks of the year, their contribution to the employment figures is 0.5. See background notes for more detail.

4The NACE Rev 2 sectors covered are listed below:

B – Mining and quarrying
C – Manufacturing
D – Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
E – Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
F – Construction
G – Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
H – Transportation and storage
I – Accommodation and food service activities
J – Information and communication
K – Financial and insurance activities5
L – Real estate activities
M – Professional, scientific and technical activities
N – Administrative and support service activities

5NACE code 64.20 Activities of holding companies is excluded from sector K

For further information contact:

Jillian Delaney 021 453 5258 or
AnneMaria Hogan 021 453 5244 or
Felix Coleman 021 453 5129

Business Register Section
Administrative Data Centre
Central Statistics Office
Skehard Road


20 September 2010