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This is the fifth iteration of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Annual Statistical Work Programme. During 2018, the CSO defined what constituted a Statistical Product (see Figure 1 below). Based on this change in methodology there has been some consolidation and changes to Products listed for 2020 compared to previous years. An annual report on each work programme is published in Quarter 1 of each year and is available here

Figure 1:

DPS Product Definition



The creation of the CSO’s Annual Work Programme 2021 was informed by the following;

1.  Legal Mandate of the Central Statistics Office

A.      National Legislation

The Statistics Act, 1993 

provides the legislative basis for the collection, compilation, extraction and dissemination for statistical purposes of information relating to economic, social and general activities and conditions in the State. 

The Act protects the confidentiality of the information provided to the CSO, which may only be used for statistical purposes; and confidential data may not be disseminated or otherwise communicated to third parties including Government Departments or bodies.

The independent position of the CSO, as defined in the Statistics Act, 1993, reflects international best practice for the organisation of official statistics.

B.      European Union legislation

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 which was amended in 2015 by  Regulation 2015/759, (see the consolidated text of amended Regulation 223/2009)establishes a legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics.

The Office provides high quality impartial and relevant statistical information to meet the needs of policy makers at national, regional and local level, decision makers in the business community, EU institutions, international organisations, media, researchers, and the public generally.

There is a significant international dimension to the CSO's work through the provision of statistics that may be compared directly with corresponding data for other countries. This is particularly the case in respect of our participation in the European Statistical System (ESS).

Meeting EU requirements has been the single most important factor shaping the development of the CSO's work since the 1970s. Since accession to the European Community in 1973 the CSO's work programme has been almost been completely driven by the mandatory requirements of EU Directives and Regulations.

All of the CSO’s statistics are published online on the CSO website ( or on the Eurostat website ( The annual statistical work programme is a comprehensive list of the CSO’s statistical products and distinguishes European statistics. While European statistics are determined by the European statistical programme, they also facilitate the CSO in meeting National demands and requirements.

C.      The National Statistics Board

The National Statistics Board was initially set up on a non-statutory basis in 1986. It was established on a statutory basis when the Statistics Act, 1993 came into operation in November 1994. Its function, set out in the Act, is to guide the strategic direction of the CSO and, in particular to: establish priorities for the compilation and development of official statistics; assess the resources of staff, equipment and finance which should be made available for the compilation of official statistics; and arbitrate, subject to the final decision of the Taoiseach, on any conflicts that may arise with other public authorities relating to the extraction of statistics from records or to the co-ordination of statistical activities.

2. CSO Values

The CSO subscribes fully to the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the European Statistics Code of Practice. Throughout our work, we abide by the following core values:

  • Independent: We are professional, objective, impartial and always act with integrity.
  • Trustworthy: We are transparent and honest. We comply with the highest international statistical standards and deliver high quality products and services with integrity and in an ethical manner.
  • Confidential: We apply the highest standards of confidentiality and respect for data privacy. We comply with the terms of the Statistics Act, 1993 and the GDPR and we legally guarantee to only ever use data provided to us for statistical purposes.
  • Serve the public: We are engaged with our customers and use our expertise to deliver a quality public service. We are professional, reliable and trusted.
  • Continuously learning: We are ambitious, always horizon scanning and focussed on innovation and collaboration.

3. CSO’s Strategic Aims

The Statement of Strategy 2020 - 2023 outlines the CSO’s ambitions and sets out its strategic direction. The strategy is designed to fully exploit the potential of the data and technological revolution in order to deliver a broader range of high quality information on societal and economic change and in so doing to support the process of guiding Ireland’s future development.

Figure 2:

 Our Strategic Priorities for 2020 - 2023



The CSO will deliver the strategic aims as set out in the Statement of Strategy 2020 - 2023 by delivering our statistical work programme, our general work programme and our transformation work programme. We will report on these as part of the annual progress report on the Statement of Strategy and annual report on the statistical work programme. In addition, the CSO remains committed to the research and development of new products and alternative compilation methods for existing statistics.

The full description of products for 2021 is detailed within the Annual Statistical Work Programme list of Products available at the link below.


>>> Go to List of Products for 2021


For further information contact:

Michelle Delaney
Policy, Planning and Change Management, CSO
Phone: 021 4535658

  • Statistical Work Programme 2021
  • List of all Statistical Products 2021 (XLS 56KB)
  • Statistical Work Programme 2021 List of Products