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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Census of Industrial Production - Local Units, Regional and County Data


Census of Industrial Production - Industrial Local Units 20161
Nationality of Ownership 
Gross Output (€m)Irish2,6469,3433,2751,7781,87631,988
Persons engaged3Irish13,62229,28319,4848,69813,572133,574
Size Class of Unit4       
Gross Output (€m)Small & medium3,5639,5455,2181,8534,75344,844
Persons engagedSmall & medium14,93925,37619,1438,47113,699128,475
Wages and salaries (€m) 9002,5871,51747395010,807
1 Mid-West, South-East and South-West regions are confidential.
2 State totals include units not attributable to size class or region.
3 Number of persons engaged refers to actual number of persons and not full time equivalents.
4 Small and medium local units employ 249 persons or less while large units employ 250 or more.

Dublin region accounted for 18% of Ireland's industrial output in 2016

Figure 1 Distribution of gross output by region and nationality of ownership, 2016
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The Dublin region accounted for 17.7% or €32.3 billion of Irish industrial output in Ireland in 2016, with Foreign owned enterprises in this region accounting for 71% of industrial output, and Irish owned enterprises accounting for 29%. The Mid-East and West regions reported €15.9 billion and €10.9 billion respectively worth of industrial gross output in 2016. 

In 2016, the Mid-West, South-East and South-West regions combined produced €112.4 billion or 61.7% of Ireland’s total industrial output.

In Ireland 17.6% of total gross output of industrial units was produced by Irish owned units.

The Midland region was the only region who had a higher proportion of gross output attributable to Irish owned industrial units in 2016 at 68.2%. The Border region had 32.7% of total industrial gross output from Irish owned units.

The West region had 17.2% of total gross industrial output from Irish owned units, while the Mid-East region had a rate of 20.6%.  See Headline table and Figure 1.


43% of all persons engaged in industry in Ireland in 2016 were in foreign owned units

In 2016 in Ireland 101,800 of all persons engaged in industrial units were employed in foreign owned units, which represented 43.2% of the total number of persons engaged in industrial activity. Irish owned industrial units had 133,600 persons engaged in 2016.

The Midland region had 72.5% or 8,700 persons engaged in Irish owned industrial units in 2016, while the Mid-East had 59.9% or 19,500 persons engaged.

The Border and the West regions had 42.5% and 41.5% of persons engaged in foreign owned industrial units in 2016 respectively. In the Border region there was 10,100 persons engaged in foreign owned industrial units compared to 13,600 persons engaged in Irish owned industrial units. The West region in 2016 had 9,600 persons engaged in Foreign owned industrial units compared to 13,600 in Irish owned units.  See Figure 2.

Percentage of labour force in Industry

13.1% of all persons employed in Ireland in 2016 were employed in industrial activity

According to the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) results in 2016, for the state, the total number of persons employed in Ireland in 2016 was estimated at 2,040,500 persons. Of this, 13.1% or 267,700 persons were employed in industrial activity.

Just 8.9% or 55,200 persons in Dublin worked in the industry sector. There were 621,500 persons in employment in Dublin in 2016. The Border region had the next lowest rate for percentage of persons employed working in Industry at 12.4% or 24,300 persons.

The Mid-West region had the highest rate at 18.5% of all persons employed working in the industrial sector in 2016. The West region had the next highest proportion at 17.7% followed by the South-West region with 14.9% and the Midland region with 14.2%. See Figure 3.

Wages and salaries per person engaged

Wages per person in Industry highest in the Dublin region at €52,200 in 2016

Wages and salaries per person engaged in the Industry sector in Ireland in 2016 was highest in the Dublin region at €52,200, while in the Mid-East region the figure was €46,600.

The Border region reported the lowest average wage per person in Industry in 2016 at €38,000. The Midland region had the next lowest at €39,400 with the West region having an average wage of €41,000 for Industry.

Over €10.8 billion was spent on wages and salaries by industrial units in Ireland in 2016. The total spend for the Dublin region was €2.6 billion on wages and salaries while the Midland region reported the lowest total spend at €0.5 billion. See Figure 4.

Small and medium (under 50)Large (250+)

Two thirds of gross industrial output in the Mid-East region in 2016 came from large sized units

Large sized units (employing 250 or more persons) based in the Mid-East region accounted for 67.2% of total industrial gross output in that region in 2016. This region produced industrial gross output of €15.9 billion, of which, €10.7 billion was produced by large units and €5.2 billion produced by small and medium sized units.

In the Dublin region, of the €32.3 billion worth of gross industrial output produced in 2016, €22.7 billion or 70.4% was produced by large sized units and €9.5 billion was produced by small and medium sized units.

The Midland region had the highest percentage of industrial gross output for small and medium sized units in Ireland in 2016 at 71.1%.

The Midland region also produced the lowest value of industrial output in 2016 at €2.6 billion, of which, €1.9 billion was produced by small and medium sized units, while the remaining €0.8 billion was produced by large sized units. See Figure 5.

Small and medium (under 50)Large (250+)

51% of total industrial employment or 25,400 Persons were engaged by small and medium industrial units in the Dublin region in 2016

The Dublin region had a near even split with 25,400 persons engaged in small and medium sized industrial units and 24,200 persons engaged in large sized industrial units.

The Midland region had the greatest proportion of persons engaged in small and medium sized industrial units at 8,500 or 70.6% of all such persons, while the remaining 29.4% or 3,500 persons were employed by large sized units.

The West region had 59.1% or 13,700 persons engaged in small and medium sized industrial units while the Mid-East had a similar split with 58.9% or 19,100 persons engaged in industrial SME’s.

The Border region had a near 2:1 split in terms of persons engaged in favour of small and medium sized industrial units with 14,900 persons engaged compared to 8,700 persons engaged in large sized industrial units.

The Midland region had the lowest number of person engaged in large industrial units at 3,500. See Figure 6.

Exporting 2013Exporting 2016Non-Exporting 2013Non-Exporting 2016

Number of persons engaged in manufacturing units who exported increased 17.2% between 2013 and 2016

Between 2013 and 2016 the number of persons engaged in manufacturing units who exported at least some of their output increased by 17.2%. This increase was slightly greater than for manufacturing units who didn’t export any output as they reported a 16.3% increase in the number of persons engaged.

The split between the proportion of persons engaged in manufacturing units who exported and didn’t export between the years 2013 and 2016 has remained constant at just over 3:1 in favour of those who export. In 2016, 24.3% of all persons engaged were in manufacturing units who didn’t export. This figure is only a slight decrease on the 2013 percentage of 24.4%.  

The Dublin region reported a 31.6% increase in the number of persons engage in units who did export while in the West region the increase in such enterprises was 6.1%.  The Dublin region also reported a decrease in the number of persons engaged in units not exporting with a fall of 4.9% from 10,600 persons in 2013 to 10,100 persons in 2016. See Figure 7.

Table 1: Persons engaged in exporting and non-exporting for manufacturing units, 2013 and 2016
: Confidential.

Background Notes


The Census of Industrial Production comprises two separate but closely related annual inquiries, namely:

 (i)   the Census of Industrial Enterprises covers those enterprises which are wholly or primarily engaged in industrial production published 20 September, 2018.

 (ii)  the Census of Industrial Local Units which covers all industrial local units published 3 December 2018.

The Census of Industrial Production is required under Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 58/97. The 2016 census was taken in accordance with SI 44/2013.  

NACE refers to the classification NACE Revision 2 which is the European Union’s Statistical Classification of Economic Activity in the European communities

For further information on the NACE Rev. 2 classification of industrial activity, visit the CSO website:

Classification of Industrial Activity

An enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision making, especially for the allocation of its current resources.  A local unit is defined as an enterprise or part thereof situated in a geographically identified place.

Appreciation is extended to firms that co-operate in this annual census. The information they provide is treated as strictly confidential to the Central Statistics Office. Direct or indirect disclosure of information relating to individual respondents is avoided in the publication of results by combining categories containing small numbers of units and suppressing figures, etc. This factor also limits the degree of cross-classification that is possible in presenting results.

Period Covered by the Census

Although the census relates in principle to the calendar year, respondents are permitted to return figures for their nearest accounting year.  The end of the accounting year for all returns used falls between May of the reference year and April of the following year.  Returns which cover a period of less than 12 months are accepted in cases where businesses have started or ceased trading during the year.

All employment details in the 2016 census relate to the week ending 8 September 2016.  Concerns that had no persons engaged in this week (e.g. ceased operations earlier in the year or started production later in the year) were classified as having zero employment.  In tables which analyse local units in terms of persons engaged, these are included in the lowest size class, e.g. less than ten persons engaged.

Data Collection

The census is conducted by post.  A permanent up-to-date register is kept of all relevant local units and enterprises known to be involved in industrial production.  The register is maintained from the Central Business Register, administrative and public utility records, announcements in the press, business journals, field personnel contacts, etc. This register is constantly being updated.  This results in differing estimates for the total number of enterprises/local units through the dissemination cycle.

An ‘enterprise’ questionnaire is sent to all enterprises whose activity is primarily industrial.  The type of ‘enterprise’ questionnaire depends on the size of the enterprise.  The most detailed form (form F) is generally sent to all enterprises with twenty or more persons engaged.  A less detailed form (form C) is sent to enterprises with between three and twenty persons engaged. In the case of multi-location enterprises, a ‘local unit’ questionnaire is sent to each local unit with three or more persons engaged which was in production during the year.  For the majority of local units, this questionnaire is the standard form L.  In a small number of exceptional cases, a single form L is issued to cover several local units operated by the same enterprise - see Scope of the Local Unit Census below. 

All forms are available on CSO’s website at 

CIP Survey Forms 2016

In relation to local units involved in NACE Division 36 (Water collection, treatment and supply) a W form is used.  This reflects the difference in activity type of these firms.

All returns are scrutinised clerically for internal accuracy.  They are compared with returns for previous years and in some instances with returns to other industrial inquiries.  Local unit and enterprise returns relating to the same enterprise are examined together for consistency.  A further set of consistency checks is carried out in the computer processing of the data.  Substantial queries arising from these scrutiny operations are referred to the respondent by telephone, in writing or via a field officer.

Industrial Activity Classification and Statistical Units

The 2016 results are classified by NACE Revision 2, which was first introduced for the year 2008.  A correlation table showing the relationship between headings of the old and new classifications is available on request.  Each 4 digit class in NACE Revision 2 relates to a specific form of economic activity, e.g. manufacture of basic pharmaceuticals products (NACE 2110).  The statistical units in the census (local unit and enterprise) are coded to the NACE class relating to their principal industrial activity during the census year.  In the case of local units, this is determined on the basis of detailed information provided on their production of individual products.  The activity classification of enterprises is based on the NACE codes of the constituent local units.  An enterprise that operates several industrial local units coded to different NACE classes is classified to the activity which accounts for the highest proportion of the total value added of the enterprise.

The scope of the census extends to NACE sections B, C, D and E, namely:

Section B:   Mining and quarrying

Section C:   Manufacturing

Section D:   Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

Section E:   Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

The traditional category Transportable Goods Industries used in industrial statistics is equivalent to NACE sections B and C.  The Manufacturing Industries grouping includes only section C.

Classification by Nationality of Ownership

The classification is determined by the nationality of the owners of 50 per cent or more of the share capital.  The breakdown which can be provided at sectoral level is in many cases constrained by the need to preserve the confidentiality of data provided by individual units.  For total manufacturing industry, however, a more detailed nationality classification is possible. 

Census of Industrial Enterprises

Scope and Coverage

The enterprise census covers all enterprises which have three or more persons engaged and which are wholly or principally involved in industrial production (i.e. NACE Sections B to E).

An enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision making, especially for the allocation of its current resources (e.g. company, partnership, individual proprietorship, etc.).  An enterprise may be a sole legal unit.  In practice, the enterprise is equivalent to a company or firm.  Within a group of companies, each individual company is treated as a separate enterprise.  The return for each enterprise relates to all of its activities and covers all local units operated by it, including those involved in non-industrial activity, e.g. wholesaling or retailing.

Estimation for Non-Respondents

If information for key non-respondents is available from an alternative source, for example, Monthly Production, Quarterly Statistics or Prodcom or a return for the previous year, then the record is manually estimated; otherwise a computerised imputation procedure is used. Full data for enterprises filling in the more restricted C forms is derived using a method known as ratio extension.  Ratio extension involves the application of ratios between known variables to cases where only one subcomponent is known.  The ratios are typically calculated at NACE class level before being applied, although some merging of NACE classes may take place in order to ensure that the ratio estimates are not based on very small populations. 

Enterprise Results for 2016

In 2016 there were 17,555 enterprises known to the CSO to be involved wholly or primarily in industrial production (NACE Sections B, C, D and E).  Their total turnover was €227,154 million and purchases of goods and services amounted to €141,916 million;  total gross value added was €93,264 million.  The total number of persons engaged in these enterprises (excluding outside piece-workers) in September 2016 was 235,352; labour costs in the year amounted to €12,338 million, of which wages and salaries accounted for €10,808 million.

Census of Industrial Local Units

Scope and Coverage

The Census of Industrial Local Units relates to all local units engaged in industrial activity. A local unit is defined as an enterprise or part thereof situated in a geographically identified place.  The different geographical locations in which an enterprise conducts industrial activities are treated as separate local units.  A separate return is sought for each industrial local unit.  The extent to which separate returns are obtained in practice, however, depends on the availability of separate records in the business for the different local units. 

If separate details are not available for multi-location enterprises then for those tables involving a classification of local units by size (e.g. number of persons engaged per local unit or gross output per local unit) or by location (county or region) the local units are classified as non-attributable.

Estimation for Non-Respondents

Single local units are estimated at enterprise level while multiple local units attached to a single enterprise are estimated by using the enterprise return and apportioning accordingly relative to employment.

Comparison of Local Unit and Enterprise Census

Coverage and Statistical Units

The results for industrial enterprises must be distinguished from the results for industrial local units.  Despite the fact that, in the majority of cases, the local unit is equivalent to the enterprise, the use of two different units in the two censuses has a number of consequences which must be borne in mind when interpreting and comparing their results, namely:

  • Only enterprises engaged wholly or mainly in industrial production are covered in the Census of Industrial Enterprises.  Some industrial activity recorded in the local unit census is not covered in the enterprise census because it is undertaken by enterprises which are not classified as industrial.  Such enterprises belong to non-industrial sectors such as Distribution, Building and Construction, Transport and Central or Local Government.
  • Conversely, many industrial enterprises are also involved to some extent in non-industrial activity which is reflected in their employment, turnover and other figures.  A rough measure of the amount of distribution activity covered in the enterprise results is that about 16% of turnover in 2016 for NACE Sections B, C, D and E relates to factored goods (i.e. goods resold without further processing).


The local unit census focuses on the industrial process, namely the utilisation of materials, industrial services and labour, and the value of goods produced during the year.  The most important variables distinguished are, therefore, gross outputindustrial input and net output.  Gross output represents the selling value of goods actually produced in the year, as reported by the businesses themselves, irrespective of whether sold or put into stock.  Industrial input is defined as the cost of materials, industrial services and fuel and power used in the year.  Net output is gross output less industrial input.

The enterprise census, on the other hand, relates to the trading dimension, namely turnover, purchases of materials and services and labour costs during the year.  One of the main variables in this census is, therefore, turnover, which represents the revenue received during the year.  This can be compared with gross output by means of the derived variable production value. This variable approximates closely to the value of gross output of the industrial local units operated by the enterprises.  The different treatment of excise duties and operating subsidies in the two censuses makes comparison more difficult for the small number of industries affected by these factors.

The variable in the enterprise census which approximates most closely to industrial input is intermediate consumption which is defined as the purchases of materials, industrial and non-industrial services and fuel and power less the rise (or plus the fall) during the year of stocks of materials and fuels.  The main difference, therefore, is the inclusion of non-industrial services in intermediate consumption.  In the enterprise census gross value added (excluding VAT) is defined as production value less intermediate consumption; this is the closest approximation to net output as distinguished in the local unit Census.

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