1. Historical Βackground
The Statistical Service of Cyprus (CYSTAT)
is the competent authority responsible for the compilation and the
publication of most of the official statistical data in Cyprus. CYSTAT
(until January 2000 under the name Department of Statistics and Research)
functions under the Ministry of Finance. It was set-up in 1950 as a small
administrative unit while its real function started after Cyprus became
independent, in 1960.
2. Functions and Objectives
CYSTAT is mainly concerned with the initiation,
organisation and carrying out of various censuses, surveys and statistical
enquiries of an economic or social content and the publication of the
results with the intention of assisting both the government and the private
sector in policy-making and the planning of their activities. At the same
time, CYSTAT acts as a co-ordinator in cases where other institutions (such
as the Central Bank, other Ministries and Government Departments and
semi-Government organisations) pursue work of a statistical nature for the
collection of data of direct interest to the area of their activity.
The objectives of CYSTAT are reflected in the
role statistics are designed to play. In recent years, there has been a
growing demand for statistics by Government, academia, businessmen, trade
unions, international bodies, the press and the general public.
In order to respond to its role, CYSTAT directs its
(a) A user orientation, as statistics are not
end-products but intermediate products to be used in decision-making and
research. In addition, the same set of statistics may have a variety of
users and therefore needs to have an orientation to serve many users.
(b) A need for promoting the timely collection and
publication of good quality statistical data.
(c) A need for maintaining continuity and
comparability in the data produced.
(d) The safeguarding of confidentiality of
individual returns, impartiality and objectivity as a necessary condition
for reliable statistics.
3. Statistical Legislation
The legal basis for the
collection and publication of official statistics in Cyprus is provided by
the Statistics Law No. 15(I) of 2000. This Law, which repealed the
previous one of 1968, is fully harmonised with the relevant statistical
acquis and the patterns of European Statistical Laws. It forms the legal
basis for the collection, production and dissemination of statistical
information and includes general provisions governing the statistical
system in Cyprus. It also specifies the tasks of the Statistical Service
and redefines its role and function as the agency responsible for the
production of official statistics. Among the issues included in the new
legislation are provisions for the setting up of a Statistical Advisory
Council, the preparation of five-year and annual work programmes, the
access to administrative records and the technical autonomy, the rules of
confidentiality as well as the use of common classifications and practices
by all actors in the statistical system. In addition, the Statistics Law
provides for the carrying out of statistical enquiries decided upon by the
EU and the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to
4. Organisational Set-up
CYSTAT is organised by subject matter on the basis of
6 main Divisions and 3 supporting Sections. The main statistical Divisions
- National Accounts, Foreign Trade and Agriculture
- Industry, Distributive Trade, Energy and
- Services (Transport, Community, Personal, Business)
- Demography, Health and Education Statistics
- Social and Household Statistics
- Labour Force, Wages, Business Register, and Prices
The supporting sections pertain to the following:
IT and Data Processing
Publications and Information
Registry and Accounts
CYSTAT currently employs 110 permanent staff,
of which about 35% are university graduates. A number of casual staff is
also employed to assist in the various censuses and annual surveys,
primarily at the data collection phase.
5. Sources of Data and Surveys Conducted
The work of CYSTAT is associated with almost all
social and economic activities in the country. The sources of information
are both the public and the private sectors. Data on the activities of the
private sector are collected mainly through surveys and for Government
Departments and semi-Government organisations mostly through access to
The enquires conducted include censuses
(complete enumerations), regular sample surveys and ad-hoc surveys. The data
are collected mainly through personal interviews held by well trained
permanent and casual staff. In the planning stage of the various enquiries
CYSTAT takes into consideration requests and proposals from other Government
Departments so that their needs in data are met and co-ordinated.
Censuses are held at regular intervals of 10
years for population and 5-10 years for agriculture, industry, construction,
wholesale and retail trade, services and establishments. Annual surveys are
held in various fields.
For monitoring short-term developments in the
economy, a series of monthly data and indices are compiled. These cover,
inter alia, external trade, employment and unemployment, industrial
production, agricultural output, retail sales, consumer and producer prices,
tourism, motor vehicle registrations, land, sea and air transport, monetary
statistics, balance of payments, business expectations, etc.
CYSTAT started implementing all statistical
surveys and enquiries conducted in the European Union as well as the related
methodology and concepts while full harmonisation is envisaged by 2003.
6. Data Dissemination
The survey results and all statistical data
compiled by CYSTAT are published in paper publications available to the
public. More than 50 reports (annual, quarterly, monthly) are issued every
year, while the dissemination of data takes also other forms such as
diskettes, bulletins, press releases and availability on the Internet.
CYSTAT has its own web site which is continuously updated with the latest
7. International Co-operation
CYSTAT maintains close relations with all
International Organisations, Statistical Institutes and Statistical Offices
of other countries. With the accession of Cyprus to the European Union
relations with Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Communities)
have been greatly enhanced.
The staff of CYSTAT participates in numerous
working groups, conferences, seminars and other meetings taking place,
mainly in Europe.
Michalakis Karaolis Street
Tel: 22 602129
Fax: 22 661313