General presentation

“We really believe that statistics is, for those who possess it, a valuable national wealth… Statistics is the only certain realm on which a careful government should found the reason of its reforms.”

Dionisie Pop Martian

            Official statistics in Romania is organized and coordinated by the National Institute of Statistics, specialized body of central general government, legal entity, subordinated to the Government and coordinated by the minister who coordinates the Government General Secretary.
            The National Institute of Statistics is run by a president with rank of state secretary and 3 vice-presidents who coordinate: the European integration, national accounts, national statistical system's coordination and dissemination of statistical information; economic and social statistics; IT activities and statistical infrastructure

            The president represents the institution in its relations with other authorities of central general government and with third legal persons, with natural persons, as well as with internal and external organizations and has the following general tasks in his field of activity:
a) organizes, coordinates and controls the application of laws, Government ordinances and decisions, of  orders and instructions issued in accordance with legal stipulations, observing the authority framework and the principle of local autonomy of public institutions and of economic units;
b) initiates and approves the law drafts, Government ordinances and decisions, under the conditions set up by the methodology approved by the Government;
c) acts for implementing the National Institute of Statistics own strategy, integrated in the Government economic and social development strategy;
d) sets up proposals for the yearly budget, which are submit for the approval to the Government;
e) follows up the investments in the system of the National Institute of Statistics based on the approved    budget;
f)  represents the state interest in various international organizations and bodies, according to the   agreements and conventions in which Romania is part and to other set up agreements and develops collaboration relations with similar organizations from other states whose field of activity is of concern;
g)   follows up and controls the implementation of international agreements and conventions in which Romania is part and takes measures to carry out the conditions for the integration into European structures and into other international bodies;
h)  collaborates with specialized higher education institutions for the staff vocational training in the system of official statistics.

            The vice-president tasks are established through the order of the president of National Institute of Statistics.

           The general secretary of the National Institute of Statistics – high civil servant – is subordinated to the president and undertakes the following main tasks:

          a) coordinates the good functioning of departments and of functional activities within the National Institute of Statistics and ensures the operative link between the president and the leaders of all departments in the institute and leaders of subordinated units;
          b) collaborates with general secretaries of other institutions on common problems of interest;
          c) coordinates the activity of carrying out the guiding policy and principles for the resources management within the departments;
          d) has also other tasks stipulated by the Regulation on the organization and functioning of the National Institute of Statistics or given by the president.

          The National Institute of Statistics has under subordination the following units:

          a) regional statistical directions organized at county level - centers of regions of development, set up according to the stipulations of the Law no. 315/2004 on regional development in Romania and county statistical directions organized at the level of the other counties, as public institutions with legal entity financed from the state budget;
          b) the Publishing House "Romanian Statistical Review" and the National Center of Statistical Training, totally finaced from own revenue.

       In order to assure objective, transparent and scientific methodologies, indicators, nomenclatures and classifications used in statistical activity, besides the National Institute of Statistics, the Council of Statistical Activity Coordination is functioning, as a consulting body mainly charged with the analisys and approval of the development strategy of national statistical system, the activity reports of the National Institute of Statistics and the Yearly Program of statistical surveys.


In order to achieve its activity, the National Institute of Statistics has the following tasks:

a) draws up the system of stastistical indicators, the computation methodologies and the specific technologies and standards to obtain these indicators;
b) organizes and manages the statistical surveys on economic and social phenomena and processes, by means of censuses, exhaustive or sample statistical surveys;
c) designs, prints and disseminates the statistical surveys questionnaires as well as the related guidelines to fill them in;
d) collects, processes and stores data and information with the view to ensure the statistical databases;
e) coordinates the drawing up of unitary classifications and nomenclatures of national interest in its field of activity;
f) designs, carries out and exploits the statistical information system;
g) draws up studies and analyses with a view to characterize economic and social development;
h) carries out  scientific research activities in statistical field;
i)  informs public opinion as well as public authorities on economic and social evolution of the country and provides the interested users with the achieved statistical indicators;
j) organizes and manages the subordinated units, sets out their tasks and functioning norms;
k) collaborates with ministries and other specialized bodies of central general government as well as public services in order to make compatible the official statistics system with the other information systems, supports these bodies with a view to ensure the training of the staff involved in statistical activity;
l) endorses the methodologies of statistical surveys organized by ministries, central institutions and other public services, in order to ensure the survey timeliness and the accuracy of statistical methods used;
m) organizes vocational training in the statistical field for the staff of the institute, of its subordinated units and of other official statistics services and acts with a view to create a statistical culture at national level;
n) represents Romania within international relations in statistical field and cooperates with similar organizations of other countries, with specialized bodies of the United Nations and its agencies, with other international bodies;
o) assures the compatibility of national statistical system with statistical systems used by the United Nations, European Union and other international bodies according to the assumed commitments.


July 12, 1859 - The ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza signed The Ordinance on the setting up on Central Administrative Statistics Office, marking the birth certificate of official statistics in Romania. This moment is also related to the names of two famous Romanian economists of the XIX-th century, Dionisie Pop Martian and Ion Ionescu de la Brad.

In the long run, official statistics, one of the first public institutions created in Romania after the Union as well as one of oldest statistical offices in Europe has faced evolutions and reorganizations, successively changing its name, always observing the principles of truth and probity of its approach, keeping its status of main instrument of knowledge and evaluation of the country reality, providing, through statistical data and information, the necessary background to the authorities, to economic units, to the whole society, to build up and put into practice some realistic programs of governing, of economic and social development.

I. Start and confirmation (1859-1877)

Since the beginning, without having the necessary material resources, sufficient and specialized staff, the statistical institution ventured and succeeded to end far-reaching actions, gaining fame and prestige. The following were achieved:

  • Population Census (1859-1860)
  • Industrial Establishment Census (1863), the first national survey of an European Country
  • "Statistical and Economic Annals (1860)"
  • Romania was among the most active participants in international statistical congresses in London, Berlin, Florence and Hague

II. Contributions to economic and social consolidation of Romania after conquering the state independence (1877-1914)

Carrying on the steps of the pioneer period, official statistics is one of the main pillars of the Romanian state in the period of its consolidation, through a substantial contribution of statistical information necessary to take accurate decisions for the country development. The following were achieved:

  • Population Census of 1899 and 1912
  • Publication System was enriched with the following series:
    Romanian Statistical Bulletin (1892)
    Demographic Review (1892)
    Statistical Yearbook of Romania (1909)
  • Higher statistical education was created, through the Academy of High Commercial and Social Studies (1913)

III. Romanian stsistical school in vanguard of international statistics (1918-1945)

Between the two world wars, Romanian official statistics imposes itself, through its great personalities, the status of a prestige school at international level. It is the period when the institution takes advantage from the creative activity of famous personalities: Dimitrie Gusti, Octav Onicescu, Grigore Moisil, Gheorghe Mihoc, Sabin Manuila, Anton Golopentia etc.
Reference points:

  • Romanian Agriculture Atlas (1929)
  • General Population Census of Romania (1930)
  • General Census of Romania (1941), in which the main place was held by the inventory of industrial enterprises
  • Agriculture Census (1941), the first systematic paper of this type carried out in our country
  • Extension of selective samples for almost all fields of national economy
  • Setting up the Statistical School (1930) which became Statistical Institute of Bucharest University (1941)

IV. Keeping the identity and proffesional probity (1946-1989)

The years after the second world war, a period full of obstacles and difficulties, of all kinds of pressure, are however characterized by the efforts made by a new generation of statisticians – most of them were ex-collaborators and disciples of previous period masters – to assure the continuity of statistical data and series and to keep at great extent the credibility of Romanian official statistics, in spite of totalitarian regime, of convenient and make up presentation of some statistical information. Among the efforts made to keep the identity of statistical science and of professional probity of its civil servants, it is well known the contribution of Mihail Levente and Mircea Biji, of other remarkable specialists for the following:

  • Carrying out very complex statistical papers
    Population and Housing Census (1966 and 1977)
    The first balance of economic brances connection
  • Passing to data electronic processing
  • Begining the collaboration with UN Statistical Direction

V. For a functional market economy, serving the state of right and democratic values of Romanian society

After December 1989 revolution, Romanian official statistics contributes, through its data and information, as a result of improved working tools and methodologies, to the support of national efforts for carrying out some structural reforms, economic and social development, modernization of the Romanian society. Therefore:

  • Investigation and measuring capacity of economic and social evolution in the Romanian society increased.
  • Statistical indicators system and specific methodologies improved, closely connected to the evolution of economic and social phenomena and processes and according to the acquis communautaire; statistics highly contributed to assure the data necessary for the European Union accession negotiation chapters. Statistical chapter was among the first chapters concluded by Romania in these negotiations
  • National statistical data supply increased and consolidated.
  • Dissemination means diversified and modernized
  • Database highly extended at territorial level, as well as indicators system at regional and county level
  • Wide and complex economic and social investigations were achieved as well as surveys, researches, mainly three:
  • Population and Housing Census (1992, 2002)
    General Agriculture Census (2002-2003)
  • The strategy of developing the national statistical system and the INS activity – horizon 2006 was carried out, as background of future objectives, according to the requirements of Romanian society evolution.
  • The following principles were promoted and still are: autonomy, confidentiality, transparency, relevance, proportionality and deontology of the National Institute of Statistics activity, comparability and compatibility of Romanian statistical information with European statistics.
  • The collaboration with Eurostat (European Union Statistical Office) was developed as well as with other European statistical offices, especially after signing in 1994 two bilateral and multilateral common declarations, and with UNO specialized bodies.
    Official institution of statistics was named by turn:
    - State General Statistical Direction – 1892
    - State General Statistical Institute – 1925
    - Central Statistical Institute – 1936
    - Central Statistical Direction – 1951

Last update: November 25, 2011