Total business births & deaths in New Zealand
2001–2021, number of businesses
|Year ended February||Event||
Number of geographic units
Geographic units: A separate operating unit engaged in New Zealand in one, or predominately one, kind of economic activity from a single physical location or base. Due to rounding, individual figures may not always sum to the stated total(s).
Employee Count: Employee count is a head-count of all salary and wage earners for the February reference month.
Birth: A birth is the creation of a combination of production factors, with the restriction that no other national businesses are involved in the event. Births do not include entries into the population due to reactivations, mergers, break-ups, split-offs or other restructuring of a group of businesses linked by ownership or control. Births also exclude entries into a population resulting from changes to characteristics of existing businesses (this is largely based on, and fully consistent with, the Eurostat definition of enterprise births). To be considered a birth in the business demography population, the geographic units existed at neither time T-1 year nor time T-2 years.
Death: A death is the dissolution of a combination of production factors, with the restriction that no other domestic businesses are involved in the event. Deaths do not include exits from the population due to temporary inactivity, mergers, takeovers, break-ups or other restructuring of a group of businesses linked by ownership or control. Deaths also exclude exits from a population resulting from changes to characteristics of businesses which remain active (this is largely based on, and fully consistent with, the Eurostat definition of enterprise deaths). To be considered a death in the business demography population, the geographic units exist at neither time T year nor time T+1 year.
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Limitations of the data
- Non-coverage of 'small' enterprises that fall below the economic significance criteria on Stats NZ's Business Frame (BF).
- Lags in recording business births and deaths.
- Difficulties in maintaining industrial and business classifications for smaller firms (that are primarily maintained using administrative data).
- Fine level regional and industry business demography data needs to be used with caution. The Stats NZ Business Frame (BF), which is the main source of data for the business demography series, is designed to support quality national level statistics. It is not designed to provide quality fine level regional or industry statistics. The BF update sources can have timing lags and less robust information, particularly for medium and small sized businesses. These quality weaknesses can be highlighted in fine level business demography statistics.
- Business demography time series statistics can be influenced by structural changes in businesses. These changes may include business mergers, one business taking over another business, or a business selling part of its activities. This can cause significant movement in an industry (ANZSIC06) time series of employee count data. For example in a business takeover where one enterprise is absorbed into another enterprise, the employees of the smaller enterprise will typically become classified to the ANZSIC06 of the larger enterprise.
- Many enterprises undertake a range of business activities simultaneously. For example they manufacture and wholesale goods and their activities can be across a range of commodities that cross ANZSIC06 boundaries. Enterprises are classified to ANZSIC06 on the BF on the basis of predominant activity. Movements in time series of ANZSIC06 data can be caused by the predominant activity of enterprises changing. This can cause what appears to be a significant change in an industry time series. These changes need to be interpreted with caution as the business activity may be largely continuing under a different predominant industry classification.
All numbers are provisional and subject to revision in the next release.
The largest revisions are expected in the most recent reference periods. This is mainly due to lags associated with processing administrative data.
Business demography statistics are limited to economically significant individual, private-sector and public-sector enterprises that are engaged in the production of goods and services in New Zealand. These enterprises are maintained on the Stats NZ Business Frame, which generally includes all employing units and those enterprises with GST turnover greater than $30,000 per year.
Changes to data collection/processing
Up to 2015 business demography series was based on the Stats NZ Longitudinal Business Frame (LBF).
From 2016 business demography series is based on the Stats NZ Business Register (BR).
Data provided by
Business Demography Statistics: Geographic units births and deaths by area and industry 2021
How to find the data
Data is displayed at URL provided. To create this dataset, all variables were selected.
Import & extraction details
From the dataset Business Demography Statistics: Geographic units births and deaths by area and industry 2021, this data was extracted:
- Rows: 2-129,527
- Column: 6
- Provided: 101,028 data points
This data forms the table Business - Births and deaths of geographic units by territorial authority and industry 2001–2021.
Dataset originally released on:
October 28, 2021
About this dataset
Business demography statistics provide an annual snapshot (at February) of the structure and characteristics of New Zealand businesses. The series covers economically significant enterprises that are engaged in producing goods and services in New Zealand.
Method of collection/Data provider
The Business Demographic statistics on the number of business births, deaths and continuing business rely on a variety of data sources to identify a continuing business that for example undergoes a change of legal ownership and restructuring in administrative data sources as well as genuine business start-ups and closures. These data sources are not comprehensive and are of lower quality for small non-employing businesses. When businesses register for GST and are added (or 'birthed') onto the Business Frame, they are given a new reference number. Company restructuring and changes of ownership can result in a new GST registration being filed, even though it relates to an existing business. Both the Business Frame and the LBF have procedures in place to identify links between new and existing businesses, but there is no guarantee that a link will be identified.