One of the priority areas of the state statistics of Belarus is currently the development of the national system of statistical classifications.
Classifications are one of the most important tools and standards allowing for the harmonization and identification of statistical data, ensuring systematization and unification of statistical information and grouping of statistical data into various breakdowns.
In recent years the state statistical bodies have moved from the use of local reference lists and selected all-union classifiers to the classifications having international, including European, analogues, which enables them to carry out state statistical surveys on the basis of standard classification groupings and make data comparable with international statistics.
The national system of statistical classifications is based on the nationwide classifications of the Republic of Belarus which are developed for the general types of technical, economic and social information. The system of state statistics employs nationwide classifications of economic activities, products, ownership types, administrative territorial units, government authorities, legal organisational forms, units of measure, and other.
A specific feature of the nationwide classifications of the Republic of Belarus is that they are applied practically in all spheres of the national economy management, at creating state information systems and state information resources, and also at interdepartmental cooperation. Thus, the use of nationwide classifications not only ensures systematization and grouping of economic statistical information, but also enables the data to be comparable at the national, interstate and international levels and contributes to the establishment of common information space of the government authorities of the country.
On the basis of harmonization with corresponding international classifications a nationwide classification of economic activities and a nationwide classification of products by activity applied both in statistical and economic practice have been developed. In external trade statistics, a uniform Commodity Nomenclature of External Economic Activities of the Eurasian Economic Union based on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System is used.
There are a number of international classifications which are used in statistics directly, without the development of national analogues. These are the Classification of the Functions of Government, Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose, International Standard Classification of Education, International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
Moreover, for coding units of measure, countries of the world and currencies the state statistical bodies use relevant nationwide classifications compatible with the international standards.
To ensure additional options for data groupings and breakdowns while conducting state statistical surveys, compiling official statistical information, maintaining of the statistical register, databases and databanks, the state statistics authorities develop and use statistical classifications, also having international and interstate analogues.
The following terms and definitions are used in the classification system:
Object of classification – an element (unit) of a classified set.
Classification grouping – a subset of objects obtained as a result of division of a set of objects into subsets according to their similarity or difference in line with the accepted methods.
Classification – a division of a set of objects into subsets according to their similarity or difference in line with the accepted methods. The main methods of classification are hierarchical and facet methods.
Classification characteristic a property or an attribute of an object according to which it is classified.
Hierarchical method of classification – a method of classification where a defined set of objects is successively divided into subordinate subsets, that is according to a certain selected attribute (characteristic of division) a set of objects is first broken down into large groupings, and then each of these groupings is split into a number of subordinate groupings according to another characteristic, specifying the object of classification.
Facet method of classification – a method of classification where a defined set of objects is successively divided into subsets independently, according to various characteristics of classification.
A classification is a regulatory document on standards, representing a systematized set of names and codes of classification groupings and/ or classification objects.
An interstate classification is a classification adopted by the Interstate Council on Standards, Metrology and Certification or by the Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States and applied by the interested CIS countries.
An international (regional) classification is a classification adopted by a relevant international (regional) organisation and applied by the interested countries of the world.
A nationwide classification of the Republic of Belarus is a technical normative legal act of the Republic of Belarus developed in the process of standardization and containing compulsory technical requirements aimed at the distribution of technical, economic and social information in accordance with its classification (classes, groups, species and other classification groupings)
A recoding table (correspondence table) is a table of correspondence of codes of the same classification groupings or objects from different classifications or from different versions of the same classification.
A statistical classification is a systematised list of values of a specific characteristic of the objects of state statistical surveys.