History of the Statistical Centre of Iran

In July 1965, the Statistical Centre of Iran (SCI) was established by the Law approved by the National Consultative Assembly. According to the Law, the SCI was detached from the Ministry of the Interior. The Law recognized the SCI as an affiliated organ to the Plan Organization.  According to this Law, the SCI was assigned to collect data through implementation of sample surveys and censuses, and all government agencies were duty-bound to provide the SCI with its required statistics and data. Preparation of national statistical yearbook became one of the SCI’s responsibilities. After approving the Law, the first national population and housing census was implemented in 1966 and a number of 25788722 people were counted in the census. In the same year, the first national statistical yearbook was released.

For the first time, the SCI implemented the annual census of large scale establishments (10 and more workers) in 1972. Since then, the census has been implemented with some changes up to now. The second Census of Formal Mines of the country was implemented in collaboration with the SCI and the Ministry of Industries and Mines in 1974. From 1965 to 1974, Plan Organization (was renamed Plan and Budget Organization) took into accounts regionalizing process of planning system in the country and as a result, at first it created 11 regions and gradually 23 state regions (based on the number of provinces). Accordingly, the SCI has organized statistical regions or units following such a new organization in the regions, in order to play a more coherent role in the process of managing the implementation of statistical surveys, and especially in the information collection stage.

The compilation of the first input-output table of the SCI and the third input-output table of Iran for 1973 was set into the working plan of the SCI. This Centre in collaboration with its executive bodies in provinces that were active under the title of statistical region implemented not only various statistical surveys but also the 1976 National Population and Housing Census which had a total population count of 33708744. Although after the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the number of surveys in the SCI decreased significantly, this Centre did its best to be in line with the sublime goals of the Revolution. In 1979, in addition to the implementation of previous annual routine surveys, collection of registered data on building permits issued by municipalities were taken into accounts by the SCI. Since then, the mentioned data have been collected and released annually.

According to the single legal Article approved by Revolution Council on 06/07/1980 and in line with the policy execution related to reinforcing the basis of decentralization system and elimination of unnecessary organizational structures and promoting the efficiency of governmental organizations, statistical regions affiliated to the SCI were merged in Plan & Budget Offices in provinces. Since the end of March 1981, provincial Plan & Budget Organizations were established. Since then, the duties of collecting statistics & information at the provincial level were assigned to the Deputy for Statistics and Informatics of the Organization. In the1980s, the SCI paid special attention to statistics production at services sector and a diverse range of surveys including retails and wholesales surveys were put in the working programme of the SCI. In 1985 and 1986, the SCI took the survey of mines covered by the public sector and since 1988, the survey of national mines has been taken annually. Moreover, the SCI implemented several large-scale surveys such as compilation of input-output tables for 1986, the first National Census of Nomads, the first National Census of Agriculture, and the first National Population and Housing Census after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 (Fourth National Population and Housing Census in Iran) in the 1980s. According to the results of the1986 National Population and Housing Census, the total population of Iran was 49445010.

Due to the Iraqi imposed war on Iran and related problems in the 1990s, Iran experienced a massive displacement during the 1986 National Population and Housing Census and accordingly, some challenges took place in the migration patterns and the statistics of the cities’ population. For this reason, the Current (Multi-round) Population survey with sampling was taken in 1991. In the 1990s, new approach was adopted the aim of which was to organize statistical registers based on the organization of functional-information systems as well as new round of compiling national and regional accounts according to the latest revision of the national accounts system recommended by the UN. The Second National Census of Agriculture and the second Census of Nomads were carried out in 1993 and 1998, respectively. The SCI implemented the first phase of the National Mine and Manufacturing Census in the fall of 1994 in order to collect frame data on all economic activities of the country and the second phase in 1995 in order to produce detailed data of the mines and manufacturing sectors. Moreover, the study and review on environment statistics was taken into accounts and at the end of this decade, certain environmental data on large-scale manufacturing establishments were collected and disseminated. The activities done in the 1980s for producing the statistics of services sector have continued and new surveys in different sectors such as transportation, storage, and housing are among these activities. The third input-output tables for the year 1991 were produced during this decade. In November 1996, the SCI implemented the Fifth National Population and Housing Census and for the first time, OMR devices were used in that Census. According to the results of this Census, the population of Iran reached 60055488. In 1997, the implementation of the sample survey on Household Employment and Unemployment Characteristics started annually. The surveys in different fields such as in the area of agriculture and housing were conducted in those years. One of the main activities done was the establishment of the Statistical Research and Training Centre in 1999. This Centre affiliated to the SCI was established to meet some research requirements for statistics and information in the National Statistical System. Moreover, the first SCI’s website was developed in 1999. After activation of the High Council of Statistics, the new structure, duties, and workflow of the National Statistical System was approved by the Council in 2000 and the SCI as the secretariat of the Council was assigned to make coordination and to activate statistical sectoral committees (30 committees) in the government agencies. In 2000, the Plan and Budget Organization of the country was merged with the Administrative and Employment Affairs Organization and the new organization titled Management and Planning Organization of the country continued their activities.

 In the 2000s, many activities were carried out in the SCI. They include compilation of the fourth input-output tables for 2001, implementation of National Establishment Census in 2002 in which more than 2800000 establishments in the country were identified, producing statistics on other services sector owing to the entrance of new IT technology into the country; carrying out Survey of the Establishments Providing Cell Phone and Internet Service and Survey of the Internet Users, Survey of Employment and Unemployment in every quarter since 2001. The Survey of Employment and Unemployment underwent fundamental revision in 2005 and was renamed “Labour Force Survey” which is conducted quarterly. Moreover, in this decade, the calculation of price index of producers was taken into accounts by the SCI. For the first time in these years, the surveys in the cultural areas were conducted at the national level by the SCI. In 2003, the third National Census of Agriculture was carried out of which the results showed that a number of 4000000 agricultural holders were identified across the country. During 2004-2007, the Islamic Republic of Iran (Statistical Centre of Iran) was selected as the member of Statistical Commission of the United Nations and during that period, a range of activities on the improvement of the produced statistics quality was developed and implemented. Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran (Statistical Centre of Iran) was selected as a member in the Governing Council of Statistical Institution for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) affiliated to ESCAP during 2005-2010. The SCI has had close and extensive cooperation with SIAP through conducting joint training courses at the regional and sub-regional levels.

 The Six National Population and Housing Census with sampling were taken in 2006 in which about 90000 people were employed. Its results showed that the population of Iran was 70495782 persons. In this Census, ICR method was used for capturing and processing data. Another important event which took place in 2007 was related to the changing in the interval between the two censuses. Based on the approval of the Cabinet, the population and housing census which used to be conducted decennially was decided to be conducted every five years. According to this approval, the SCI was duty- bound to implement the 2011 Population and Housing Census based on the mentioned approval.

In 2007, the Management and Planning Organization was broken up and its duties were followed in the new Organization named Vice Presidency for Strategic Planning and Supervision. Then all Management and Planning Organizations in the provinces were merged with the General Governor Offices and continued their duties in the form of Planning Deputy of the General Governor Office affiliated to the Ministry of the Interior. One of the most important events in this decade was that statistics theme was included in the Five-year Social, Economic and Cultural Development Plan ( 2005-2009). Accordingly, the first National Strategy for Development of Statistics (NSDS) was developed. During 2008-2010, the Statistical Centre of Iran was engaged in the large National Economic Reform Plan (Targeted Subsidy Plan). The SCI designed and implemented this Plan for collecting household economic data across the country. Moreover, since 2008, use of Portal Digital Assistance (PDA) device as a tool for collecting data in a paperless way, which contains spatial information, has been an important footstone in National Statistical System.

The Seventh National Population and Housing Census was taken in collaboration with over 114000 persons in 2011. The results showed the number of population was 75149669. In this year, the second NSDS (2011-2015) was approved by the High Council of Statistics according to the Article 54 of the Fifth Five-year Development Plan (in which the SCI was considered as a focal point for producing and disseminating of official statistics). Based on NSDS, the five-year plan of the SCI and National Statistical System was developed.

The Eighth National Population and Housing Census was implemented in two modern electronic methods (Self-completing method via recording information by household through the Internet on the Census Website and Face to Face interview and visiting the households’ places of residence by census-takers) throughout the country in 2016. The census results say that the population of the country was 79926270 people.