Industrial Statistics

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Statistics, Industrial


the branch of economic statistics that deals with the production activity of industry, the leading sector in the national economy.

Industrial statistics may be defined as a science that employs the techniques and methods of general statistical theory to develop a system of indexes that describe the composition and distribution of industries; the work of industrial enterprises, associations, and sectors, as well as industry as a whole; and the results of such activity. Industrial statistics is also the practical work involved in collecting, processing, and analyzing industrial data in order to evaluate the implementation of state plans and to describe the development of industrial production and its economic efficiency. In the USSR most of the statistical data is collected by reporting.

In the Soviet period, both the scientific and practical aspects of industrial statistics were intensively developed. Before the October Revolution of 1917 the collection and processing of industrial statistical data in Russia was entrusted to three institutions, each of them using a different program. Writing about the current industrial statistics, Lenin said: “We have nothing more than the lying, slipshod, bureaucratically muddled statistics of various ‘departments’ ” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 12, p. 354). Under these conditions the censuses of industry that were conducted in Russia in 1900 and 1908 were highly important. The theoretical foundations of Soviet industrial statistics are given in Lenin’s works. He defined the observational and accounting units in industry and the concept of industrial census. He also provided basic instructions concerning grouping methods in industry, the scientific application of averages in industrial statistics, methods of statistical analysis in economics, and the necessity of establishing a central statistical organization.

Today, the Industrial Statistics Office of the Central Statistical Board of the USSR, the sole administrative agency, works out the forms of statistical reporting for industrial enterprises and associations and develops methods for determining indexes. It also collects and processes data with the aid of electronic computers, applying economic statistics in analyzing the results. In the USSR industrial statistical data are published annually in the statistical handbook National Economy of the USSR, in the special collection Industry of the USSR, and in other publications. Problems of industrial statistics are being studied by the statistical commissions of the UN and COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance).

In the overall system of industrial indexes a great deal of importance is attached to the indicators of industrial output—its size, variability, quality, periodicity of production, and sale. In addition to production indexes for individual products, expressed in physical terms, industrial statistics has developed a system of cost indexes. These indexes show the quantity of manufactured output as gross output, commodity output, and net output. Since 1965 the sold output, that is, the quantity of output accepted and paid for by the customer, has become the main generalizing index used in evaluating the activity of industrial enterprises, associations, and sectors, as well as industry as a whole.

Industrial statistics makes use of a system of indexes showing the availability and composition of manpower resources, and the length and use of work time. Special attention is given to the level, dynamics, and change factors of labor productivity, as well as to the wages of industrial workers. Industrial statistics incorporates indexes showing the size, composition, condition, and utilization of industrial capital stock as a whole and of its most active part—energy and manufacturing equipment. Also included are indexes of the movement and use of objects of labor (raw and other materials, fuel). During the 1970’s much work was done on the statistics of the production capacity and on the statistics of natural resources and the environment.

Indexes of scientific and technological progress are of major importance in industrial statistics. These are indexes of industrial mechanization and automation, electrification, chemicalization, the invention and introduction of new technology, the use of new technological processes, specialization, coordination, and concentration. Financial results are reflected in indexes of prime cost, profit, and rate of profitability. After the introduction of new regulations for planning and economic stimulation, industrial enterprises acquired greater economic independence, a change that gave impetus to the development of economic statistical analysis.

The experience of organizing industrial statistics in the USSR has influenced the development of this branch of statistics in other socialist countries. In capitalist countries industrial data are collected and processed by numerous institutions, both governmental and private. Protection of the interests of private companies has hindered the development of current industrial statistics. More detailed information about industries is obtained through special censuses.


Lenin, V. I. Razvitie kapitalizma v Rossii. In Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed.,vol. 3.
Lenin, V. I. “K voprosu o nashei fabrichno-zavodskoi statistike.” Ibid., vol. 4.
Savinskii, D. B. Kurspromyshlennoistatistiki, 5th ed. Moscow, 1960.
Rotshtein, A. I. Ocherki promyshlennoi statistiki SSSR. Moscow, 1964.
Baklanov, G. I., V. E. Adamov, and A. N. Ustinov. Statistika promyshlennosti, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1976.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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