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Info: Europe - How does NACE compare to ISIC, NAICS, and ANZSIC?
Tuesday, 24 Feb 2009 18:44 ET
By Jean-Marc Rollet
February 2009 -- The NACE Rev.2 classification of economic activities is now being applied by Eurostat to its reporting. This article explains how it relates to the ISIC standard (UN), NAICS (U.S., Canada and Mexico), and ANZSIC (Australia and New Zealand).

The following summary is per Eurostat.  A complete explanation, including concordances between the nomenclatures, is contained in the PDF document attached to this article.

NACE's link to the ISIC classification

NACE is a derived classification of ISIC: categories at all levels of NACE are defined either to be identical to, or to form subsets of, single ISIC categories. The first level and the second level of ISIC Rev. 4 (sections and divisions) are identical to sections and divisions of NACE Rev. 2. The third and fourth levels (groups and classes) of ISIC Rev. 4 are subdivided in NACE Rev. 2 according to European requirements. However, groups and classes of NACE Rev. 2 can always be aggregated into the groups and classes of ISIC Rev. 4 from which they were derived. The aim of the further breakdowns in NACE Rev. 2, as compared with ISIC Rev. 4, is to obtain a classification more suited to the structures of the European economies.

Also the coding systems used in ISIC and NACE are, as far as possible, the same: to distinguish easily between the two, NACE places a dot between the first two digits (division level) and the last two (groups and classes). Since some groups and classes in ISIC Rev. 4 are disaggregated into NACE groups and classes, without introducing additional hierarchical levels, some ISIC codes differ from the corresponding NACE codes. An activity at group or class level may therefore have a numerical code in NACE Rev. 2, which differs from that in ISIC Rev. 4.

Relation between NACE and NAICS

NAICS is the North American Industry Classification System. NAICS was developed in the mid-1990s to provide common industry definitions for Canada, Mexico, and the United States, to facilitate economic analyses of the economies of the three North American countries. NAICS is developed on the basis of a production-oriented conceptual framework and classifies units, not activities. As a result, the structures of ISIC and NAICS are substantially different. However, statistical data collected according to NAICS can be aggregated into the two-digit divisions of ISIC Rev. 4/NACE Rev. 2, ensuring comparability of data. In many cases, more detailed links are possible. A detailed concordance between NAICS and ISIC is published on the NAICS website (USA: http://www.census.gov/naics, Canada: http://www.statcan.ca/).

Relation between NACE and ANZSIC

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) was developed for use in both countries for the production and analysis of industry statistics. In the development of ANZSIC great emphasis has been placed on alignment with the international standards. ISIC Rev. 3 had been used as the international standard for reference purposes. Broad concordances between ANZSIC and ISIC can be found on the ABS website: http://www.statistics.gov.au/. ANZSIC is much closer to ISIC/NACE than NAICS, as its structure broadly follows ISIC, where categories at the division and more detailed levels can be aggregated into the two-digit categories of ISIC. Therefore, conversion of ANZSIC data into ISIC/NACE is possible at a fairly detailed level.

Relation between NACE and other classifications

In addition to the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland are committed to using a national version derived from NACE. Moreover, about ten other countries outside the EU, or candidate countries like Croatia and Turkey, refer to NACE for their classification of economic activities. More than 150 countries in the world are using classifications of economic activities based either on NACE or ISIC.