United Nations Statistics Division

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The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), formerly the United Nations Statistical Office, [1] serves under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as the central mechanism within the Secretariat of the United Nations to supply the statistical needs and coordinating activities of the global statistical system. The Division is overseen by the United Nations Statistical Commission, established in 1947, as the apex entity of the global statistical system and highest decision making body for coordinating international statistical activities. It brings together the Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs government organization in New York, United States

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges. It supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. In providing a broad range of analytical products, policy advice, and technical assistance, UN DESA effectively translates global commitments in the economic, social and environmental spheres into national policies and actions and continues to play a key role in monitoring progress towards internationally agreed-upon development goals. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.

United Nations Statistical Commission Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council

The United Nations Statistical Commission (StatCom) is a Functional Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council established in 1946; it oversees the work of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Its 24 member states are elected by the Economic and Social Council on the basis of the following geographical distribution: African states (5), Asian States (4), Eastern European States (4), Latin American and Caribbean States (4), Western European and other States (7). Since July 1999 the Commission meets every year. As set forth by the Economic and Social Council, in the terms of reference, the Commission shall assist the Council:


The Division compiles and disseminates global statistical information, develops standards and norms for statistical activities, and supports countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems.

The Division regularly publishes data updates, including the Statistical Yearbook and World Statistics Pocketbook, and books and reports on statistics and statistical methods. Many of the Division's databases are also available at its site (See below), as electronic publications and data files in the form of CD-ROMs, diskettes and magnetic tapes, or as printed publications. UNdata, a new internet-based data service for the global user community brings UN Statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point. Users can search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system.

UNdata is an Internet search engine, retrieving data series from statistical databases provided by the UN System. UNdata was launched in February 2008. It is a product of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) developed in partnership with Statistics Sweden and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).


Including acting directors:

Name Nationality Term
Stefan SchweinfestFlag of Germany.svg  Germany 1 July 2014 – present
Stefan Schweinfest (acting)Flag of Germany.svg  Germany April 2013 – 30 June 2014
Paul CheungFlag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 2004–2012
Willem de Vries (acting)Flag of the Netherlands.svg  The Netherlands 2002–2004
Hermann HabermannFlag of the United States.svg  United States 1994–2002
William SeltzerFlag of the United States.svg  United States 1986–1994
Yoshimasa KurabayashiFlag of Japan.svg  Japan 1982–1986
Svein NordbottenFlag of Norway.svg  Norway 1979–1982
Simon GoldbergFlag of Canada.svg  Canada 1972–1979
Patrick J. Loftus Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 1962–1972
William R. LeonardFlag of the United States.svg  United States 1948–1962
Harry Campion Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 1947

See also

Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) is a classification defined by the United Nations Statistics Division. These functions are designed to be general enough to apply to the government of different countries. The accounts of each country in the United Nations are presented under these categories. The value of this is that the accounts of different countries can be compared.

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  1. "United Nations Glossary of Environment Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2015.