Edition 2022

Foto omschrijving: Aerial view of downtown Hoorn with the Hoofdtoren tower at Binnenhaven / Vluchthaven.

How does CBS collect data?

CBS collects as much information as possible from existing government and business registries. The use thereof is regulated by law, with top priority given to privacy and reliability. Additionally, CBS collects data through its own surveys. New data sources such as big data are also increasingly forming the basis for statistics.

Hoe komt het CBS aan de cijfers?How does CBS collect data? 5% Nieuwedatabronnen New data sources10% Big data Big data10% Data van bedrijven Data from 75% Dataregisters Databases businesses en burgersand citizens

Three quarters from registers

Three quarters of the figures collected and analysed by CBS come from registers of other authorities, such as the Personal Records Database, the Tax and Customs Administration, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), the national police and the Social Insurance Bank (SVB). CBS’ statutory task is to compile and publish the statistics that are needed.

Ten percent of the figures are collected from businesses and citizens. This is done by means of surveys conducted either online, by phone or face-to-face, by means of so-called ‘smart surveys’ via an app on mobile phones, or sensors for example in smartwatches that measure certain activities of people for the time-use survey.

New technologies

CBS is also increasingly working with new techniques to obtain information, constituting about 10 percent of the total. To this end, CBS uses artificial intelligence techniques such as web scraping and text mining to collect data from the internet and scanner data from supermarkets to determine consumer prices. New data sources such as traffic loops, social media and payment data provide about 5 percent of the information.

Combining all these data sources in an innovative and reliable way creates greater possibilities to produce new, up-to-date, society-oriented and more detailed statistics.

Facts that matter

CBS stands for a well-informed society, based on facts. As the designated statistical office of the Netherlands, CBS supplies reliable statistical information relevant to social issues. In doing so, CBS contributes to social debate, research, policy development and decision making. We have been doing so since 1899.

Sticking to the facts:

  • 600 statistical surveys per year
  • 2 thousand highly educated staff, working together from The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire
  • 70 thousand mentions in the media
  • 14 billion figures in StatLine

The questions


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

Disclaimer and copyright


On this website, CBS uses functional cookies on this website to allow proper functioning of the site. These cookies do not contain personal user data and have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In addition, CBS uses analytical cookies to track visitor statistics, including the number of page views, which topics users are searching, and how visitors reach our website. The purpose is to gain insight into the functioning of the website in order to improve your user experience. We minimise traceability of visitors to our website as much as possible by anonymising the final octet (group of eight bits) of each IP address. These data are not shared with other parties. CBS does not use tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are cookies that track visitors during their browsing of other websites.

The functional and analytical cookies have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In accordance with current regulations, these cookies may be placed without prior consent.

More information (in Dutch only): https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/telecommunicatie/vraag-en-antwoord/mag-een-website-ongevraagd-cookies-plaatsen

Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

CBS responds to developments in Dutch society by providing statistical information as facts that matter, and communicates on these facts with the outside world. In doing so, CBS offers insights into current developments in society and helps answer policy questions. Research at CBS is focused on broad trends in society and how these are interrelated.

CBS has offices in The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire with altogether approximately 2,000 staff. A society-oriented working attitude is essential to CBS. CBS provides figures which are relevant to society. Every year, CBS publishes around 600 statistical studies. Virtually every day, CBS data and figures are communicated to the outside world via news releases, video messages and through social media. This results in some 50,000 articles per year in daily newspapers and on news sites.

For more information on CBS’s tasks, organisation and publications, go to cbs.nl/en-gb.


Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.


Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik


Hendrik Zuidhoek

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie


Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

Michel van Kooten

Paul de Winden

Ronald van der Bie

Sidney Vergouw



Gabriëlle de Vet

Frans Dinnissen

Final editor

Elma Wobma

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.