The concepts described on these pages are words and expressions used in statistics with a specific, limited meaning. In everyday speech the word may have a different meaning. In connection with each definition you can find information about which sets of statistics use the concept.

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Principal activity

All enterprises and establishments proper are separately assigned an economic activity at the most detailed level of the industrial classification.

In the Business Register, the principal activity of an enterprise is defined according to the value added created at its establishments engaged in different economic activities. Value added corresponds closely to value of secondary processing. The value added for the economic activities of an enterprise is obtained by multiplying the number of employees in each establishment by the average value added it creates in its activity and by proportioning the obtained figure to the duration of its activity in the accounting period within the statistical year. Principal activity is defined in stages from the section level to the most detailed level of the standard industrial classification. The principal activity of an enterprise is usually determined by the industry of the establishment that generates most value added during an accounting period.

The principal activity of an enterprise can change, for example, as a consequence of incorporation, when a significant part of the enterprise becomes independent from the point of total value added.

Statistics using the definition

Validity of the definition

  • Valid until (31 December 2078)

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus