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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The institutional unit is an elementary economic decision-making centre. A resident unit is regarded as constituting an institutional unit if it has decision-making autonomy in respect of its principal function and either keeps a complete set of accounts or it would be possible and meaningful, from both an economic and legal viewpoint, to compile a complete set of accounts if they were required. Decision-making autonomy means that institutional units are capable of owning goods and assets, of incurring liabilities and of engaging in economic activities and transactions with other units in their own right.
The following are deemed to be institutional units:
a) units which have a complete set of accounts and autonomy of decision:
(1) private and public corporations
(2) co-operatives or partnerships recognised as independent legal entities
(3) public producers which by virtue of special legislation are recognised as independent legal entities
(4) non-profit institutions recognised as independent legal entities
(5) agencies of general government.
b) units which have a complete set of accounts and which are deemed to have autonomy of decision: quasi-corporations
c) units which do not necessarily keep a complete set of accounts, but which by convention are deemed to have autonomy of decision:
(2) notional resident units.
The institutional units are grouped together into five mutually exclusive institutional sectors which together make up the total economy. The sectors (each sector is also divided into sub-sectors) are composed of the following types of units:
a) non-financial corporations
b) financial corporations
c) general government
e) non-profit institutions serving households.
Validity of the definition
- Valid until (31 December 2078)