Methodology of the data collection on high growth enterprises

Data sources

Definitions and concepts

The basis for the statistics on high growth enterprises is the same as that for the statistics on employer business demography; the compilation of high growth enterprises is an evaluation of the employer business demography. The business registers of Statistics Austria (business register for administrative purposes and business register for statistical purposes) form the central data base.

Additionally, the following administrative data sources were used:

  • Basic tax data and turnover tax data taken from yearly turnover tax returns and advance turnover tax returns submitted to the tax authorities and income tax data
  • Employer and employee data from the Main Association of Austrian Social Insurance Institutions

Included NACE Rev. 2 sections

All NACE Rev. 2 sections, except A (“Agriculture and forestry”), O (“Public administration and defence, compulsory social security”), T (“Activities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods- and services- producing activities of households for own use”) and U (“Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies”).

Survey unit and definitions

The survey units are all active employer enterprises. These are defined as legal units, which produce either goods or services, and have at least one employee as an annual average. An employer enterprise can carry out its activity/activities at one or more locations.


The sum of the annual average of employees of each enterprise

Contribution account

Each employer having registered persons within the social security has at least one contribution account. An employer can have more than one account. These are used as the central key for the accounting of the social security contributions.

High growth enterprises

High growth enterprises are defined as employer enterprises, which show an average annual increase in the number of employees of 10% or more over a three-year-period (here: 2005 to 2008, 2006 to 2009, 2007 to 2010, 2008 to 2011, 2009 to 2012, 2010 to 2013, 2011 to 2014, 2012 to 2015, 2013 to 2016, 2014 to 2017 and 2015 to 2018). For the calculation of high growth enterprises all employer enterprises having less than 10 employees at the beginning of the observation period were excluded. Moreover enterprises that were newly born in the starting year (t-3), are not included in the reference year (t). The increase in the number of employees has not to be continuous, but is measured over the entire period (Definition according to Eurostat-OECD).

False growth

If the increase in employees is primarily due to acquisition or merger false growth is given. Enterprises with false growth have to be eliminated from the population of high growth enterprises.

Tabulation characteristics

The high growth statistics is shown by legal form, provinces, NUTS-regions and economic activity.

Economic activities (in accordance with NACE Rev.2):

  • B Mining and quarrying
  • C Manufacturing
  • D Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
  • E Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
  • F Construction
  • G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • H Transportation and storage
  • I Accommodation and food service activities
  • J Information and communication
  • K Financial and insurance activities
  • L Real estate activities
  • M Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • N Administrative and support service activities
  • P Education
  • Q Human health and social work activities
  • R Arts, Entertainment and recreation
  • S Other service activities

Legal Forms:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited liability companies (AG, GmbH)
  • Partnerships and other legal forms (OEG, KEG, etc.)

Provinces and NUTS3 Regions:

  • AT11 Burgenland
  • AT111 Mittelburgenland
  • AT112 Nordburgenland
  • AT113 Südburgenland
  • AT21 Carinthia
  • AT211 Klagenfurt-Villach
  • AT212 Oberkärnten
  • AT213 Unterkärnten
  • AT12 Lower Austria
  • AT121 Mostviertel-Eisenwurzen
  • AT122 Niederösterreich-Süd
  • AT123 Sankt Pölten
  • AT124 Waldviertel
  • AT125 Weinviertel
  • AT126 Wiener Umland/Nordteil
  • AT127 Wiener Umland/Südteil
  • AT31 Upper Austria
  • AT311 Innviertel
  • AT312 Linz-Wels
  • AT313 Mühlviertel
  • AT314 Steyr-Kirchdorf
  • AT315 Traunviertel
  • AT32 Salzburg
  • AT321 Lungau
  • AT322 Pinzgau-Pongau
  • AT323 Salzburg und Umgebung
  • AT22 Steiermark
  • AT221 Graz
  • AT222 Liezen
  • AT223 östliche Obersteiermark
  • AT224 Oststeiermark
  • AT225 West- und Südsteiermark
  • AT226 Westliche Obersteiermark
  • AT33 Tyrol
  • AT331 Außerfern
  • AT332 Innsbruck
  • AT333 Osttirol
  • AT334 Tiroler Oberland
  • AT335 Tiroler Unterland
  • AT34 Vorarlberg
  • AT341 Bludenz-Bregenzer Wald
  • AT342 Rheintal-Bodenseegebiet
  • AT13 Vienna


All calculations were performed for the range limits (2005-2008, 2006-2009, 2007-2010, 2008-2011, 2009-2012, 2010-2013, 2011-2014, 2012-2015, 2013-2016, 2014 to 2017 and 2015 to 2018), since the statistic requires evaluation only at the boundaries.

The compilation of high growth enterprises was carried out in the following steps:

  • Identification of enterprises with more than 10 employees at the beginning of the growth period and which are no enterprise births
  • Detection of the annual average growth measured in employees (annual, 10% and higher); comparison of the count at the beginning of the growth period and the count at the end of the growth period (what happens in-between is not relevant)
  • Assignment of economic activity, legal form and province (count at the end of the growth period used)

False high growth enterprises had to be detected and eliminated. Therefore a random sample has been used and all enterprises with high percentages on growth have been checked manually. Moreover all enterprises were checked that - according to information in the company register - have taken over parts of other enterprises. The result: Around 9 per cent of the calculated high growth enterprises are false high growth enterprises caused by acquisition or merger.


Since 2015 (reference year 2014), a revised method to produce statistics on high growth enterprises is used. The data were recalculated with the new method back to reporting year 2008.

The data are preliminary for the last two reporting years (here: 2017 and 2018).

The total values in the Excel tables do not include until 2012 group 64.2 of ÖNACE 2008.