The Central Statistics Office (CSO) was established in 1949 as Ireland's national statistical office. Its status was formalised in legislation with the enactment of the Statistics Act, 1993. The mandate of the CSO, as set out in that Act, is "The collection, compilation, extraction and dissemination for statistical purposes of information relating to economic, social and general activities and conditions in the State". The CSO is also responsible for coordinating the official statistics of other public authorities and for developing the statistical potential of administrative records.
The Office meets the needs of Government for quality statistical information, which is vital for the formation, implementation and monitoring of policy and programmes at national, regional and local levels in a rapidly changing economic and social environment. The Office also serves the needs of the wider national and international community (media, researchers, students, businesses, representative organisations, the EU, international organisations, and the public generally) for impartial and relevant information on social and economic conditions. Particular attention is paid to the specialist needs of business and the research/academic community for more detailed and focused data.