Definition: Burden

Statistical concept

Administrative burdens on enterprises are seen as impediments to their competitiveness. They result from all administrative demands. Requests by National Statistical Offices and other parts of national administrations responsible for statistical data collection figure among the list of administrative burdens. When considering the statistical burden on an enterprise it is useful to distinguish the two terms "load" and "burden". The net burden of a survey can be defined as follows:

+ the additional cost to business arising from their inclusion in a survey (the load)
- value to enterprises of uses of the statistics (the benefits)
= net burden

In practice however, whether businesses see a survey as a burden or not will be a matter of perception which may not be in accordance with the actual costs and benefits involved. Thus:

+ perceived load
- perceived benefits
= perceived burden
Andrew Machin, "Statistical burden on businesses", ONS (Office for National Statistics), London, June 1995

Search box