The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (French: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques), abbreviated INSEE ( in-SAY, French pronunciation: [inse]), is the national statistics bureau of France. It collects and publishes information about the French economy and people and carries out the periodic national census. Headquartered in Montrouge, a commune in the southern Parisian suburbs, it is the French branch of Eurostat. The INSEE was created in 1946 as a successor to the Vichy regime's National Statistics Service (SNS). It works in close cooperation with the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED).
INSEE is responsible for the production and analysis of official statistics in France. Its best known responsibilities include:
The INSEE is the responsibility of MINEFI, the French Ministry of Finance. The current director is Jean-Luc Tavernier. However, Eurostat considers INSEE as an independent body, although its independence is not written in the law.
Research and teaching for the INSEE is undertaken by GENES or Group of the National Schools of the Economy and Statistics (French: Groupe des Écoles Nationales d'Économie et Statistique) which includes:
INSEE gives numerical indexing codes (French: les Codes INSEE) to various entities in France:
INSEE was preceded by several related statistical agencies in France. In 1833, the Statistics Bureau (French: Bureau de la statistique) was created by Adolphe Thiers. In 1840 it was renamed SGF or General Statistics of France.
Under the direction of Lucien March, the SGF expanded its activities. It began an investigation of consumption habits in 1907, following with periodic investigations on retail prices in 1911.
In 1920 Alfred Sauvy introduced competitive entrance exams for SGF recruitment. However, it was René Carmille, a pioneer of the use of the calculators, who laid the foundations of the modern organization. In 1940, the Demographic Service (Service de la démographie) was created under the Ministry of Finance in order to replace the military recruitment office prohibited by the June 1940 Armistice with Nazi Germany. In order to better conceal its undertakings, the Demographic Service absorbed the SGF on 11 October 1941. The new organization was called the SNS or National Statistics Service. As part of this reorganization, six new offices were created in the Northern (occupied) zone whose regional structure is maintained today in INSEE.
René Carmille created an Applied Sciences School (predecessor of the current ENSAE) to specially train members for the SNS.
Carmille worked for Vichy France but he was actually a double agent for the French underground. From his position in the SNS he sabotaged the Nazi census of France, which saved untold numbers of Jewish people from death camps. He also used his department to help mobilize French resistance in Algeria. He was caught by the Nazis and sent to Dachau where he died in 1945.
The SNS was finally transformed into INSEE by the law of 27 April 1946, The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Surveys for the metropolis and overseas France (L'Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques pour la métropole et la France d'outre-mer).
This is a list of directors of INSEE since its founding: