An industrial sector-based source volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission inventory was developed for the year 2011 in China with the use of ‘emission factor method’. Based on the concept of source-tracing and a ‘bottom-up’ approach, it is estimated that the total emissions of industrial VOCs were 15.8 Tg for the year 2011, 17.7% of which came from production of VOCs, 8.4% came from storage and transport, 14.2% came from industrial processes using VOCs as raw materials, and 59.7% came from use of VOCs-containing products. Industrial VOCs emissions in East China were the largest contributors, comprising 40% of total. Four kinds of sources including furniture manufacturing, petroleum refining, machinery equipment manufacturing and printing industry took up 53.8% of total emissions. Therefore, more efficient VOCs control equipment should be paid attention to and promoted. A quantitative approach, the bootstrap simulation and Monte Carlo sampling, was used to analyze uncertainties, there is relatively medium uncertainty with an error of –42% to +71%, ranging from 9.2 to 27.2 Tg on the 95% confidence interval. To reduce VOCs emission inventory uncertainties requires giving priority to research on conducting more measurements of key sources. It’s imperative to establish domestic emission factor database.