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Economic Census: Home

A guide to business and industry information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.



The Economic Census is only one of many activities of the U.S. Census Bureau.  The Economic Census is comprised of a series of statistical profiles of U.S. businesses at the national and local level.  Businesses in the Economic Census are grouped into industries based on the similarity of their production processes using a classificatory schema known as the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). 

Data collection and analysis is a huge and complex task.  The most recent data for the Economic Census was collected in 2012, with data releases not starting until March of 2014!  Since data is aggregated by NAICS, this means that you will not find information about a specific company via the Economic Census.

Categories of data gathered from businesses with the same NAICS include:

  • Number of establishments and firms
  • Employment
  • Labor costs
  • Sales, receipts and value of shipments/construction work done
  • Expenses
  • Assets, capital expenditures and inventories


2007 Economic Census

Starting with the 2007 Economic Census, the Census Bureau will no longer publish print / CD / .pdf versions of its data.  Rather, data will be published as it becomes available via the interactive American FactFinder tool.  Data from the 2002 and 1997 Economic Censuses are also available via this FactFinder tool. Please note:  not all the 2007 data has been released yet. 

Not all industries are covered by the 2007 Economic Census.  The list of excluded industries includes the Agricultural sector, which has its own census.

Older web sites for the 2002 and 1997 Economic Census can be found here.  These sites provide access to .pdf files of reports. 


Industry Snapshots

Another innovation of the 2007 Economic Census is the Industry Snapshot. The latest 2012 data is compared against 2007 and earlier data for some interesting insights into industry trends.

Research Assistance

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Angela Bonnell
Milner Library, Office #417
309 438-2354