Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau collects extensive statistics about businesses that are essential to understanding the American economy. This official count, better known as the Economic Census, serves as the foundation for the measurement of U.S. businesses and their economic impact.
This is free data you can use for your business.
As part of the Census Bureau’s mission to provide timely information on the health of the U.S. economy, this “business” census serves as the most extensive collection of data related to business activity. Nearly 4 million businesses, large, medium and small, covering most industries and all geographic areas of the United States will receive surveys tailored to their primary business activity.
The data produced from the Economic Census are important for your industry, your community and your business:
- Statistics from the Economic Census provide policymakers with the evidence based information used to make sound programmatic decisions.
- Federal agencies rely on the data as the basis for key measures of economic activity, such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs), and the Producer Price Index (PPI).
- Trade and Business associations, along with Chambers of Commerce, rely on Economic Census data to measure key business facts they can use to gauge organizational structure and product trends.
- Individual businesses use the data from the Economic Census to make decisions about operating sites, capital investments, and product development.
The extensive and comprehensive data products include over 950 detailed industries across 18 industrial sectors classified using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Geographic Area Series reports containing general statistics will be produced for nearly 21,000 geographic areas including the U.S. Territories. Additionally, over 7900 goods and services products will be released for the first time on the new North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) basis.
The key statistics produced for the Economic Census include Total Number of Establishments; Value of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, Revenue; Primary Business Activity; Total Number of Employees; Total Annual Payroll; Total First Quarter Payroll; and industry specific statistics.
Starting with this Economic Census, respondents will use an online, secure portal to respond making filing easier while at the same time improving data quality and reducing costs. Small companies located in the U.S. territories will have a paper option available, including a Spanish version for Puerto Rico.
To find out more about the Economic Census and how you can use Census data for your business, visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census page.