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Economic Census


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Industry Classification of Establishments

The industry classifications for all establishments covered by the economic census and surveys are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

The method of assigning industry classifications and the level of detail at which establishments were classified depends on whether a report form is obtained for the establishment. Establishments that returned a report form are classified on the basis of their self-designation; product line sales, products produced, or services rendered; and responses to other industry-specific inquiries.

Establishments that do not return a report form and those that were not sent a report form were classified using the following methods:

  • the most current industry classification available from the applicable Census Bureau current surveys or the previous economic census,
  • the classification from administrative records of other federal agencies,
  • a brief inquiry requesting information necessary to assign a kind-of-business code and/or
  • research done by Census Bureau analysts.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Economic Planning and Coordination Division | 1-877-790-1876 | Last Revised: July 22, 2014