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Economic Census


business.census.gov

Definitions

  • Advance Report - The first data released from the economic census. It shows preliminary data for 2- and 3-digit NAICS at the U.S. level. These data will be superseded by subsequent reports after additional review and analysis.
  • American FactFinder - An online application that provides access to detailed tables and maps for population, housing and businesses. These tables are manipulable, downloadable and printable.
  • Annual Survey of Manufactures - Sample estimates of statistics for all manufacturing establishments with one or more paid employee.
  • Bridge Reports - Shows the relationships between 2 years of NAICS categories in detail and where they have changed.
  • Cell suppression - Withholding data to protect the confidentiality of information reported by individual businesses or persons. Data withheld are replaced with ‘D’s in appropriate data cells. More »
  • Census - A survey where data are collected for all units of a population. The economic census includes all U.S. employer establishments, except for agriculture and public administration establishments.
  • Class of Customer - a break down of the different types of consumers purchasing goods or services being offered by establishments.
  • Planning Regions - Groups of municipios that collectively cover Puerto Rico. More »
  • Commodity Flow Survey - Data on the movement of goods in the United States. Some exports data are also available.
  • Comparative Statistics Report - Shows U.S. and state totals classified by an older NAICS vintage for more recent data.
  • Confidentiality - Title 13 of the United States Code authorizes the Census Bureau to conduct censuses and surveys. Section 9 of the same Title requires that any information collected from the public under the authority of Title 13 be maintained as confidential. Section 214 of Title 13 and Sections 3559 and 3571 of Title 18 of the United States Code provide for the imposition of penalties of up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for wrongful disclosure of confidential census information. In accordance with Title 13, no estimates are published that would disclose the operations of an individual firm. The Census Bureau’s internal Disclosure Review Board sets the confidentiality rules for all data releases. A checklist approach is used to ensure that all potential risks to the confidentiality of the data are considered and addressed.
  • Consolidated Cities - Consolidated governments, which consist of separately incorporated municipalities..
  • Control fields - Columns in American FactFinder tables used to classify, index, sort and restrict the rows in a table display or download (e.g., geographic area, NAICS code, year.)
  • Counties - The primary political and administrative divisions of States. More »
  • County Business Patterns - Annually produced tables that provide detailed geographic, industry and other data for U.S. business establishments with paid employees.
  • Data edits - A process that detects and validates reported data by considering factors such as industry/geographic ratios and averages, historical reporting, and proper classification for a given record. More »
  • Data fields - Columns of data that are tabulated for industries, products, lines and other related data.
  • Data quality fields - Columns that contain imputation rates, standard errors and other indicators of data quality for certain data fields.
  • Disclosure - In accordance with federal law governing census reports (Title 13 of the United States Code), no data are published that would disclose the operations of an individual establishment or business. However, the number of establishments in a kind-of-business classification is not considered a disclosure; therefore, this information may be released even though other information is withheld.
  • Divisions - Groupings of States that subdivide the United States. More »
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) - A nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to identify business entities. It is required for corporations, partnerships, employer businesses and selected other types of business entities.
  • Economic Census - Provides a detailed portrait of the United States' economy once every five years (ending in '2' and '7'), from the national to the local level. It covers most of the U.S. economy in its basic collection of establishment statistics.
  • Economic Census of Island Areas - Provides a detailed portrait of the economic structure and activity of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands every five years.
  • Economy-Wide Key Statistics (EWKS) - Compiles key statistics for every industry and geographic area as they are published in other tables. It provides the most up-to-date figures for these measures. During the data release period, as any of these data are updated or revised in successive reports, the EWKS is also updated. Data items include: number of establishments, sales, annual payroll and number of employees. The 2007 EWKS also includes establishments and sales for nonemployers.
  • Employers - Businesses with payroll and paid employees.
  • Establishment - A single physical location where business is conducted, or where services are performed.
  • Filter Rows - To narrow search results to display selected industries, geographic areas or other dimensions as defined in each American FactFinder table.
  • Firm - A business organization or entity consisting of one or more domestic establishment locations under common ownership or control.
  • Flag fields - Columns that are associated with each data field, which, when applicable, contain symbols, or “flags”, that explain why data in that field have been suppressed.
  • Franchising Report - Data on franchising across multiple industries.
  • Geographic Area Series - Data for individual industries at the U.S., state, county, place and metropolitan area levels. Coverage by geographic levels varies by economic census sector.
  • Imputation - The process used to estimate missing or misreported data.
  • Industry Series - Preliminary data for individual industries and their products at the U.S. level only.
  • Inventories - data on inventories are the products that a company intends to sell or use in the fulfillment of services they intend to sell.
  • Item nonresponse - Occurs when some but not all data have been collected for the respondent.
  • Kind of business - The principal kind of business being conducted at an establishment.
  • Legal Form of Organization (LFO) - The legal form of organization was generally based on information from administrative records of other federal agencies. Reports from the economic census and related programs present data for establishments by the following legal forms of organization:
    • Corporations
    • Individual proprietorships
    • Partnerships
    • Cooperative associations (Wholesale Trade only)
    • Other legal forms of organization
  • Metropolitan Areas - Areas that have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties. More »
  • Micropolitan Areas - Areas that have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties. More »
  • Multiunit firms - Firms with two or more establishments.
  • Noise infusion - A technique that marginally adjusts (perturbs) each respondent's data so that data for individual businesses can be camouflaged. This allows for the publication of cells that would otherwise have been suppressed. More »
  • Nonemployer Statistics - Data for U.S. businesses with no payroll or paid employees.
  • Nonsampling errors - Encompasses all factors other than sampling error that contribute to the total error of an estimate. This error may be attributed to many sources: inability to identify all cases in the actual universe; definition and classification difficulties; differences in the interpretation of questions; errors in recording or coding the data obtained; and other errors of collection, response, coverage, processing and estimation for missing or misreported data.
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - A system of grouping establishments into industries based on the similarity of their production processes. This system is used by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) - The first standard classification system for products. Currently in development, this system will be used to coordinate the collection, tabulation and analysis of data on the value of products produced by both goods- and services-producing industries and on the prices charged for those products.
  • Offshore Areas - Water areas within the coastal boundaries of the United States. More »
  • Payroll - Includes all forms of compensation such as salaries, wages, commissions, dismissal pay, bonuses, vacation allowances, sick-leave pay, and employee contributions to qualified pension plans paid during the year to all employees and reported on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 941 as taxable Medicare Wages and tips (even if not subject to income or FICA tax). Excluded are commissions paid to independent (nonemployee) agents, such as insurance agents. For corporations, payroll includes amounts paid to officers and executives; for unincorporated businesses, it does not include profit or other compensation of proprietors or partners. Payroll is reported before deductions for social security, income tax, insurance, union dues, etc. This definition of payroll is the same as that used by the IRS on Form 941. First-quarter payroll consists of payroll during the January-to-March quarter.
  • Places - Cities, towns, villages and boroughs with significant populations or jobs. More »
  • Privacy Act - A 1974 Federal Act that protects the privacy of personal information that the government has on file. The act places restrictions on the collection, use, maintenance and release of information about individuals.
  • Products and services code - For the Manufacturing and Mining sectors, this is a 6-, 7-, 8-, or 10-digit code that identifies each product or service produced by Manufacturing or Mining establishments. For all other NAICS sectors, this is a five-digit product line (PL) code. PL codes represent various types of products carried or services rendered by an establishment. PL codes ending in "0" represent broad product lines and PL codes ending in digit other than "0" represent detailed product lines.
  • Regions - Groupings of States that subdivide the United States. More »
  • Revenue - Includes revenue from all business activities whether or not payment was received in the census year. Revenue does not include sales and other taxes (including Hawaii’s General Excise Tax) collected from customers and paid directly by a firm to a local, state, or federal tax agency.
  • Sample - Entities selected for a specific survey.
  • Sample survey - A data collection activity involving observations or questionnaires for a sample of a population. These data are used to produce estimates for the entire population.
  • Sampling error - Error which results from estimating data based on information obtained from census report forms mailed to all large employers and to a sample of small employers in the universe. Sampling error affects these estimates, insofar as they may differ from results that would be obtained from a complete enumeration.
  • Series - A grouping of related tables.
  • States - The primary governmental divisions of the United States. More »
  • Subject and Summary Series - Summary data on special topics and industry-related data including Product Lines, Concentration Ratios, and Establishment and Firm Size at the U.S. level and in some tables, at the state level.
  • Survey of Business Owners - Data on U.S. business owners by gender, Hispanic or Latino origin and race. It also includes additional demographic and economic business characteristics for home-based, family-owned and franchised businesses; sources of finance; types of customers; and year established.
  • Tabulations - A table presenting statistics; the process of summarizing data.
  • Title 13 - The law under which the Census Bureau operates and that guarantees the confidentiality of census information and establishes penalties for disclosing this information. It also provides the authorization for conducting the census in Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.
  • Title 26 - Title 26 Internal Revenue Code provides for the conditions under which the Internal Revenue Service may disclose Federal Tax Returns and Return Information (FTI) to other agencies. Specifically, 26, U.S.C. 6103 (j) (1) provides for the disclosure of FTI to the Census Bureau for statistical purposes in the structuring of censuses and national economic accounts, as well as for conducting related statistical activities authorized by law.
  • Unit nonresponse - Occurs when no data have been collected for the respondent.
  • ZIP Codes - The administrative entities of the U.S. Postal Service. More »
  • ZIP Code Statistics Series - Counts of establishments by sales-size range by industry for 5-digit ZIP Codes (published for the Retail Trade and selected Services sectors). In addition, on an annual basis, the ZIP Code Business Patterns provides data for all sectors by employment size.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Economic Planning and Coordination Division | 1-877-790-1876 | Last Revised: August 12, 2014