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Economic Census

Story Ideas

How to Build Stories about the Economic Census

You can base your story on our sample articles, or you can create your own using resources linked on this page.

What's New in the 2012 Economic Census

All businesses can report electronically. New data will be gathered from large multi-location businesses. A few new industries have been defined. Learn more ›

How many businesses will receive forms?

Most businesses with paid employees in your industry or geographic area will receive Economic Census forms. How many? See the estimates for your industry or area.

To reduce response burden on the business community and to hold down costs of data collection, many very small businesses will not receive forms. Data are, instead, obtained from administrative sources for businesses with no paid employees, as well as for the very small businesses with paid employees that aren't selected to receive forms.

What makes the Economic Census so important?

The Economic Census is the official 5-year measure of American business. It provides the foundation for many of the key economic indicators America uses, like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and monthly retail sales.

Economic policy makers in Federal, state, and local governments use Economic Census statistics to project trends, plan for development, assess the impact of changes in the economy. Businesses study their own industries and look for business markets, as illustrated in these examples of using economic statistics from Census.

In business since 1810

Think the Economic Census is a new federal program? The Economic Census traces its roots to the 1810 Decennial Census, when questions were asked about manufacturing along with questions about the population. See an article about the history of the Economic Census.


Interview Census officials

  • Make arrangements at 301-763-3030.

Interview people who use Economic Census statistics

  • Find people who use Economic Census statistics in your own organization, or leaders in your industry or community.
  • Contact the state data center in your state.
  • Incorporate quotes from noted business leaders and economists, as shown in our testimonials.

Incorporate 2007 Economic Census facts

  • Look up statistics for your industry from the Economic Census, including the distribution of revenue by state, plus notes on the comparability of historical data and links to information more recent than 2007.
  • Look up the statistics for your area, selecting any state, metro area, county or city. In American Factfinder, use the "Geographies" menu to select your area. You can also select multiple areas and make comparisons. Also, see graphic snapshots with statistics for selected areas.
  • See whether your industry is one of the ones redefined in NAICS 2012.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Economic Planning and Coordination Division | 1-877-790-1876 | Last Revised: December 22, 2014