U.S. Department of Commerce

Economic Census


business.census.gov

Uses of Census Data

The Economic Census provides detailed statistics that are important for industries and communities. Trade associations, chambers of commerce, and businesses rely on this information for economic development, business decisions, and strategic planning. Browse the topics below for information on using these statistics, including sample case studies. Full statistical tables from the Economic Census can be found in American FactFinder.

Compare my business to others

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Business owners and managers can compare the operating data for their business to totals and averages for their industry (such as sales per employee) from the national, state, and even local level to evaluate their current operations. Business owners and managers can also compare the data for their business to businesses in related industries and other industries in their local area.

See Example ›

Compare my community to others

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Local economic development organizations and chambers of commerce can compare statistics for the industries in their community to identify opportunities for growth. They can also compare statistics for the industries in their community to neighboring communities, their metro area and state, and to national totals to identify market share and trends.

See Example ›

Identify business markets

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Business owners and managers can analyze information for their customers at the local level to identify unsaturated or emerging/growing markets for their products and for opportunities for expansion.

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Use data in business plans and loan applications

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Entrepreneurs can use statistics from the Economic Census for the industry that they are considering starting a business in or for related industries at the local level in their business plans. They can also use this information in loan applications to local business lenders and in government business development agencies to validate the potential market they are considering entering.

See Example ›

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Economic Planning and Coordination Division | 1-877-790-1876 | Last Revised: February 14, 2014