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Economic Census


business.census.gov

Creating Business Plans

Researching potential markets

bar chart of fast food restaurants sales per population in select maryland counties in 2007

An entrepreneur in Maryland is considering opening a fast-food restaurant and researches which county would be best for the business. Using population information from the Census Bureau, he identifies counties that have a large number of customers in his target market, and looks at which may already be well-served - there may already be a large relative number of restaurants.

To identify less-served markets, he merges statistics from the Economic Census with demographic statistics to create a ratio of sales per population. Doing so reveals that businesses in Wicomico County had higher sales per population than other counties in the state… a potential good county to start his business.

Reviewing the Census statistics further reveals the following about fast food businesses in Maryland counties:

  • Charles County reported higher sales per business than the state average
  • Prince George's County reported higher sales per employee
  • Carroll County had the highest population per business

The entrepreneur decides that each of these counties might be a good place for his new restaurant, and that further research into these potential counties was needed.

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