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Guide

Guide to the
2002 Economic Census


HOW THE DATA ARE CLASSIFIED

Economic Census statistics are collected and published primarily by "establishment." An establishment is a business or industrial unit at a single physical location that produces or distributes goods or performs services, for example, a single store or factory.

Many companies own or control more than one establishment, and those establishments may be located in different geographic areas and may be engaged in different kinds of business. By collecting separate information for each establishment, the Economic Census can include detailed data for each industry and area.

Industrial Classification

The statistics issued by industry in the 2002 Economic Census are classified primarily on the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and, to a lesser extent, on the 1997 NAICS used in the previous census. NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in use up to 1997. NAICS categorizes establishments by the principal activity in which they are engaged.

NAICS, developed in cooperation with Canada and Mexico, classifies North America's economic activities at 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-digit levels of detail, and the U.S. version of NAICS further defines industries to a sixth digit.  The Economic Census takes advantage of this hierarchy to publish data at successive levels of detail.

Table 2. NAICS hierarchic structure

NAICS level

Example

NAICS code

Description

Sector

51

Information

Subsector

515

Broadcasting (except Internet)

Industry group

5151

Radio and Television Broadcasting

Industry

51511

Radio Broadcasting

U.S. Industry

515112

Radio Stations

The Census Bureau also classifies products, and, in the case of manufacturing and mining industries, products are classified in a manner consistent with the NAICS structure.  The first 6 digits of the 10-digit product code are normally the same as the NAICS code for the industry with which the product is most frequently associated.  Broad product or service lines also are provided for other sectors. In four sectors, service lines are classified according to the new North American Product Classification System (NAPCS).

The 2002 Economic Census covers 1,070 of the 1,179 industries in NAICS 2002; industries not covered are noted in general in Table 3, and detailed in a separate list of exclusions.

Table 3. NAICS Sectors and Their Coverage in the 2002 Economic Census

NAICS codes

Economic Sector

11

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (Excluded. Separate census of agriculture, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, covers farming but not forestry, fishing and hunting, and support activities)

21

Mining

22

Utilities

23

Construction

31-33

Manufacturing

42

Wholesale Trade

44-45

Retail Trade

48-49

Transportation and Warehousing (Census excludes U.S. Postal Service, large certificated passenger air transportation, and all rail transportation)

51

Information

52

Finance and Insurance (Census excludes funds and trusts)

53

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

54

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Service

55

Management of Companies and Enterprises

56

Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services

61

Educational Services (Census excludes elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and professional schools)

62

Health Care and Social Assistance

71

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

72

Accommodation and Food Services

81

Other Services (Except Public Administration) (Census excludes labor, political, and religious organizations; and private households)

92

Public Administration (Excluded. Separate census of governments conducted by Census Bureau)

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