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Guide to the
2002 Economic Census


Revised Industry Classification System

The 2002 Economic Census publishes data primarily on the basis of the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Changes between 1997 NAICS and 2002 NAICS are primarily within construction and wholesale trade and do not affect sector totals. Since 90% of all industries are comparable 1997 to 2002, year to year comparisons are easier to make.

Selected data are published according to the 1997 NAICS to allow precise comparisons between 2002 and 1997 data: preliminary national totals in the Advance Report, a detailed Bridge showing the relationships between 1997 and 2002 NAICS categories, and state level Comparative Statistics after the publication of geographic area data by 2002 NAICS. (A few programs based on administrative records or sample surveys, such as the Business Expenses survey, is published by 1997 NAICS only.)

New Industries

NAICS 2002 introduces a number of new industries, including residential remodelers, discount department stores, electronic shopping, electronic auctions, wholesale electronic markets, internet publishing and broadcasting, and web search portals.

Fewer Out-of-Scope Industries

The 2002 census adds landscape architecture, landscaping services, veterinary services, and pet care. (For industries still out of scope, see table 3.)

New "Industry Series" Reports for Service-Producing Sectors

Industry Series reports, previously published only for goods-producing industries -- manufacturing, mining, and construction -- were published for all industries for 2002. The new reports yielded faster release of national data for services-producing industries from retailing to health care. Nonetheless, most data in Industry Series reports were superseded by Geographic Area Series and Subject Series reports.

North American Product Classification System

The Census Bureau has a long history of providing data on thousands of manufactured products, and also has published data on hundreds of merchandise lines in wholesale and retail lines, and types of services provided by other service companies. For the first time, product lines in four service sectors are classified consistent with a new international agreement with Canada and Mexico, as the first phase in implementing the new North American Product Classification System (NAPCS). The four service sectors complete are Information; Finance and Insurance; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services. These data are published in Product Lines subject reports much like the 1997 reports on sources of receipts or revenue for the same sectors, but now the number of categories has been increased substantially.

Totals for Industries with Taxable and Tax-Exempt Components

The Economic Census continues to differentiate between firms subject to federal income tax and those that are tax-exempt in appropriate service industries, such as health care or performing arts, but for 2002 there are also industry-wide totals. County and place data for these industries, which previously included only taxable establishments, include tax-exempts as well.

Micropolitan Statistical Areas

The metropolitan statistical area concept, identifying counties or groups of counties integrated with an urban core with 50,000 or more inhabitants, is being complemented with several hundred new micropolitan statistical areas, defined around urban cores of 10,000 to 50,000. The same types of statistics are published from the 2002 Economic Census for micro areas area as are published for metro areas, so that means new data in some sectors for many new counties outside metropolitan areas.

Reduced Data for ZIP Codes

Figures on sales or receipts, payroll, and employment by sector by ZIP code, presented in ranges for 1997, are not available for 2002. No ZIP code data are published for manufacturing from the 2002 Economic Census, and the only data published for ZIP codes for the 8 sectors still in the program are counts of establishments by sales or receipts size class. (ZIP Code Business Patterns provides a source for the counts of establishments by employment size class, and covers all business sectors.)

More Maps in PDF

In addition to the state maps showing the boundaries of counties and metropolitan and micropolitan areas within each state, another series of maps shows the boundaries of recognized places within each county. That is especially helpful to understanding what areas are included in "balance of county" data.

Expanded Survey of Business Owners

Island Areas

American FactFinder (AFF)



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