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Nonemployer Statistics

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About the Data


Nonemployer Statistics provides annual statistics on U.S. businesses with no paid employees or payroll at a detailed geography and industry level. This program is authorized by the United States Code, Titles 13 and 26.


Statistics are available on businesses that have no paid employment or payroll, are subject to federal income taxes, and have receipts of $1,000 or more ($1 or more for the Construction sector). The data are available for approximately 450 NAICS industries at the national, state, county, metropolitan statistical area, and combined statistical area geography levels. Data are also presented by Legal Form of Organization (LFO) as filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The majority of NAICS industries are included with some exceptions as follows: crop and animal production; investment funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles; management of companies and enterprises; and public administration.


Data are published by geographic area, NAICS industry, legal form of organization (U.S. and state only), receipts, and starting with 2009, receipts-size class of establishments (U.S. level only).


Data represent activity during the reference year. Data have been collected annually since 1997. Prior to 1997, Nonemployer Statistics were published as part of the 1992, 1987, 1977, and 1972 Economic Census.


Nonemployer Statistics data originate from statistical information obtained through business income tax records that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides to the Census Bureau. The data are processed through various automated and analytical review to eliminate employers from the tabulation, correct and complete data items, remove anomalies, and validate geography coding and industry classification.

Prior to publication, the noise infusion method is applied to protect individual businesses from disclosure.

Noise infusion was first applied to Nonemployer Statistics in 2005. Prior to 2005, data were suppressed using the complementary cell suppression method. For more information on the coverage and methods used in Nonemployer Statistics, refer to How the Data are Collected.


The annual Nonemployer Statistics data are available approximately 18 months after each reference year. Data are published via hypertext tables (html), comma-delimited format (csv) for spreadsheet or database use, and in the American FactFinder (AFF).


Nonemployer statistics are provided for statistical use in federal economic programs. The data are a primary sampling source for the U.S. Small Business Administration surveys and are available to the public as an annual data release. The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to contribute to the total Gross Domestic Product for all U.S. businesses. State and local government offices use the data to assess business changes, develop fiscal policies, and plan future policies and programs. Researchers use the data to study trends in businesses over time. Prospective or current business owners use the data to research market potential.


Nonemployer statistics provides the only annual source of detailed and comprehensive data on the scope, nature, and activities of U.S. businesses with no paid employees or payroll at the county level.


For frequently asked questions (FAQs) visit Ask.Census.Gov or click the FAQs tab at the top of the screen. This link will open a new page within this window. Enter 'nonemployer' into the search box to narrow the results.

For more information, contact the Nonemployer Statistics staff at (301)763-2580 or by email.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Nonemployer Statistics | (301) 763-2580 |  Last Revised: March 18, 2015