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County Business Patterns

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You are here: About the SurveysMulti-Sector Programs › County Business Patterns

PURPOSE

To provide annual detailed geographic, industry, and other information for U.S. business establishments. The United States Code, Titles 13 and 26, authorize this program.

COVERAGE

Statistics are available on business establishments at the U.S. level and by State, County, Metropolitan area and Zip code levels. Also available are data for Puerto Rico and the Island Areas (American Samoa, Guam, The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) at the State and county equivalent levels. The County Business Patterns (CBP) covers all NAICS industries except crop and animal production; rail transportation; National Postal Service; pension, health, welfare, and vacation funds; trusts, estates, and agency accounts; private households; and public administration. The CBP also excludes most government employees.

CONTENT

Data for establishments are presented by geographic area, 6-digit NAICS industry, legal form of organization (U.S. only), and employment size class. Data consist of number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll. No data are provided that would disclose the operations of an individual employer.

FREQUENCY

Data reported are for activities taking place during the reference calendar year. Data have been collected annually since 1964; similar data were reported for various periods since 1946.

METHODS

A compilation and publication of data extracted from the Business Register (BR). The BR contains the Census Bureau's most complete, current, and consistent data for U.S. business establishments. The BR is updated continuously and incorporates data from Census Bureau economic censuses and current business surveys, quarterly and annual Federal income and payroll tax records, and other Departmental and Federal statistics and administrative records programs.

PRODUCTS

County Business Patterns reports are available approximately 18 months after each reference year. In addition, ZIP Code Business Patterns data are available shortly after the release of CBP. The ZIP Code Business Patterns include the number of establishments by NAICS industry.

All CBP data are released in hypertext tables (html), in comma-delimited format (csv) for spreadsheet or database use, and in the American FactFinder interactive system.

To avoid disclosure of information about individual employers, all data products reflect the infusion of noise since 2007, as well as the suppression of values in certain data cells.

USES

The data are the standard reference source for small area (county) economic data. They are used to benchmark public and private sector business statistical series, surveys and databases between economic census years. Federal agencies also use the data to determine employee concentrations and trends by industry.

Private businesses use the data for market research, strategic business planning, and managing sales territories. State and local government budget, economic development, and planning offices use the data to assess business changes, develop fiscal policies, and plan future policies and programs.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provides the only source of annual, complete, and consistent county-level data for U.S. employer business establishments, with industry detail.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Enterprise Statistics

Business Register

Report of Organization Survey


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