US Census Bureau


Guide to the
1997 Economic Census

Mail and Nonmail Universes

For this sector, large- and medium-size firms, plus all firms known to operate more than one establishment, were sent questionnaires to be completed and returned to the Census Bureau by mail. For most very small firms, data from existing administrative records of other Federal agencies were used instead. These records provided basic information on location, kind of business, sales, payroll, number of employees, and legal form of organization.

Firms in the 1997 Economic Census were divided into the mail universe and nonmail universe. The coverage of and the method of obtaining census information from each are described below: