Guide to the
1997 Economic Census
HOW THE DATA ARE COLLECTED
The 1997 Economic Census measures activity during calendar year 1997.
were mailed to more than 5 million companies in December 1997,
with a due date of
February 12, 1998.
There are nearly 500 versions of the census form, each customized to
particular industries. Some very small companies were not sent a census form.
The Economic Census is mandated by law under Title 13 of the United States Code
(sections 131, 191, and 224). The law requires firms to respond and specifies penalties
for firms that fail to report.
The law also requires the Census Bureau to maintain confidentiality. Individual responses
may be seen only by sworn Census Bureau employees. No data are published that could
reveal the identity or activity of any business.
History of the Economic Census