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ABS - U.S. Exporting Firms by Demographics 2018 Tables

These tables contain the combined information of two Census Bureau data products, the 2017-2018 Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies (the Profile) and the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), covering reference year 2017. The Profile is an annual database of commingled U.S. exports and business characteristics, compiled from Electronic Export Information filed through the Automated Export System, received from Canada through the Data Exchange, or by paper shipper’s Export Declarations. This combination produces annual estimates on selected economic and demographic characteristics of U.S. employer businesses and their owners by sex, ethnicity, race, and veteran status as a supplement to the ABS.

The official estimate of U.S. exports in 2017 was $1,546.3 billion. Of that total, about $1,383.3 billion was attributable to “identified exporters,” specific companies to which the Census Bureau was able to match specific export transactions. In 2017, there were 290,625 identified exporters.

Of these identified exporters, about 112,000 were either out-of-scope to the ABS or were not able to be identified in the ABS universe. These included firms without reported sales, payroll, and employment; nonemployer firms; firms operating primarily in out-of-scope industries, such as crop and animal production; and firms located in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Of the remaining identified exporters, 179,000 (weighted) were selected into the ABS sample. All estimates in the tables are based on these sampled identified exporters. Estimated total exports for these sampled identified exporters were $1,227.5 billion. Estimated total exports for firms classifiable by sex, ethnicity, race, and veteran status were $222.3 billion. Estimated total exports by firms unclassifiable by sex, ethnicity, race, and veteran status were $1,005.2 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 Annual Business Survey and 2017 - 2018 Profile of U.S. Exporting Companies, data year 2017.


For more information about exporting companies, see:


More information about confidentiality, sampling error, nonsampling error, and definitions for the 2018 Annual Business Survey is available on the ABS Methodology page.

For Technical Documentation for the Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies see: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/edb/2018/explain.pdf

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Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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