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Nonemployer Statistics

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Historical Data

Nonemployer Statistics is a data series that provides subnational economic data by industry about businesses without paid employees that are subject to federal income tax.


Nonemployer Statistics series has been published as a consistent annual series since 1997. This data is available in various formats. View County, State, Metro Area, and U.S. data in hypertext tables by the North American Industry Classification Standard (NAICS):

Prior to 1997, statistics for businesses without paid employees were published in certain Economic Census publications.(Economic Census data is tabulated every five years). The National Archives hold the data files for printed reports not available online.

  • 1992 Enterprise Statistics, Company Summary[PDF]
  • 1992 Economic Census, Nonemployer Statistics, selected sectors, in PDF and on CD-ROM
  • 1987 Economic Census, Nonemployer Statistics, retail trade and service industries only, on CD-ROM
  • 1972 through 1982 Census of Retail Trade and Census of Service Industries, Area Series (nonemployers data derivable between the total and establishments with paid employees); only available in printed reports.
  • No data availability for Nonemployer Statistics prior to 1972.

2009 Release Information

The 2009 Nonemployer Statistics was reissued on August 15, 2012. If you downloaded the 2009 data statistics prior to this date, please delete and download the corrected file, or refer to the html tables.

What occurred?

Prior to the scheduled 2010 release, Census Bureau staff detected an inconsistency in the incoming source files. The source agency inadvertently failed to provide all eligible nonemployer records for both the 2009 and 2010 publication years. Please visit the How the Data are Collected page for a description of the sources used to generate Nonemployer Statistics. The source agency was made aware of the issue and took immediate steps to correct the problem for current and future years. The 2010 Nonemployer Statistics release was delayed to incorporate the missing records, and the 2009 publication has been reissued.

How does this impact my analysis?

The original 2009 release under-reported both the number of partnerships nationwide and the total receipts value generated by partnerships across the country, with the largest impact occurring in Real Estate, and Mining industries.


The comparability of data over time may be affected by changes in industry classifications, methodology, geographic definitions (actual or statistically-defined areas).

2012 Nonemployer Statistics use 2012 NAICS.

Industry Classification

Since the inception of the annual series in 1997, Nonemployer Statistics has been tabulated based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Data were previously tabulated according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System for years published with the Economic Census reports. To see a detailed description of the relationships between both classification systems go to: Concordances in the NAICS webpage.

In general, Nonemployer Statistics adopts the classification system employed in the most recent Economic Census. Nonemployer data published prior to 1997 are not fully comparable to the current series in the following respects:

  • The imputation of industry classifications for unclassified nonemployer businesses. Prior to 1997, unclassified businesses were excluded from the nonemployer tabulations.
  • The change from SIC to NAICS codes in 1997.

Historical Comparability

The comparability of data with previous Nonemployer Statistics series may be affected by the following factors:

  • The methodology revision for data tabulation that was applied in 2009.
  • Change in NAICS industries within Sectors 23, 42, 44-45, and 51, starting with 2002 data.
  • The inclusion of all industry sectors starting in 1997. Prior to this, nonemployer tabulations covered businesses in retail trade, service industries, construction, and for 1992 only, finance, insurance, real estate, transportation, communications, and utilities. The 1992 Company Summary is the only pre-1997 measure of nonemployer businesses in all sectors.
  • The change to providing county- and metropolitan area-level data for all industry sectors in 1997.

Geographic Comparability

Counties: County boundary changes may occur between each publication year; however these changes are implemented in batch once every 5 years. Such changes are detailed in the report Substantial Changes to Counties and County Equivalent Entities: 1970-Present. This is primarily done to maintain data consistency and comparability over time.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas: Metropolitan areas are redefined after each population census and new criteria are generally introduced at that point. While some new areas were introduced for 2007, and a few areas were retitled, existing areas were not redelineated. The Census Bureau maintains a list of counties that comprise each metropolitan area as of different time periods.

Micropolitan area definitions were first applied to nonemployer data in reference year 2002 and no data have been published for prior years at this level. In 1997-2001, nonemployer data were published for New England County Metropolitan Areas rather than for MSAs in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT.


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.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Nonemployer Statistics | (301) 763-2580 |  Last Revised: March 18, 2015