Educational Resources


County Business Patterns

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  1. Welcome to this U.S. Census Bureau tutorial.
  2. Are you looking for statistics on businesses within a specific industry, including the number of employees, annual payroll and the number of establishments in that industry? The Census Bureau has that statistics available in the County Business Patterns data access tool.
  3. The County Business Patterns statistics are useful in studying the economic activity of small areas, and assessing change over time.   
  4. As a future or current business owner, you can use these statistics to analyze market potential for expanding the number of establishments, measuring effectiveness of your sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas and developing long-range strategic plans for your business.   You can also use County Business Patterns to search for new locations for expansion.
  5. The U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns data access tool offers tables for several geographic levels for the United States, Puerto Rico and the island areas.  No matter what geographic area table you select, you will see similar results.
  6. So let’s take a look at the information offered in this tool.
  7. To begin, go to the Census Bureau’s main page at
  8. From the Census Bureau banner, place your cursor over the word “Business.” From the drop down menu, select Business patterns from under the Popular Resources. The County Business Patterns main page displays.
  9. Scroll down to View statistics in tables section.
  10. You can see we can access statistics on businesses by industry at the U.S., state, county, and metropolitan area, zip codes, Island Areas and Puerto Rico statistics selection.
  11. For this exercise, let us look at the County Business patterns for Florida.
  12. From the View statistics in table’s box, let us select the state of Florida from the Select a state drop box, then click Go. The County Business Patterns table displays for Florida.
  13. If you do not select a year, the default renders table results for the most current statistics available.   By opening the drop box for year, selections can be made for other years to use for market analysis and monitoring industry trends.
  14. Once you have your state, you have the option to further refine your search by selecting the State Total Areaname drop box.
  15. The information available in the table includes industries, payroll statistics and total number of establishments.
  16. In the first column on the left side of the table, click on the “Detail” box for a more detailed look at the available industries for your selection. The new page displays a list of all the various industries for 2-6 digit North American Industry Classification Codes or (NAICS) codes for your selected geography.
  17. Then click on “Compare.”  This allows you to compare other geographic levels similar to your selected geographics BY EMPLOYMENT SIZE CLASS Meaning if you select state level statistics that you can compare all states. If you select a county then you will be able to compare all counties within the selected state.
  18. Let’s click on “Detail,” this takes you back to the previous screen. Where you are able to change your geography and year to create a new query or change and compare additional industries.
  19. Let’s scroll to below the table.
  20. There are two tabs allowing you to save your table results either in a text or csv file. When selected, you will be asked whether to open or save your file.
  21. Also located below the table is a tab for “Change Geographic Areas”. If selected, this will take you back to the View statistics in tables to start a new query.
  22. When selecting other geographies from the View statistics in table, a comparison will be made with similar or like geographies except when selecting zipcodes. No comparison is available for zip codes.
  23. In conclusion, we have learned that the County Business Patterns statistics are available for a limited number of geographies by industry, including payroll, number of establishments and the number of employees by employee size class.
  24. Congratulations!  You have completed this tutorial on Accessing the County Business Patterns data tool.
  25. Other sources for accessing Business Patterns statistics are the American FactFinder, State and County Quick Facts, and USA Counties data access tools.
  26. For additional assistance, contact the Customer Services Call Center at 1-800-923-8282. You can go to to see a list of frequently asked questions or chat with a live operator. You can also email us a question to
  27. The U.S. Census Bureau, Measuring America – People, Places and Our Economy.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office | 301- 763-4308 or |  Last Revised: February 22, 2013