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2022 Economic Census – End of Data Collection

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Serving as the cornerstone of the nation’s economic statistics, the economic census is the most comprehensive measure of our nation’s economic activity. Every five years (for years ending in 2 and 7), the U.S. Census Bureau gathers data about America’s businesses, the jobs they support, and the trillions of dollars of goods and services they produce.

We just completed data collection for the 2022 Economic Census which began in January with companies reporting their 2022 year-end numbers. As we wrap up this phase of the economic census, I’d like to thank all the businesses, large and small, that took the time to respond to the 2022 Economic Census. Your responses make a difference.

The economic census helps every American, especially businesses that rely on high-quality data. It provides national, state and local statistics that businesses and local communities use to understand the structure and evolution of markets, industries and local economies. But data users also benefit from the economic census indirectly as it’s a critical input to many other statistical products produced by the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), productivity and producer prices.

This economic census gathered figures on over 8 million business establishments with paid employees, with approximately 4 million responses coming from direct data collection and the rest – mostly on small businesses – from high-quality administrative records. We always strive to reduce the burden on the business community participating in the economic census and our other business surveys.

We’ve long used high-quality administrative records/data in lieu of direct collection for many small businesses when the administrative data are adequate and the burden of response is high. For those businesses we asked to respond, we deployed new tools for 2022 to make responding easier and are working on some exciting things for the next economic census in 2027. This is part of how the Census Bureau is modernizing and transforming our surveys and censuses to produce more useful data while reducing the burden on businesses and households. In case you missed it, check out my blog on Transforming the Census Bureau’s Annual Surveys of Businesses for another excellent example of how we’re reengineering our processes for the 21st century.

New collection methodology is not the only improvement the Census Bureau made to the 2022 Economic Census. Content updates reflected changes in our economy – for example, we asked about the acquisition and use of business technologies like touch screens, electric vehicles, additive manufacturing and robotics. See here for what else is new for 2022.

While my current role probably means I won’t be as intensive a user of the economic census as I was as a young economist back in the 1990s, I’m as eager to see the results from the 2022 Economic Census as I was from the 1997 Economic Census. By March 2024, we’ll provide the first such results in a "First Look Report" of the 2022 Economic Census. This report provides preliminary totals for all economic sectors. We also plan to release all geographic-level statistics together by March 2025. In previous economic censuses, geographic-level statistics were released in phases for different regions of the country. We’re set to release all planned data products by March 2026. In addition, we have accelerated the release of the Island Areas’ data, which includes Puerto Rico. These data are set to be release in mid-2024. A copy of the full release schedule is available online.

I want to thank you again for making the 2022 Economic Census a success by taking the time to respond. Remember when you review the latest GDP numbers and other key economic statistics that your response helped make them possible.

Page Last Revised - December 18, 2023
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