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Why We Ask Questions About…Telephone Service

The telephone service question originated with the 1960 Census and was transferred to the American Community Survey (ACS) in 2005 when it replaced the decennial census long form. The telephone question was modified in 2019 (pictured). Research about this modification and copies of questionnaires are available on the ACS website

We measure the extent of telephone service to help communities ensure their residents have universal access to assistance programs, emergency services and important information.

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Key Stats:

Source: 2018 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-Year Estimates.

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Note: Table B24124 above is scrolled down to the section with Telemarketers and Telephone operators and cropped at the bottom. Click on the image to see the full table. 


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Note: Table DP04 above is scrolled down to SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS, cropped at the bottom, and modified to hide columns for margin of error. Click on the image to see the full table. 

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More Stats:

Source: Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) 2012-2020.

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From Foreign Trade > U.S. International Trade Data:

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After an account is created, select options for Harmonized System (HS) or HS, select Exports or Imports, type PHONE in the Commodity search box, then select options for geography and/or time. Select Report for data. For more information, see Quick Start Guide.

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  • NAICS 33421 Telephone apparatus manufacturing
  • NAICS 56142 Telephone call centers
  • NAICS 561421 Telephone answering services

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Source: 2017 Economic Census.

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From Statistics in Schools, Classrooms Powered by Census Data:

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Source: Decennial Census of Housing (1960 to 2000).

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From the History staff:

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