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Guidance for Data Users

Using Data.Census.gov

For more information on using the Census Bureau’s data platform, visit the data.census.gov resources page. 

Finding Economic Data using Data.Census.Gov

Tutorials for using data.census.gov

Comparability to the Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D) series, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), and the Survey of Business Owners (SBO)

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) is a new survey designed to combine several Census Bureau firm-level collections to reduce respondent burden, increase data quality, reduce operational costs, and operate more efficiently. The ABS replaces the five-year Survey of Business Owners (SBO) for employer businesses, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), and the Business R&D and Innovation for Microbusinesses (BRDI-M) surveys. 

The Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D) series augments the ABS, as a new annual data product that replaces the five-year SBO for nonemployer businesses, by providing similar information on the demographic characteristics of nonemployers. NES-D provides more frequent and timely high-quality data at a lower cost than the SBO with no additional respondent burden. The NES-D is not a survey; rather, it leverages existing individual-level administrative records to assign demographic characteristics to the universe of nonemployer businesses. Demographic characteristics including sex, ethnicity, race, veteran status, owner age, place of birth, and U.S. citizenship are assigned to nonemployer business owners. NES-D data will be available annually by detailed geography and industry levels, receipt-size class, and legal form of organization (LFO).

The ABS and ASE sampled employer firms only, while the SBO sampled both employer firms and nonemployer firms. Therefore, caution should be exercised in comparing the SBO estimates with published data from the ABS, the NES-D, the ASE, and other reports of the five-year Economic Census, covering years ending in ‘‘2’’ and ‘‘7.’’

The ABS and ASE employer estimates for the annual years between the five-year economic censuses are published in less geographic and industry detail than the ABS and SBO employer estimates for economic census years. The ABS estimates are available only at the U.S., State, and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) geographic levels, and the ASE estimates are available only at the U.S., State, and top fifty MSA geographic levels, and at the 2-digit industry sector level.  

At a Glance:

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To make further comparisons on the methods used to create the ABS, the NES-D, the ASE, and the SBO tables, see the ABS Technical Documentation, the NES-D Technical Documentation, the ASE Technical Documentation, and the SBO Technical Documentation.

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