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Economic Census: NAPCS-Based Codes & Understanding Product Classification Systems

Product Classification

History of the North American Product Classification System

The North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) is a comprehensive, market- or demand-based, hierarchical classification system for products (goods and services) that (a) is not industry-of-origin based but can be linked to the NAICS industry structure, (b) is consistent across the three North American countries, and (c) promotes improvements in the identification and classification of service products across international classification systems, such as the Central Product Classification System of the United Nations. For more information, see the discussion paper, "Overview of NAPCS Objectives, Guidance, and Implementation Strategy and Goals: A United States Perspective." The three countries agreed that the objectives and principles articulated in sections A through C of that paper define the purposes of NAPCS and the operational guidelines for creating it.

Additional information on NAPCS is available at: https://www.census.gov/naics/napcs/

NAPCS-Based Product Codes Structure

NAPCS-based products were collected and published in the 2017 Economic Census. While the product codes used in the 2012 and earlier Economic Censuses are quite different from 2017, the structure is quite similar.

  • All 2017 NAPCS-based codes are 10 digits long
  • The 2017 NAPCS-Based Codes consist of two hierarchical levels: 1) Broad line codes are products collected and can/may be published across all sectors; and 2) Detail line codes are more detailed products within broad lines that were only collected and published for specific industries. All broad lines map to only one trilateral product in the official NAPCS structure.
  •  Codes ending in “0” are Broad Lines. These are higher-level codes that are collected and can/may be published across NAICS sectors at the 2- thru 6-digit NAICS levels.
  • Codes ending in “1” thru “9” are Detail Lines. These are more detailed codes that are industry-specific and are published for most 6-digit NAICS industries.
  • There are 3,534 broad lines and 4,703 detail lines valid for the 2017 Economic Census.

NAPCS-Based Products by Sector

The first digit of the NAPCS-based product relates to the NAICS sector the product is primarily associated with.

NAPCS-Based Product

Codes Starting With

Associated NAICS Sector








Wholesale Trade


Retail Trade


Utilities and Waste Management




Non-Operating or Tax Exempt




7003825000: Services Broad Line for “Room or unit accommodation for travelers”

7003825003: Services Detail Line for “Room or unit accommodation for travelers, with maid service”

Geographic Levels Published

The geographies published for each NAPCS-based product vary by NAICS sector:

  • National and State-level data will be shown for Retail Trade (NAICS 44-45), Educational Services (61), Health Care and Social Assistance (62), Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (71), Accommodation and Food Services (72), and Other Services (81)
  • National data only will be published for all other NAICS sectors


Roughly 80% of the 2017 NAPCS-based products map directly to a single 2012 legacy product. Concordances between these product codes are available at:

All 2017 NAPCS-based collection broad lines map to a single trilateral NAPCS product.  Concordances between these product codes are available at:

Product Statistics

The 2017 Economic Census has produced detailed data for the first time using the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS).  Users now have the opportunity to compare data by  both NAICS and NAPCS code.  The data will be available at the national level and for selected sectors, at the state level. 

Formatted Table(s) (links to data.census.gov)

Dataset(s) (links to FTP)

Links includes all released geographies, NAICS codes, and NAPCS codes.

Page Last Revised - April 21, 2022
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