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Component ID: #ti1606141972

Characteristics of Business Owners

General

The Characteristics of Business Owners (CBO) Survey provides basic economic, demographic, and sociological data on the characteristics of minority, women, and nonminority male business owners and their business activities. The data were collected through a statistically chosen sample mail survey and were combined with administrative records data, which were originally obtained for use in the 1992 Economic Census. The data from this sample survey are intended to augment data published in the 1992 Economic Census reports: Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (SMOBE), MB92-1, -2, -3, and -4, and Survey of Women-Owned Businesses (WOB), WB92-1, which are limited to number of firms, employment, annual payroll, and gross receipts. The CBO publication presents the traits of owners and firms by industry division, size of firm, and legal form of organization.

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Universe Description

The 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners survey is the same universe as used in the 1992 Survey of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses. This is the firms for which any of the following Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax form(s) were filed during 1992:

  • Form 1040, Schedule C (individual proprietorship or self-employed person).
  • Form 1065 (partnership);
  • Form 1120S (subchapter S corporation).

Data are classified by specific ownership groups: All (universe), Hispanic, Black, Other (includes Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indians and Alaska Natives), women and nonminority male-owned. (A firm is classified as minority- or women-owned if the sole owner or at least half of the partners or shareholders were members of the specified minority or gender.)

This universe differs from the universe of economic census figures by:

  1. the exclusion of regular "C" corporations--IRS Form 1120 (U.S. data for C corporations was compiled in the women publication. In the economy, these corporations represent about one tenth of the firms, and approximately three-quarters of the sales and receipts.)
  2. the inclusion of nonemployers (companies with no annual payroll) and certain other very small firms (minimum sales of $500 vs. $1,000)
  3. the inclusion of unclassified businesses and businesses in the agricultural services, forestry and fishing sectors not covered in the economic census, and
  4. the report of data in terms of companies (firms) rather than establishments.

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Survey Methodology

The data in this report were developed by collecting information through a mail sample survey and matching it to data compiled for SMOBE and WOB. (See SMOBE and WOB publication for methodology). Any business which filed an IRS form 1040, schedule C (individual proprietorship or self-employed person), form 1065 (partnership); or 1120S (subchapter S corporation) in 1992 is included in the survey universe. A subchapter S corporation is a special IRS designation for legally incorporated businesses with 35 or fewer shareholders who, because of tax advantages, elect to be taxed as individual shareholders rather than as corporations. For businesses filing those forms, the IRS provided the Census Bureau with the following information:

  • Name and address of the firm
  • Employer identification number of the firm
  • Social Security numbers (SSN's) of the owners for filers of Form
  • 1040 Schedule C
  • Principal industrial activity code
  • Dollar receipts
  • Legal form of organization

The following information was obtained for each firm from the Census Bureau's 1992 Economic Census files, including SMOBE and WOB:

  • Standard industrial classification code
  • Geographic code
  • Legal form of organization code
  • Number of employees, annual payroll, and receipts for firms with paid employees
  • Number of business owners, partners or shareholders
  • Race, ethnicity, and gender for the majority of the firm's owners

The 1992 CBO survey used five sampling frames based on the classification of the firm in the SMOBE/WOB: 1) Hispanic; 2) Black; 3) Other minority [Asians and Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska Natives]; 4) Women; and 5) Nonminority male. Each business was eligible for sampling from exactly one CBO frame, to which they were assigned in the following order of precedence: Hispanic, Other minority, Black, Women, and Non-minority male. For tabulation purposes, women-owned businesses sampled in the Hispanic, Other Minority, or Black frames were used to produce the estimates for women-owned businesses.

Included in the universe of this survey is any entity for which an IRS 1040, Schedule C (individual proprietorship or self-employed person); 1065 (partnership); or 1120S (subchapter S corporation) was filed for the year 1992. A subchapter S corporation is a special IRS designation for legally incorporated businesses with 35 or fewer shareholders who, because of tax advantages, elect to be taxed as individual shareholders rather than as corporations. The five frames were stratified by state, industry division, and receipts size class before sample selection. The total sample size was 116,557 owners, approximately evenly distributed among the five sampling frames.

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Owners of Individual Proprietorships and Self-Employed Persons (Filers of 1992 Form 1040 Schedule C). Each sole proprietor selected from the CBO sample was mailed a Form CBO-1, subtitled "Sole Proprietorship." This report asked the owner and business characteristics of a sole proprietor or self-employed person. The Form CBO-1 questionnaire is shown below.

Owners of Partnerships and Subchapter S Corporations (Recipients of either 1992 Form 1065 or 1120S). Each partnership or subchapter S corporation selected in the CBO sample was mailed a Form CBO-2, subtitled "Partnership or Subchapter S Corporation - Business Characteristics." This report asked the business characteristics of a partnership or subchapter S corporation. The Form CBO-2 questionnaire is shown in below.

Based on the number of business owners stated in its SMOBE/WOB survey response, up to ten CBO-3 questionnaires were included with each CBO-2 form mailed. Form CBO-3, subtitled "Partnership or Subchapter S Corporation - Owner Characteristics" asks the owner characteristics of a partner or shareholder. It was respectively the responsibility of each partnership or subchapter S corporation to distribute the CBO-3 questionnaires to its 1992 partners or shareholders. The Form CBO-3 questionnaire is shown in below.

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Reliability Of Estimates

The figures shown in this report are, in part, estimated from a sample and will differ from the figures which would have been obtained from a complete census. Two types of possible errors are associated with estimates based on data from sample surveys: sampling errors and nonsampling errors. The accuracy of a survey result depends not only on the sampling errors and nonsampling errors measured, but also on the nonsampling errors not explicitly measured. For particular estimates, the total error may considerably exceed the measured errors. The following is a description of the sampling and nonsampling errors associated with the 1992 CBO.

Sampling variability. The particular sample used for this survey is one of a large number of all possible samples of the same size that could have been selected using the same sample design. The estimates derived from the different samples would differ from each other. The relative standard error is a measure of the variability among the estimates from all possible samples. The estimated relative standard errors presented in the tables estimate the sampling variability, and thus measure the precision with which an estimate from the particular sample selected for this survey approximates the average result of all possible samples. Relative standard errors are applicable only to those published cells in which sample cases are tabulated. A relative standard error is an expression of the standard error as a percent of the quantity being estimated.

The sample estimate and an estimate of its relative standard error can be used to estimate the standard error and then construct interval estimates with a prescribed level of confidence that the interval includes the average results of all samples. To illustrate, if all possible samples were surveyed under essentially the same condition, and calculated from each sample, then:

  1. Approximately 68 percent of the intervals from one standard error below the estimate to one standard error above the estimate would include the average value of all possible samples.
  2. Approximately 90 percent of the intervals from 1.6 standard errors below the estimate to 1.6 standard errors above the estimate would include the average value of all possible samples.

Thus, for a particular sample, one can say with specified confidence that the average of all possible samples is included in the specified interval.

Nonsampling errors. All surveys and censuses are subject to nonsampling errors. Nonsampling errors are attributable to many sources: inability to obtain information for all cases in the universe, imputation for missing data, data errors and biases, mistakes in recording or keying data, errors in collection or processing, and coverage problems.

Explicit measures of the effects of these nonsampling errors are not available. However, it is believed that most of the important operational and data errors were detected and corrected through an automated data edit designed to review the data for reasonableness and consistency. Quality control techniques were used to verify that operating procedures were carried out as specified.

Approximately 62 percent of the 78,134 firm questionnaires (Forms CBO-1 and CBO-2), and approximately 59 percent of the 116,557 owner questionnaires (Forms CBO-1 and CBO-3) were returned. Responding questionnaires were reweighted to compensate for those that were not returned. This procedure takes into account the sampling frame, industry division, legal form of organization, and receipts size class. It also assumes that nonrespondents in each of the categories possess the same characteristics as the respondents. Since this is never exactly true, nonrespondents with certain characteristics (e.g., deceased, not able to be located) are disproportionately underrepresented in the estimates.

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Census Disclosure Rules

The Bureau of the Census is prohibited by law from publishing any statistics that disclose information reported by individual companies or their establishments. Publishing the number of firms is not considered a disclosure by the Bureau of the Census rules. Therefore, these data are shown, even when other data must be withheld. The information and data obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and other sources are also treated as confidential and can be seen only by Bureau of the Census employees sworn to protect it from unwarranted disclosure.


Industry Classification

The 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners survey covers eight sectors (or industry divisions) and unclassified as defined in the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual.

These include: All industries (sector " "); Agricultural Services, Forestry, and Fishing (sector 0); Mining Industries (sector 1); Construction Industries (sector 2); Manufacturing Industries (sector 3); Transportation, Communications and Utilities (sector 4); Wholesale Trade (sector 5); Retail Trade (Sector 6); Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (sector 7); Service industries (sector 8); and Unclassified industries (sector 9).

Geographic Coverage

Data are provided at the United States geographic level only. No State level data are available with this summary set.

Comparability of 1987 and 1992 Data

The following changes were made in survey methodology in 1992 which affect comparability with past reports:

  1. More questions were added to the 1992 survey forms to meet the needs of CBO's primary datausers. This has resulted in additional tables in the 1992 CBO publication.
  2. Since the 1987 survey, the number of subchapter S corporations (included in CBO) has risen at a much faster rate than the number of C corporations (not included in CBO). The net result was an approximately 20 percent increase in the CBO universe compared to an approximately 12 percent overall increase in business tax returns.
  3. In 1987, classifications for firm data were based on the 1972 SIC Manual. For 1992, classifications are based on the 1987 SIC Manual. The SIC structure was changed to better reflect industry trends. These changes limit the comparability of data between the 1987 and 1992 CBO.
  4. There was significant overstatement in the number of employer firms in 1987 due to processing errors. The overstatement primarily affects the number of employers, but minimally affects the employee and payroll numbers.
  5. In 1987, data were available from the IRS and SSA to identify the owners of partnerships and subchapter S corporations, their gender and sometime their race/ethnicity. For 1992, all information on these owners came from responses to the 1992 SMOBE, WOB and CBO.

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Comparability Of Survey Data With Other Economic Census Data

Caution should be exercised in comparing data presented in this report with published or unpublished data from other reports of the 1992 Economic Census. Factors that affect comparability of data among the censuses are the industrial scope, business unit covered, receipts size, and coverage of nonemployers.

Industrial scope. Industry data for all of the other 1992 Economic Census are based on the 1987 SIC Manual (See Industry Classifications). Most of the industries in scope of the other 1992 Economic Censuses were also in scope of this study. However, Major Group 86, Membership Organizations, was within the scope of the 1992 Economic Census, but out of the scope of the 1992 CBO Survey.

The following major industry groups were in scope of this study, but not in scope of the other economic censuses (see exceptions below): Major Groups- 07, Agricultural Services; 08, Forestry; 09, Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping; and domestically-owned scheduled airlines in industry 4512.

In this study, industry 6552 (land subdividers and developers, except cemeteries) is included with the construction industry group, unlike the other economic censuses which include it with industry 65 (real estate).

Business unit. Most of the economic censuses are conducted on an establishment or physical location basis; each establishment owned by a firm is individually canvassed and tabulated. In this report, however, the unit tabulated was the firm rather than each establishment of the firm.

Receipts size. Most of the economic censuses determine whether or not a firm may be counted as an active business according to its receipts size. The specified minimums vary by industry. For this study, a firm had only to file a business tax return with business receipts greater than $500 for it to be counted as an active business.

Nonemployer firms. Although nonemployer firms are included in this survey, they are omitted from many of the economic census reports.

Dollar Values

Dollars used in electronic files are generally stated in thousands ($000) of dollars. All dollar values presented are expressed in current dollars; i.e., 1992 data are expressed in 1992 dollars and 1987 data in 1987 dollars. Consequently, when making comparisons to prior years, users should take into consideration the inflation that has occurred.

Tabulations and Dissemination

Special tabulations. Special tabulations of data collected in the 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners Survey may be obtained, depending on availability of time and personnel, on diskette, computer tape, or in tabular form. The data will be in summary form and subject to the same rules prohibiting disclosure of confidential information (including name, address, kind of business, or other data for individual firms) as are the regular publications.

Special tabulations are prepared on a cost basis. A request for a cost estimate, as well as exact specifications on the type and format of the data to be provided, should be directed to the Chief, Company Statistics Branch, Financial Statistics Division, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233-6300.

Internet. The Internet (www.census.gov) highlights selected information from Bureau of the Census publications and enables immediate access to recently released facts and data. Various subjects and topics are included on this electronic resource. For system technical assistance, or questions regarding the sale or availability of electronic products, contact Administrative and Customer Services Division, 301-763-INFO(4636).

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Surveys of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

General

The Surveys of Minority-Owned Businesses Enterprises (SMOBE) and Women-Owned Businesses (WOB) provide basic economic data on businesses owned by Blacks, persons of Hispanic or Latin American ancestry, persons of Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaska Native descent, and women. The surveys are based on the entire firm rather than on establishments of a firm. The published data cover number of firms, gross receipts, number of paid employees, and annual payroll. The data are presented by geographic area, industry, size of firm, and legal form of organization of firm.

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Universe Description

The universe is all firms for which any of the following Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms were filed during 1992:

  • Form 1040, Schedule C (individual proprietorship or self-employed person).
  • Form 1065 (partnership);
  • Form 1120S (subchapter S corporation).

A firm is classified as minority- or women-owned if the sole owner or at least half of the partners or shareholders were members of the specified minority or gender. The specific groups covered are: All (universe), Hispanic, Black, Other (includes Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indians and Alaska Natives), women and nonminority male-owned. (A firm is classified as minority- or women-owned if the sole owner or at least half of the partners or shareholders were members of the specified minority or gender.)

This universe differs from the universe of economic census figures by:

  1. the exclusion of regular "C" corporations--IRS Form 1120 (U.S. data for C corporations was compiled in the women publication. In the economy, these corporations represent about one tenth of the firms, and approximately three-quarters of the sales and receipts.)
  2. the inclusion of nonemployers (companies with no annual payroll) and certain other very small firms (minimum sales of $500 vs. $1,000)
  3. the inclusion of unclassified businesses and businesses in the agricultural services, forestry and fishing sectors not covered in the economic census, and
  4. the report of data in terms of companies (firms) rather than establishments.

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Coverage (Survey Methodology)

The universe of this survey is selected from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) business tax returns. Included in the main tables of this publication are data based on businesses which filed an IRS form 1040, Schedule C (individual proprietorship or self-employed person); 1065 (partnership); or 1120S (subchapter S corporation) in 1992. A subchapter S corporation is a special IRS designation for legally incorporated businesses with 35 or fewer shareholders who, because of tax advantages, elect to be taxed as individual shareholders rather than as corporations. Information for these businesses is based on employer identification (EI) numbers for businesses with employees.

For business tax returns, the IRS provided the Census Bureau with the following information:

  • Name and address of the firm
  • Employer identification number of the firm
  • Social security numbers of the owners for filers of Form 1040 Schedule C
  • Principal industrial activity code (see Comparability of 1987 and 1992 Data)
  • Dollar receipts
  • Legal form of organization

If an individual filed more than one of the above forms, each was counted as a separate firm. The social security numbers (SSN's) of the owners were sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which provided the race, ethnicity, and gender codes that were indicated by the individuals on their applications for SSN's. Persons applying for SSN's prior to 1981 could categorize their race as (a) White, (b) Black, or (c) Other. In 1981, the racial descriptions on social security applications were expanded to (a) Asian, or Pacific Islander, (b) Hispanic, (c) Black, (d) Northern American Indian or Alaskan Native, and (e) White.

The following information was obtained for each firm from the Census Bureau's 1992 Economic Census files:

  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (see "Industry Classifications")
  • Geographic code
  • Legal form of organization code
  • Number of employees, annual payroll, and receipts for firms with paid employees

Women-Owned Data Only. A firm is classified as women-owned using the gender codes obtained from the SSA for individual proprietors or from information reported for the majority of owners of partnerships and corporations.

If a husband and wife filed a joint tax return, the IRS provided information on both filers as well as an indicator if either filed a self-employment (SE) form. This form is used to collect Federal Insurance Contribution Act (F.I.C.A.) taxes from individuals who operate their own business, have receipts totaling $400 or more, and do not meet the F.I.C.A. tax limit on income from another occupation. This indicator was used to determine whether the husband or wife was the business owner. If neither filed an SE form, ownership was assigned to the husband or wife based on the known ratio for a particular industry by receipts size.

Summary information is provided for non-subchapter S (C) corporations (businesses filing any type of the 1120 tax forms, other than 1120S) in the Summary of Findings only. These data are provided as a result of the Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988 which required the Bureau to provide statistics for C corporations. Due to the limitations of the sample, C corporations are not included in the main tables.

Since many C corporations have several EI numbers, the information for these companies was collected and is published based on consolidated reports for all activities under common ownership rather than based on tax returns. This differs from the methodology for other legal forms of organization where each tax return is counted as a separate business regardless of ownership.

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Reliability of Estimates (Relative Standard Error)

The figures shown in this report are, in part, estimated from a sample and will differ from the figures which would have been obtained from a complete census. Two types of possible errors are associated with estimates based on data from sample surveys: sampling errors and nonsampling errors. The accuracy of a survey result depends not only on the sampling errors and nonsampling errors measured, but also on the nonsampling errors not explicitly measured. For particular estimates, the total error may considerably exceed the measured errors. The following is a description of the sampling and nonsampling errors associated with the 1992 SMOBE/WOB.

Sample Variability. The particular sample used for this survey is one of a large number of all possible samples of the same size that could have been selected using the same sample design. Estimates derived from the different samples would differ from each other. The relative standard error is a measure of the variability among the estimates from all possible samples.

The estimated relative standard errors presented in the tables estimate the sampling variability, and thus measure the precision with which an estimate from the particular sample selected for this survey approximates the average result of all possible samples. Relative standard errors are applicable only to those published cells in which sample cases are tabulated. A relative standard error is an expression of the standard error as a percent of the quantity being estimated.

 

Example. In file MB92A, table w01, the estimated number of employer women-owned firms in Agricultural services is 15,254. The estimated relative standard error is 2 percent. The estimated standard error is 15,254 x .02 = 305.

 

The sample estimate and an estimate of its relative standard error can be used to construct interval estimates with a prescribed level of confidence that the interval includes the average results of all samples. To illustrate, if all possible samples were surveyed under essentially the same condition, and calculated from each sample, then:

  1. Approximately 68 percent of the intervals from one standard error below the estimate to one standard error above the estimate would include the average value of all possible samples.
  2. Approximately 90 percent of the intervals from 1.6 standard errors below the estimate to 1.6 standard errors above the estimate would include the average value of all possible samples.

Thus, for a particular sample, one can say with specified confidence that the average of all possible samples is included in the constructed interval.

 

Example of a confidence interval. The estimated number of employer women-owned firms in Agricultural services is 15,254, with a standard error of 305. An approximate 90 percent confidence interval (plus or minus 1.6 standard errors) is 15,254 +/- 488 or 14,766 to 15,742.

 

Nonsampling errors. All surveys and censuses are subject to nonsampling errors. Nonsampling errors are attributable to many sources: inability to obtain information for all cases in the universe, imputation for missing data, data errors and bias, mistakes in recording or keying data, errors in collection or processing, and coverage problems.

Explicit measures of the effects of these nonsampling errors are not available. However, it is believed that most of the important operational and data errors were detected and corrected through an automated data edit designed to review the data for reasonableness and consistency. Quality control techniques were used to verify that operating procedures were carried out as specified.

Approximately 77 percent of the questionnaires were returned. For those that were not returned, data were imputed using a procedure which substituted the data of a respondent with similar demographic characteristics. This procedure assumes that nonrespondents possess the same characteristics as respondents with similar demographic characteristics, but this is never exactly true.

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Census Disclosure Rules

The Bureau of the Census is prohibited by law from publishing any statistics that disclose information reported by individual companies or their establishments. Publishing the number of firms is not considered a disclosure by the Bureau of the Census rules. Therefore, these data are shown, even when other data must be withheld. The information and data obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and other sources are also treated as confidential and can be seen only by Bureau of the Census employees sworn to protect it from unwarranted disclosure.

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Industry Classifications

The system published in the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification Manual was used to classify firms for this report. Under this system, economic activities are coded on a numerical basis. Related activities are grouped at a primary level by industry division (i.e., manufacturing, construction, retail trade, etc.). Within each industry division, successive levels of detail of the economic activity are defined: major group (two-digit code); industry group (three-digit code); and industry (four-digit code). For example, one hierarchy in wholesale trade is:

SIC Level SIC Code
Description
Industry division  
-- Wholesale trade
Major group 50 Durable Goods
Industry group 506 Electrical Goods
Industry 5064 Electrical appiliances, television, and radio sets

Data in this report are presented at the industry division or major group level, depending on the table. This study covers all industries in the SIC system except the following: Major Groups 01 and 02, Agricultural Production; 40, Railroad Transportation; 43, U.S. Postal Service; 86, Membership Organizations; 88, Private Households; and 91-97, Public Administration.

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Assigning Industry Codes

Companies or firms in the 1992 Economic Census were classified according to the 1987 SIC manual, issued by the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President. If a company had only one type of business, it was classified in the appropriate industry category. For companies with more than one major type of activity, payroll data were used for determining the most significant business and the entire company was classified to that category. Payroll data are used in preference to receipts because it is believed to be the most meaningful economic measure common to all businesses.

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Geographic Areas Covered

This report presents data for the United States, each State and the District of Columbia; metropolitan areas (MAs), which include metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and primary metropolitan statistical areas (PMSAs); counties; and places with 100 or more minority- or women-owned firms.

MSAs. The MSAs for which data are shown are among those defined by the Office of Management and Budget as of June 30, 1993. An MSA is an integrated economic and social unit with a population nucleus of at least 50,000 inhabitants (according to 1990 Census of Population or subsequent special census). Each MSA consists of one or more counties meeting standards of metropolitan character; in New England, cities and towns, rather than counties, are the component geographic units.

PMSAs. A PMSA with a population of 1 million or more may be subdivided into MSAs. A PMSA consists of a large urbanized county or a cluster of counties cities and towns in New England) that demonstrates very strong internal economic and social links separate from the ties to other portions of its MSA. Where PMSAs are defined, the MSA of which they are component parts is redesignated a consolidated metropolitan statistical area (CMSA).

Counties. Data are shown for counties or county equivalents. (Those defined as of January 1, 1992. See "Geographic Notes" (publication) for Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Virginia, and District of Columbia county equivalents.)

Places. Included in this publication are places of 2,500 inhabitants or more or incorporated as a city, borough, village, or town (Those defined as of January 1, 1992 and according to 1990 Census of Population or subsequent special census). Census areas and boroughs in Alaska, boroughs in New York, and towns in New York and Wisconsin are not included in this category. It does, however, include towns in the New England States and townships in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that are not classified as incorporated places if they have a total population of 10,000 or more.

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Comparability of 1987 and 1992 Data

There were several major methodology changes in the WOB and SMOBE program between 1987 and 1992. They are as follows:

  1. In 1992, the use of administrative record data from the IRS and SSA which identify the owners of partnerships and subchapter S corporations was discontinued. Therefore, a sample of partnerships and subchapter S corporations was canvassed in order to determine which were minority- or women-owned. Consequently, the information reported by these businesses may, in fact, differ from what would have been obtained from administrative data. Individual proprietorships owned by Blacks or women were still identified from administrative records.
  2. Since the 1987 survey, the number of subchapter S corporations (included in SMOBE) has risen at a much faster rate than the number of C corporations (not included in SMOBE). The net result was an approximately 20 percent increase in the SMOBE universe compared to an approximately 12 percent overall increase in business tax returns.
  3. In 1987, classifications for firm data were based on the 1972 SIC manual. For 1992, classifications are based on the 1987 SIC manual. The SIC structure was changed to better reflect industry trends. These changes limit the comparability of data between the 1987 and 1992 SMOBE.
  4. There was a significant overstatement in the number of employer firms in 1987 due to processing errors. The overstatement primarily affects the number of employers, but minimally affects the employee and payroll numbers.

Several other factors prohibit direct comparison of the 1992 statistics with prior census data. Primary is the selection of the legal form of organization by the business owner and the related Federal tax form filed. Newly formed businesses can select the legal form most advantageous to them, within the restrictions of the tax code; factors influencing that decision, such as tax code changes, are not consistent across years. Existing businesses can also change their legal forms of organization for tax reasons, ownership changes, growth factor, etc. Lastly (for the women-owned data only), there are no comparable 1987 numbers for the C corporations.

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Comparability of Survey Data With Other Economic Censuses Data

Universe records show data for all firms that are comparable to the data for minority- and women-owned firms in this report. Caution should be exercised in comparing data presented in this report with published or unpublished data from other reports of the 1992 Economic Census. Factors that affect comparability of data among censuses are industrial scope, business unit covered, receipts size, and coverage of nonemployers.

Industrial scope. Data in this report are based on the 1987 SIC Manual (see "Industry Descriptions").

Most of the industries in scope of the other 1992 Economic Censuses were also in scope of this study. However, Major Group 86, Membership Organizations, was within the scope of the 1992 Economic Census, but out of the scope of the 1992 SMOBE/WOB.

The following major industry groups were in scope of this study, but not in scope of the other economic censuses (see exceptions below): Major Groups- 07, Agricultural Services; 08, Forestry; 09, Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping; and domestically-owned scheduled airlines in industry 4512.

In this study, industry 6552 (land subdividers and developers, except cemeteries) is included with the construction industry group, unlike the other economic censuses which include it with industry 65 (real estate).

Business unit. Most of the economic censuses are conducted on an establishment or physical location basis; each establishment owned by a firm is individually canvassed and tabulated. In this report, however, the unit tabulated was the firm rather than each establishment of the firm.

Receipts size. Most of the economic censuses determine whether or not a firm may be counted as an active business according to its receipts size. The specified minimums vary by industry. For this study, a firm had only to file a business tax return with business receipts greater than $500 for it to be counted as an active business.

Nonemployer firms. Although nonemployer firms are included in this survey, they are omitted from many of the economic census reports.

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Dollar Values

Dollars used in electronic files are generally stated in thousands ($000) of dollars. All dollar values presented are expressed in current dollars; i.e., 1992 data are expressed in 1992 dollars and 1987 data in 1987 dollars. Consequently, when making comparisons to prior years, users should take into consideration the inflation that has occurred.

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Tabulations and Dissemination

Special tabulations. Special tabulations of data collected in the 1992 Surveys of Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses may be obtained, depending on availability of time and personnel, on diskette, computer tape, or in tabular form. The data will be in summary form and subject to the same rules prohibiting disclosure of confidential information (including name, address, kind of business, or other data for individual firms) as are the regular publications.

Special tabulations are prepared on a cost basis. A request for a cost estimate, as well as exact specifications on the type and format of the data to be provided, should be directed to the Chief, Company Statistics Branch, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233.

Internet. The Internet (www.census.gov) highlights selected information from Bureau of the Census publications and enables immediate access to recently released facts and data. Various subjects and topics are included on this electronic resource. For system technical assistance, or questions regarding the sale or availability of electronic products, contact Administrative and Customer Services Division, 301-763-INFO(4636).

Component ID: #ti1655249809

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