Yesterday, I attended a workshop on how to access data gathered during the 2007 Economic Census. When I first saw the invitation in June, I thought, “What is the Economic Census?” After a bit of internet searching, I discovered that much like the decennial demographic census, every five years the US Census Bureau also gathers information about all of the business that operate in the US. The 2007 Economic Census gathered information on 4.7 million establishments, which is defined as a single physical location. In other words, they gathered information from both the headquarters of a company and the warehouses, stores, or factories operated by that company.
The data are classified by both industry and geography. The Census Bureau uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). To classify data by geography, the US Census Bureau aggregates data for the whole US, regions, states, counties, metropolitan areas, and zip codes. These different ways of classifying data allow users to tailor data to their exact needs. For example, you could find data on the retail businesses for a particular county. Or, you could find data on health care providers in a particular zip code. I can also compare data from a particular industry in two geographic locations or vice versa. You can also track changes in an industry or geographic location over time. If you are researching the economy in your area this could be a great tool!
To access the Economic Census database, click here.
To view some key findings for Oklahoma, click here.
To learn more about using the Economic Census, click here.
To get some practice using the Economic Census, click here.