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Economic Census Is Due Next Month

by Garrett Harper | Jan 10, 2013
In November and December, more than 4 million American businesses, including 12,000 businesses in Davidson County, received 2012 Economic Census forms from the U.S. Census Bureau. By law, these businesses must respond by February 12.

The Economic Census is the U.S. government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and response is required by law. Published data cover more than 1,000 industries at the national and local levels, 15,000 products and services, every state, every county, 10,000 cities and towns and U.S. territories. This Economic Census covers the 2012 calendar year ending in December.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke has called this census "indispensable to understanding America's economy." Taken every five years, the Economic Census "assures the accuracy of the statistics we rely on for sound economic policy and for successful business planning," said Bernanke.

Economic Census facts:
  • Companies will receive industry forms tailored to their size and primary business activity.
  • For the first time, businesses will be able to complete census forms electronically.
  • Businesses can find answers to most questions at
Why an Economic Census?
  • Federal agencies rely on Economic Census data as the basis for key measures of economic activity, such as GDP and monthly retail sales.
  • State and local agencies use the data for economic development and regional planning.
  • Trade and business associations and chambers of commerce use Economic Census data to report key business facts and for economic development and business decisions.
  • Businesses use Economic Census data to support business decisions and planning, such as identifying potential markets for growth, starting a new business, evaluating location and investment decisions, and applying for a loan.
Visit for more information, examples of how the data are used, and industry and local area business profiles.
Category: Research