Economic Census : What’s New For 2017 Data

The published data from the 2017 Economic Census will reflect many changes from the data that was published in the 2012 Economic Census.  These changes mirror the ever-changing U.S. economy, communities, and data user needs.  Below is a summary of these key changes and links to more information.

For a list of the data products for the 2017 Economic Census, see the high-level release schedule at:

Geographic Areas

The 2017 Economic Census will publish data  to reflect the ever changing geographic areas as of January 2017.  Reference materials that highlight the changes from the 2012 Economic Census will be provided on this site, including maps and documents that highlight the changes to:

  • Metro Areas – the Core Based Statistical Areas in 15 states had some type of change
  • Counties – Alaska, South Dakota, and Virginia had changes to 1 or more counties
  • Economic Places – every state had places with area gain, loss, and/or code or name changes.  There are 442 new Economic Places being recognized and 171 places that are being dropped for 2017, primarily due to population decline


The 2017 Economic Census will be the first Census program to publish data on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System.  6 of the 18 sectors covered by the Economic Census will see changes to the codes published.  These changes include:

  • One-to-one recodes – industries with no content change but with a code change
  • Many-to-one combinations – 2012 NAICS codes that were combined to form a new 2017 code
  • Many-to-many combinations – 2 or more 2017 codes that were created from parts of 2 or more 2012 codes


A key offering from the Economic Census are the detailed Product Lines data, which provides a more detailed breakout of the products made and sold and services provided by businesses.  These data from the 2012 Economic Census were provided in separate data tables by sector that provided different information.  For the 2017 Economic Census, these data are being consolidated and reformatted following the new North American Product Classification System.

Other Changes

The data products from the 2017 Economic Census will include a number of structural and content changes.  These include:

  • The new “First Look” report – this new report will feature data not available in the initial “Advance Report” release in prior Economic Censuses.
  • Consolidated “Size” reports – These data tables which provide detailed breakouts based on the employment and sales/revenue size of establishments or firms were published in separate and disparate tables by sector. For 2017, these tables are being consolidated and standardized across sectors.
  • Added and dropped Miscellaneous Subjects reports – 38 tables from the 2012 Economic Census are being dropped, and 7 new tables are being added. Also, the tables showing data by Class of Customer, Enterprise Support, and Exported Services are similarly being consolidated.
  • New disclosure rules – In prior Economic Censuses, the number of establishments was published even when the other statistics for an industry and geography were withheld due to disclosure.  For 2017, new privacy rules will result in the establishment count being suppressed when less than 3 or when the other statistics are suppressed.
  • Local areas published by sector – Place-level data will no longer be available for the Manufacturing sector and the NAICS and geographic levels published for other sectors may be adjusted based on data quality and privacy issues.
  • New platform – the data tables from the 2017 Economic Census will be published on this new dissemination platform.  Historical data from the 2012 Economic Census will continue to be available on American FactFinder under they are migrated to the new platform.
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