While many people are familiar with the United States Census, which is taken every 10 years as mandated by the Constitution, there are actually over 100 different surveys conducted by the US Census Bureau each year. In this educational series, SBB Research Group summarizes key information from Census.gov about these lesser-known—but highly important—surveys.
What is County Business Patterns (CBP) Data?
County Business Patterns (CBP) data is an annual statistical series of economic information by industry and geographic location. It offers detailed statistics for establishments with paid employees.
The CBP includes the collection and dissemination of data obtained from the Business Register. It contains the Census Bureau’s most reliable data for US business establishments, including Census Bureau economic statistics and recent business surveys. The data also includes income and payroll tax information and other statistics and records.
How CBP Data is Used
CBP data is useful for studying economic activity in specific geographic areas and analyzing economic changes over time. The information is often used for benchmarking other statistical series between economic censuses.
Government agencies use the data for administration and planning. Businesses use CBP data to examine market potential, gauge sales, analyze the effectiveness of advertising programs, and develop budgets.
Sources for CBP data include:
• Annual Survey of Manufactures
• Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
• Current Business Surveys
• Economic Census
• Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
• Social Security Administration (SSA)
Frequency of Survey
The CBP itself has been conducted annually since 1964, and similar data collection has occurred throughout various periods since 1946. CBP data are published around 16 months after each reference year. Because the CBP publishes annually, the data is a snapshot rather than a comprehensive reflection of aggregated data. The CBP does not revise data for prior years.
General Topics in the Survey
The CBP series data provides useful information by industry regarding for the following local business topics:
• Number of establishments
• Employment information
• National payroll information
• State payroll information
• Metropolitan area payroll information
• Combined statistical area payroll information
• County and congressional district information
Privacy of Information Collected
The Census Bureau is not allowed to provide data linked to specific establishments, including any lists of establishments in a designated area (Title 13 of the U.S. Code, Section 9).