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Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau collects extensive statistics about businesses that are essential to understanding the economy of Puerto Rico.  This official count, as part of the Economic Census of Island Areas, serves as the foundation for the measurement of Puerto Rico’s businesses and their economic impact.  As part of the Census Bureau’s mission to provide timely information on the health of Puerto Rico’s economy, this “business” census serves as the most extensive collection of data related to business activity.  Businesses large, medium and small, covering most industries and all geographic areas of Puerto Rico, will receive surveys tailored to their primary business activity.

Respondents will use an online, secure portal to respond, making filing easier while at the same time improving data quality and reducing costs.  Small companies in Puerto Rico will have a Spanish-language paper reporting option available.

For Spanish language outreach, click the Talking Points and Digital Brochure links for additional information.

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Legal Authority and Confidentiality

Response is required by law.  Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 131, authorizes the survey by requiring businesses and other organizations included in the survey to answer the questions and submit a response.  Section 191 expands the authority to collect the data in the Island Areas.  Sections 224 and 225 require businesses and other organizations that receive this questionnaire to answer the questions and return the report to the U.S. Census Bureau.

By Section 9 of the same law, the information that businesses and other organizations provide is confidential.  It may be seen only by persons sworn to uphold the confidentiality of Census Bureau information and may be used only for statistical purposes.  Further, copies retained in respondents’ files are immune from legal process.

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Why is it Important?

The data produced from the Economic Census are important for your industry, your community and your business:

  • Statistics from the Economic Census provide policymakers with the evidence based information used to make sound programmatic decisions.
  • Federal agencies rely on the data as the basis for key measures of economic activity, such as the Gross Island Product.
  • Trade and business associations, along with Chambers of Commerce, rely on Economic Census data to measure key business facts they can use to gauge organizational structure and product trends.
  • Individual businesses use the data from the Economic Census to make decisions about operating sites, capital investments, and product development.

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Planning Criteria

In order to prepare for the Economic Census, the Census Bureau consults with a variety of experts both inside and outside of the Federal Government.  We also work with experts in the Government of Puerto Rico to gather input on how we can make the Economic Census work better for you.

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Data Dissemination

The key statistics produced for the Economic Census include Number of Establishments; Value of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue; Primary Business Activity; Number of Employees; Annual Payroll; First Quarter Payroll; and industry specific statistics.

Data products include industries across 18 industrial sectors classified using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  Geographic Area Series reports containing general statistics will be produced for the Territory, Planning Regions, Metro/Micro Areas (MSAs), Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs), and Municipios in Puerto Rico. Additionally, goods and services products will be released for the first time on the new North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) basis.

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2017 Release Schedule

Data for Puerto Rico will be released in December 2020.

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Contact Us

Contact information for both Economic Census of the US and Economic Census of Island Areas can be found on this page. 

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