About States in Profile

This profile provides a compilation of demographic and economic indicators. Most of these data are released annually, but on varying schedules throughout the year. This profile is updated each month to reflect any and all updated sources. Sources are noted at the bottom of each table.

To learn more about the data, the ranks and other features, click on a tab below.

Gross Domestic Product by State

  • Uses: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State (formerly Gross State Product - GSP) is the value added in production by the labor and property located in a state. GDP by State is the state counterpart of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), although there are differences in how the numbers are derived. The first table in this section examines chained or real "price-adjusted dollars" and the quantity indexes for given years.

    The rankings of adjusted dollars or real GDP by State, which holds prices constant, will be fairly proportional to the population of a state.  The next table of this section shows the industry breakdown of GDP and which industries in a state are contributing the most or least to the total market value of goods and services in the state. 
  • Frequency: This BEA product has an annual release schedule and new and non-comprehensive revised estimates are released in the summer each year (usually May or June).  When a comprehensive revision is scheduled for a given year, it will be released late in the year
  • Additional Information: The estimates of real GDP are derived by applying national implicit price deflators to the current-dollar GSP estimates.  A quantity index is an index number that measures the change in the level of a quantity from a base year, apart from any changes in relative prices. The value of the quantity index is 100 for the base year. BEA prepares GDP estimates for 63 industries. For each industry, GDP is composed of three components:
    1. Compensation of employees
    2. Indirect business tax and nontax liability (IBT)
    3. Property-type income

Personal Income

  • Uses: Wealth is an important factor for personal well-being. Usually the higher the income, the higher the wealth because the purchasing power of the individual is increased (all else equal). Personal income has systemic economic implications because increased consumption due to increased income can fuel economic growth.
  • Frequency:
    • State Annual Personal Income is released every spring by the BEA.
    • State Quarterly Personal Income is released on a quarterly basis (usually March, June, September, and December) by the BEA.
  • Additional Information:The Bureau of Economic Analysis prepares estimates of personal income for local areas (counties, metropolitan areas, and the Bureau's BEA economic areas). The personal income of an area is the income that is received by, or on behalf of, the residents of that area. Personal income consists of the income that is received by persons from participation in production, from government and business transfer payments, and from government interest.

    Local area personal income is the only detailed, broadly inclusive economic time series for local areas that is available annually. Estimates of labor and proprietors' earnings by place of work indicate economic activity of establishments in an area, and estimates of personal income by place of residence indicate income within an area that is available for spending. Annual estimates of per capita personal income are an indicator of economic well-being of the residents of an area.

    Estimates of total and per capita (average per person) personal income, beginning with 1969, are available for all counties and county equivalents, metropolitan areas and BEA's economic areas. Estimates are released 17 months after the end of the year. Annual estimates for areas of earnings for 77 industries, employment for 14 major industries, transfer payments by major program, farm gross income and expenses by major category, and economic profiles are also available (B-NET).

Research and Development Investment

  • Uses: Research and Development (R&D) spending is key to economic growth in states because it deepens the pool of workforce knowledge in which we can later dip into when problems arise that require "out of the box" thinking.  Even applied R&D, which is meant to solve specific problems in specific industries can trickle over into other disciplines and industries. R&D spending within a state tells us whether a state is envisioning its future or whether it is mired in the present.  The states' population and amount of R&D spending are highly correlated, meaning we would expect a state's rank in R&D spending to be close to a state's population rank. 
  • Frequency:  This is an annual data set that typically becomes available in the fall. The data were derived from four NSF sample surveys that are listed under links to related resources. With new releases of data, older data are often revised.
  • Additional Information:  For the R&D expenditures by performing sector table, not all states' profiles categories (federal government, industry, university and colleges and other nonprofit institutions) will sum to the total because two categories are not listed in the table. University and college federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and nonprofit federally funded research and development centers.  However, these categories are included in the total R&D expenditures. The majority of states' categories do sum to the total and this is because these states have zero R&D expenditures in the two categories mentioned above.


  • Uses: Today's economy is becoming increasingly knowledge-based and intellectual property in the form of patents plays a vital role in this growth. Patents can encourage innovation and economic growth under certain conditions and hamper it under others. The impact of patents on innovation and economic performance is so complex that a fine-tuned patent system is crucial to ensure maximum benefit for a country's firms and its overall economy. In an ideal world, the more patents filed, the higher the level of innovation in a country. This in turn leads to economic growth and more money invested in research and development—a virtuous circle that can only exist when there is a sufficiently high entry level for patents (EPO).
  • Frequency: In general, source data become available in May each year. Most revisions occur in the January to March time frame and again, to a lesser degree, in the October time frame.
  • Additional Information: In this section of the profile, total patents are broken into three of the major patent classes—utility, design and plant. Then the focus becomes the top 20 utility patent subclasses in each state, because a high percentage of the patent documents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in recent years have been utility patents. By examining the utility patent subclasses versus the utility patent totals, we can get a feel for whether innovation in a state is concentrated in a few technology classes or if it is more evenly distributed across technology classes.
    • Design Patents: Design patents are granted to any person who has invented a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. The appearance of the article is protected. A design patent has a term of 14 years.
    • Plant Patents: Plant patents are granted to any person who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced any distinct and new variety of plant. A plant patent has a term of 20 years from the application date.
    • Utility Patents: Utility patents are granted to anyone who invents or discovers a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or compositions of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. A Utility patent has a term of 20 years from the application date.
    • Utility Patent Sub classes: Utility patents are broken into technology subclasses and the focus is on the top 20 subclasses in the state.

Venture Capital

  • Uses: The amount of venture capital investment can be used as an indicator of future growth in a state. Venture capital data for a state coupled with other economic indicators can give data users a better sense of a state's economic well-being. Venture capital firms will invest in companies that promise high rates of return and increasing market share.  Oftentimes the investee companies are spin-offs of existing businesses with a proven track record and knowledgeable management; however, new businesses also attract venture capital backing.
  • Frequency:This is an annual data set and new data should become available mid-March each year.
  •  Additional Information: This data is derived from the MoneyTree™ survey that measures investment by the professional venture capital community in private emerging companies in the U.S. All recipient companies are private, and may have been newly-created or spun-out of existing companies. The survey excludes debt, buyouts, recapitalizations, secondary purchases, IPO's (initial public offerings), investments in public companies such as PIPES (private investments in public entities), investments for which the proceeds are primarily intended for acquisition such as roll-ups, change of ownership, and other forms of private equity that do not involve cash such as services-in-kind and venture leasing. Investee companies must be domiciled in one of the 50 U.S. states or DC even if substantial portions of their activities are outside the United States. (Information was extracted from the MoneyTree™ Survey Definitions and Methodology). The venture capital data in the profile includes all investee company development stages (start-up, early, expansion and later stages).


  • Uses: Manufacturing is a useful economic indicator because goods produced have a significant impact on the economy as whole. Manufacturing has important economic implications because industries are interdependent in modern economies. This interdependence is clear when we realize that the cars people drive to work, the steel that gives our offices structure, and the computers that we use at work would not exist without manufacturing. This section shows manufacturing statistics for industry groups and industries. These estimates represent the portion of the manufacturing population accounted for by establishments with paid employees.
  • Frequency: This is an annual data set that is normally released in December of each year.
  • Additional Information: The Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) provides sample estimates of statistics for all manufacturing establishments with one or more paid employee. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the ASM in each of the four years between the economic census (which is collected for years ending in 2 and 7). The economic census is the sample frame from which the ASM is chosen and presents more detailed data than the ASM. Among the statistics included in this survey: employment, payroll, value added by manufacture, cost of materials consumed, value of shipments, detailed capital expenditures, supplemental labor costs, fuels and electric energy used, and inventories by stage of fabrication (Census).


  • Uses: This section of the profile focuses on establishments or businesses in a state. It tells us whether a state is primarily comprised of large, small or medium-sized businesses, which is determined by the number of employees in an establishment.  Generally, large businesses generate more sales. On the flip side, this could be viewed negatively in terms of entrepreneurship. After all, most new businesses start out small and become larger over time.
  • Frequency:  This is an annual data set and new data is tentatively scheduled for release in the fall. There are no scheduled revisions with this data set. The county business patterns data exclude data on self-employed individuals, employees of private households, railroad employees, agricultural production employees, and most government employees. 

  • Additional Information: The tables consist of the number of establishments broken into employee size classes and establishments broken down by NAICS industry sectors. For example, Other Services (except public administration): Establishments in this sector are primarily engaged in activities, such as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grant-making, advocacy, and providing dry-cleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photo-finishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services. Private households that engage in employing workers on or about the premises in activities primarily concerned with the operation of the household are included in this sector.
    • Note: Above the tables in this section are hyperlinks for small -(1-19 employees), medium- (20-249 employees) and large establishments (250 plus employees) in which you can drill into specific establishment size classes and examine the industry distribution of establishments. 


  • Uses: Bankruptcy is an economic indicator that is pretty straight forward. If a state is showing low ranks (e.g., a rank of 1) in this category then there may be some underlying economic problems. Looking at the number of bankruptcy filings per 1000 people will give us an idea of bankruptcy filings' economic impact on a state.   The next section of the profile shows us the most current quarter of bankruptcy data and what is the composition of bankruptcy filings in a state. Chapter 7 filings are the most common personal bankruptcy filings, and Chapter 11 filings usually contribute zero to 0.2 percent of total personal bankruptcy filings (see SSRN abstract ).
  • Frequency: Annual bankruptcy data become available in mid-March each year. There are no revisions to the annual data.
  • Additional Information:
    • CHAPTER 7: The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for “liquidation,” i.e., the sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors.
    • CHAPTER 11: A reorganization bankruptcy, usually involving a corporation or partnership. (A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. People in business or individuals can also seek relief in chapter 11.)
    • CHAPTER 12: The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of a “family farmer,” as that term is defined in the Bankruptcy Code.
    • CHAPTER 13: The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income. (Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep property and pay debts over time, usually three to five years.)


  • Uses: In an increasingly global economy, states must export their goods to remain competitive in the United States and the world market. This section of the profile shows states' exports to the world market over time and the breakdown of those exports by NAICS industry. If exports are essential to a healthy state economy, then exports heavily concentrated in a few industries could become problematic if that industry becomes less essential to the state's economy.
  • Frequency: This is an annual data set and the state data should become available in February of each year. The Census Bureau is responsible for any revisions; however, these revisions are seldom carried down to the state level.
  • Additional Information: Only tangible goods are shown in the industry section of the profile, exports of services are excluded. The export data in this section are based on the Origin of Movement (OM) series. The series credits export merchandise to the state where the goods began their final journey to the port (or other point) of exit from the United States, as specified on official U.S. export declarations filed by shippers. The origin of movement can be either the location of the factory where the export item was produced or, in many cases, the location of a distributor, warehouse, or cargo processing facility.  Using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), export values are inflation-adjusted to current dollars. The percent of GSP field tells us what percent of a state's total market value of goods and services is being exported to the world.

Educational Attainment

  • Uses: Human capital is an important engine of economic growth because human skills and knowledge fuel a vital component of growth—innovation. The skills and knowledge that help fuel innovation are often acquired through education. Since education is important in human capital growth, education is important for economic growth. Successful modern economies are marked by a well-educated and highly skilled labor force. In addition, these high skilled occupations, which require higher education, generally offer higher income than low-skilled occupations. Thus educational attainment plays an important role in both personal well-being and economic growth.
  • Frequency: Estimates are done every year, with previous years revised. Estimates for states are released at the end of each year. Census counts are done every 10 years, released at the end of the year the census is taken.
  • Additional Information: Information on educational attainment is collected annually in the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). The ACS is now the largest household survey of the United States with an annual sample of approximately 3 million addresses. The ACS provides estimates of the nation, as well as states, metropolitan areas, and more specific geographic areas. More tables on educational attainment in the ACS are available through the American FactFinder. Educational Attainment data in the CPS are reported annually from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC, formerly the March Supplement). These data provide national estimates of educational attainment from 1947 to present, with limited detail for states and some metropolitan areas.

    Apart from annual estimates, educational attainment information is available from the Decennial Census from 1940 to 2000. The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) also collects information on educational attainment, as well as related topics such as field of degree. The Census Bureau also collects data on school enrollment from several surveys (Census).

College Enrollment and Migration

  • Uses: This section is useful in examining how attractive the post-secondary education environment is in a given state. A state should retain the vast majority of its college-bound high school students because of the price tag associated with out-of-state tuition fees.  The net migration of freshmen figure is the summary of the individual items shown in the table and shows whether a state is retaining its college-bound high school students or if there is a general exodus of those young adults.
  • Frequency: This data set is available every two years for even-numbered years only. For example, 2008 data was released Fall 2010. Note: This survey has been part of the National Center for Education Statistics HEGIS and IPEDS series since 1966. Data for 1998 to 2000 reflect substantial changes in survey coverage.
  • Additional Information:
    • Total Enrollment is the total fall enrollment in four-year and two-year degree-granting institutions that participated in Title IV federal financial aid programs. College Migration and Enrollment consists of residence and migration of all freshmen students in four-year degree-granting institutions graduating from high school in the past 12 months. 
    • Freshmen Enrollment consists of all of the freshmen students reported by the four-year degree-granting institutions in a state; i.e., all in-migrants and "remaining" students.  Freshmen Enrollment in a State's schools (in-state students) consists of residents of a state that attend college in that same state. Freshmen Enrollment in a state's schools (out-of-state students) are students enrolled in institutions located in a particular state (state residents and out-of-state residents) minus that states residents attending college in that state. Freshmen from a state enrolled anywhere is the number of state residents enrolled in that state or another state. Going in-state is the number of Indiana residents who go to a college within the state of residence, instead of another state's college. Going out-of-state is the number residents enrolled anywhere in the nation minus that states residents enrolled in other states' colleges. Net Migration is the number of out-of-state freshmen enrolled in a state's schools minus residents of that state who are going out-of-state.

Graduate School Enrollment in Science and Engineering

  • Uses: Not to play down other school disciplines, but the fields of science and engineering are vital to states' economies and to the United States economy as a whole.  Innovation, new methods, new ideas and technologies are inherent with these disciplines and it is critical that states continue to produce individuals with these specialized skills, and hopefully retain them as well.
  • Frequency: These are annual estimates and are released every year. 
  • Additional Information: All of the science and engineering component disciplines are presented on the National Science Foundation's website  for the United States. Note: The counts of minorities and students holding temporary visas are mutually exclusive and students can only be classified as minorities if they are permanent U.S. residents.



  • Uses: Wealth is an important factor for personal well-being. Usually the higher the income, the higher the wealth because the purchasing power of the individual is increased (all else equal). Personal income has systemic economic implications because increased consumption due to increased income can fuel economic growth.
  • Frequency:
    • State Annual Personal Income is released every spring by the BEA
    • State Quarterly Personal Income is released on a quarterly basis (usually March, June, September, and December) by the BEA.
    • Median Household Income is released during the summer as part of the Census' American Community Survey (ACS).
  • Additional Information: For more information on BEA income data, see the "Personal Income" section on the "Economy" tab.

    Census money income is defined as income received on a regular basis (exclusive of certain money receipts such as capital gains) before payments for personal income taxes, social security, union dues, Medicare deductions, etc. Therefore, money income does not reflect the fact that some families receive part of their income in the form of noncash benefits, such as food stamps, health benefits, subsidized housing, and goods produced and consumed on the farm. In addition, money income does not reflect the fact that noncash benefits are also received by some nonfarm residents which may take the form of the use of business transportation and facilities, full or partial payments by business for retirement programs, medical and educational expenses, etc. Data users should consider these elements when comparing income levels. Moreover, users should be aware that for many different reasons there is a tendency in household surveys for respondents to underreport their income. Based on an analysis of independently derived income estimates, the Census Bureau determined that respondents report income earned from wages or salaries much better than other sources of income and that the reported wage and salary income is nearly equal to independent estimates of aggregate income.

    Census also derives alternative income measures that systematically remove or add various income components such as deducting payroll taxes and federal and state income taxes and including the value of specific noncash benefits B food stamps, school lunches, housing subsidies, health insurance programs, and return on home equity. These alternative measures are derived from information collected in Census surveys along with information from other agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    Sources of Census Income:
    1. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS)
    2. The American Community Survey (ACS)
    3. Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
    4. Decennial Census

    These surveys differ in length and detail of the questionnaire, the number of addresses interviewed, the methodology used to collect and process the data, and, consequently, in the income estimates produced. As a result, it is important to understand that different surveys and collection methods produce different results, and it is important to know when it is appropriate to use each survey or method (Census).

Taxes (Government Revenue and Expenditures)

  • Uses: This section of the profile displays the state's government finances. The sections are as follows: state and local revenue and expenditures, local revenue and expenditures, and state revenue and expenditures. The revenue tables' percent distribution shows proportionally the states' means of raising money through taxes, federal aid and other methods. The expenditure tables' percent distribution shows the breakdown of how that money is being spent within each state.The per capita revenue and expenditures depicts the revenue inflow amount per person and the spending per person in each state.
  • Frequency: Final State and Local Goernment Revenue and Expenditures from the U.S. Census Bureau, which incorporate data from the Rockefeller Institute of Government, are released annually in May.
  • Additional Information:
    • Revenue:
      • General revenue: comprised of intergovernmental and own-source revenues.
      • Own-source revenue: comprised of total tax, total charges and own-source general revenue.
      • Total tax: comprised of property, general sales, individual income, corporate net income and other taxes.
    • Expenditures:
      • General Expenditures: comprised of intergovernmental and direct expenditures.
      • Direct expenditures: comprised of elementary and secondary education, public welfare, higher education, health and hospitals, corrections, police, highways, interest, and other expenditures.

Unemployment Insurance Tax

  • Uses: The federal-state unemployment compensation (UC) program, created by the Social Security Act (SSA) of 1935, offers the first economic line of defense against the ripple effects of unemployment. Through payments made directly to eligible, unemployed workers, it ensures that at least a significant proportion of the necessities of life, most notably food, shelter, and clothing, can be met on a week-to-week basis while a search for work takes place. As temporary, partial wage replacement to the unemployed, UC is of vital importance in maintaining purchasing power and in stabilizing the economy (DOL).
  • Frequency: These data are released annually.
  • Additional Information:
    • Unemployment Insurance Taxes: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a federal-state program jointly financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes (federal/state UI tax). Generally, employers must pay both state and federal unemployment taxes if: (1) they pay wages to employees totaling $1,500, or more, in any quarter of a calendar year; or, (2) they had at least one employee during any day of a week during 20 weeks in a calendar year, regardless of whether or not the weeks were consecutive. However, some state laws differ from the federal law and employers should contact their state workforce agencies to learn the exact requirements.
    • Federal Unemployment Tax Act: The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to collect a federal employer tax used to fund state workforce agencies. Employers pay this tax annually by filing IRS Form 940. FUTA covers the costs of administering the UI and Job Service programs in all states. In addition, FUTA pays one-half of the cost of extended unemployment benefits (during periods of high unemployment) and provides for a fund from which states may borrow, if necessary, to pay benefits.
    • Federal Tax Rate: The FUTA tax rate is 6.2 percent of taxable wages. The taxable wage base is the first $7,000 paid in wages to each employee during a calendar year. Employers who pay the state unemployment tax, on a timely basis, will receive an offset credit of up to 5.4 percent regardless of the rate of tax they pay the state. Therefore, the net FUTA tax rate is generally 0.8 percent (6.2 percent minus 5.4 percent), for a maximum FUTA tax of $56.00 per employee, per year (.008 X $7,000. = $56.00). State law determines individual state unemployment insurance tax rates (DOL).


  • Uses: Total population answers the question: "how many," something often asked when first looking at a geographic area.  The States in Profile provides this answer and also shows change over time and ranks to help compare one state to another. This helps to answer the next questions: which is largest, which is smallest, and where does my state fit in? This profile is all about putting states in a time and geographic context.
  • Frequency:
    • Estimates are released every year, with previous years revised. Estimates for states are released at the end of each year.
    • Census counts occur every 10 years and are released at the end of the year the census is taken.
  • Additional Information:
    • Age: Understanding how many people live in a state within particular age groups and its proportion within the total population (note the Percent Distribution column) is critical to understanding the basic nature of the population. Is the state younger or older than the nation as a whole? Is the older population particularly large or are the younger age groups larger than the nation in general? Such information has implications for schools, governments, and businesses alike.

      These estimates come out every year, with revisions for previous years released at the same time as the most current year (so beware, always check to see if last year’s estimate has changed). Population estimates by age for states are released during the spring or early summer of each year.

      This profile combines age groups provided by the Census Bureau into six more functional age categories: preschool, school age, college age, young adults, older adults and senior citizens. 
    • Components of Change: Components of population change delineate how the population of an area has changed, showing us whether natural increase (more births than deaths) or migration was the principal driver of that change. Net domestic migration indicates the net number of people moving into that state from elsewhere in the nation. Net international migration shows the net number of people that have migrated into the state from outside the United States. The net figure is calculated from the gross numbers of people (either domestic or international) moving into and out of the state during the given period of time. A negative net figure means more people moved out than moved into the state in question.

      This is released at the end of each year toward the end of December as part of the annual population estimates release for states. While the estimates are produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, each state reviews these estimates as participants in the Federal-State Cooperative on Population Estimates.

    • Race: America is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. We can get a glimmer of that through the estimates of our state populations by race and Hispanic ethnicity. Note: Hispanic ethnicity is a separate question from race, and thus those individuals can be of any race (this means that adding Hispanic to the race groupings will add to more than the total population). The percent distribution columns are important to consider, as these show us which race groups are larger proportionally than others. You can also see how the state compares to the nation based on that percent distribution in U.S. column.


  • Uses: The housing market is generally seen as one of the first economic sectors to rise or fall when economic conditions improve or degrade, and housing permits and starts can be early indicators of activity in the housing market. New residential housing construction generally leads to other types of economic production. The new-housing market is sensitive to interest rate changes. Locally, the new-housing market is affected by those same national interest rate fluctuations, but it also may be influenced by strictly local factors.
  • Frequency: The State and Metropolitan Area data are available annually, while national and regional data are available quarterly. The four quarterly press releases are issued during the last week of the month following the previous quarter. The detailed tables previously shown in quarterly reports will normally be available on the day of the press release. The annual data will be available after the fourth quarter press release is issued each year as soon as it can be compiled.
  • Additional Information: The Housing Vacancies and Homeownership provides current information on the rental and homeowner vacancy rates, and characteristics of units available for occupancy. These data are used extensively by public and private sector organizations to evaluate the need for new housing programs and initiatives. In addition, the rental vacancy rate is a component of the index of leading economic indicators and is thereby used by the Federal Government and economic forecasters to gauge the current economic climate.

    Rental and homeowner vacancy rates and homeownership rates are available for the nation, regions, states, and for the 75 largest metropolitan areas. The state and metropolitan area data are available annually, while national and regional data are available quarterly. Homeownership rates are also tabulated by age of householder and by family status for the United States and regions. In addition, estimates of the total housing inventory and percent distributions of vacant for-rent and for-sale-only units are available for the United States and regions (Census).

    The American Housing Survey (AHS) collects data on the nation's housing, including apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, vacant housing units, household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, and recent movers. National data are collected in odd numbered years, and data for each of 47 selected metropolitan areas are collected currently about every six years. The national sample covers an average 55,000 housing units. Each metropolitan area sample covers 4,100 or more housing units.

    The AHS returns to the same housing units each year to gather data; therefore, this survey is ideal for analyzing the flow of households through housing (Census).


  • Uses: Labor is one of the factors of production, with land, capital and enterprise. Among the things that determine the supply of labor are the number of able people in the population, their willingness to work, labor laws and regulations, and the health of the economy and firms. Demand for labor is also affected by the health of the economy and firms, labor laws and regulations, as well as the price and supply of other factors of production. In a perfect market, wages, the price of labor) would be determined by supply and demand. But the labor market is often far from perfect. Wages can be less flexible than other prices; in particular, they rarely fall even when demand for labor declines or supply increases. This wage rigidity can be a cause of unemployment.
  • Frequency: Frequency varies depending on the statistical program (see below).
  • Additional Information:
    • The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program conducts a semi-annual mail survey designed to produce estimates of employment and wages for specific occupations. The OES program collects data on wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in order to produce employment and wage estimates for about 800 occupations. Data from self-employed persons are not collected and are not included in the estimates. The OES program produces these occupational estimates by geographic area and by industry. Estimates based on geographic areas are available at the national, state, metropolitan, and nonmetropolitan area levels. The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces occupational employment and wage estimates for over 450 industry classifications at the national level. The industry classifications correspond to the sector, 3, 4, and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industrial groups.

      The OES program surveys approximately 200,000 establishments per panel (every six months), taking three years to fully collect the sample of 1.2 million establishments. To reduce respondent burden, the collection is on a three-year survey cycle that ensures that establishments are surveyed at most once every three years. The estimates for occupations in nonfarm establishments are based on OES data collected for the reference months of May and November.

      The employment data are benchmarked to an average of the May and November employment levels. The OES survey began using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in 2002 (BLS).

    • The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program is a monthly survey conducted by state employment security agencies in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey provides employment, hours and earnings estimates based on payroll records of business establishments.The data from the Current Employment Statistics survey include series for total employment, number of production or nonsupervisory workers, average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, average weekly earnings, and average weekly overtime hours in manufacturing industries.

      For all employees and production or nonsupervisory workers, over 2,100 published monthly employment series are available. The series for all employees include over 1,150 industries at various levels of aggregation. Over 2,600 published monthly series for production workers' average weekly earnings, average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and, in manufacturing, average weekly overtime hours are available. Hours and earnings data are available for about 850 industries (BLS).
    • The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program (QCEW) is a cooperative program involving the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor and the State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs). The QCEW program produces a comprehensive tabulation of employment and wage information for workers covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Publicly available files include data on the number of establishments, monthly employment, and quarterly wages, by NAICS industry, by county, by ownership sector, for the entire United States. These data are aggregated to annual levels, to higher industry levels (NAICS industry groups, sectors, and supersectors), and to higher geographic levels (national, State, and metropolitan areas).

      The QCEW program serves as a near census of monthly employment and quarterly wage information by 6-digit NAICS industry at the national, state, and county levels. At the national level, the QCEW program publishes employment and wage data for nearly every NAICS industry. At the state and area level, the QCEW program publishes employment and wage data down to the 6-digit NAICS industry level if disclosure restrictions are met. In accordance with BLS policy, data provided to the Bureau in confidence are not published and are used only for specified statistical purposes. BLS withholds publication of UI-covered employment and wage data for any industry level when necessary to protect the identity of cooperating employers. Totals at the industry level for the states and the nation include the nondisclosable data suppressed within the detailed tables. However, these totals cannot be used to reveal the suppressed data.

      Employment data under the QCEW program represent the number of covered workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period including the 12th of the month. Excluded are members of the armed forces, the self-employed, proprietors, domestic workers, unpaid family workers, and railroad workers covered by the railroad unemployment insurance system. Wages represent total compensation paid during the calendar quarter, regardless of when services were performed. Included in wages are pay for vacation and other paid leave, bonuses, stock options, tips, the cash value of meals and lodging, and in some states, contributions to deferred compensation plans (such as 401(k) plans). The QCEW program does provide partial information on agricultural industries and employees in private households.

      Data from the QCEW program serve as an important input to many BLS programs. The QCEW data are used as the benchmark source for employment by the Current Employment Statistics program and the Occupational Employment Statistics program. The UI administrative records collected under the QCEW program serve as a sampling frame for BLS establishment surveys.

      In addition, data from the QCEW program serve as an input to other federal and state programs. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the Department of Commerce uses QCEW data as the base for developing the wage and salary component of personal income. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor and the SESAs use QCEW data to administer the employment security program. The QCEW data accurately reflect the extent of coverage of the State UI laws and are used to measure UI revenues; national, state and local area employment; and total and UI taxable wage trends (BLS).


  • Uses:These data represent union affiliation (either as direct members or represented by the union) for wage and salary workers.  Both types of union affiliation are shown in this profile.  The first table shows the number of union members.  The second table shows the number of workers who are members of the union AND non-members  whose jobs are covered by a union or an employee association contract.  This will result in a higher value in the "Represented by Unions" table.
  • Frequency: The data come from tabulations of the Current Population Survey for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are reported annually for states. For more detail visit:  http://www.bls.gov/bls/blsuniondata.htm
  • Additional Information: Visit unions.org or the AFL-CIO for more information about unions.

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  • Annual Survey of ManufacturersThe Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) provides sample estimates of statistics for all manufacturing establishments with one or more paid employees. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the ASM in each of the four years between the economic census which is collected for years ending in 2 and 7. The economic census is the sample frame from which the ASM is chosen and presents more detailed data than the ASM. Among the statistics included in this survey: employment, payroll, value added by manufacture, cost of materials consumed, value of shipments, detailed capital expenditures, supplemental labor costs, fuels and electric energy used, and inventories by stage of fabrication. Three data sets are issued from the Annual Survey of Manufactures (Census).
  • Bankruptcy—A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (US Courts).
  • Establishment—An economic unit–business or industrial–at a single geographic location, where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. An establishment is not necessarily identical to an enterprise or company, which may consist of one or more establishments (BEA).
  • Establishments from County Business PatternsCounty Business Patterns provides data on the total number of establishments, mid-March employment, first quarter and annual payroll, and number of establishments by nine employment-size classes by detailed industry for all counties in the United States and the District of Columbia. Employers without a fixed location within a state (or of unknown county location) are included under a "statewide" classification at the end of the county tables. This incomplete detail causes only slight understatement of county employment. The independent cities in Virginia, and the cities of Baltimore, MD; Carson City, NV; and St. Louis, MO, are treated as separate counties (Census).
  • Exports—Goods and services sold by U.S. residents to foreign residents (BEA). Exports include government and nongovernment goods and services; however, they exclude goods and services sold to the U.S. military and diplomatic and consular institutions abroad. Exports do include goods and services that were previously imported (BLS).
  • Gross Domestic Product by State—A measurement of a state's output; it is the sum of value added from all industries in the state. GDP by state is the state counterpart to the nation's gross domestic product (BEA).
  • Manufacturing—This industry group includes (1) durable goods such as lumber and wood, furniture and fixtures, primary metal, fabricated metal, machinery, electric and electronic equipment, transportation equipment, motor vehicles and equipment, stone, clay, and glass, and instruments and (2) non durable goods such as food, textile mills, apparel, paper, chemicals, petroleum, rubber and plastics.
  • Nonemployer—A nonemployer business is one that has no paid employees, has annual business receipts of $1,000 or more ($1 or more in the construction industries), and is subject to federal income taxes. Nonemployer businesses are generally small, such as real estate agents and independent contractors. Nonemployers constitute nearly three-quarters of all businesses, but they contribute only about three percent of overall sales and receipts data.
  • Patent—a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted (USPTO).
  • Research & Development—Research and development (R&D) activities comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.
    • Basic research: systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind;
    • Applied research: systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met; and
    • Development: systematic use of the knowledge and understanding gained from research for the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including the design and development of prototypes and processes (National Science Foundation).
  • Venture Capital—Capital (as retained corporate earnings or individual savings) invested or available for investment in the ownership element of new or fresh enterprise. Venture Capital is private equity to help new companies grow. It is a valuable alternative source of finance for entrepreneurs, who might otherwise have to rely on a loan from a probably risk averse bank manager. 


  • College—a postsecondary school which offers general or liberal arts education, usually leading to an associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, or first-professional degree. Junior colleges and community colleges are included under this terminology (DOE).
  • College Enrollment—Regular college enrollment includes those people attending a four-year or two-year college, university, or professional school (such as medical or law school) in courses that may advance the student toward a recognized college or university degree (e.g., BA or MA). Attendance may be either full time or part time, during the day or night. The college student need not be working toward a degree, but he/she must be enrolled in a class for which credit would be applied toward a degree. Students are classified by year of college, based on the academic year (not calendar year) they are attending. Undergraduate years are the 1st through 4th year, or freshman through senior. Graduate or professional school years include the fifth year and higher.
    • Two-year and four-year colleges: College students were asked to report whether the college in which they were enrolled was a two-year college (junior or community college) or a four-year college or university. Students enrolled in the first four years (undergraduates) were classified by the type of college they reported. Graduate students are shown as a separate group.
    • Full-time vs. part-time: College students were classified according to whether they were attending school on a full-time or part-time basis. A student was regarded as attending college full time if he/she was taking 12 or more hours of classes during the average school week, and part time if he/she was taking less than 12 hours of classes during the average school week (Census).
  • Educational AttainmentRefers to the highest level of education completed in terms of the highest degree or the highest level of schooling completed.


  • Earnings—This income measure is the sum of wage and salary disbursements, other labor income, and proprietors' income. It is often used in regional economic analysis to serve as a proxy for income generated from participation in current production. The measure "net earnings" is earnings less personal contributions for social insurance. These contributions are included in earnings by type and industry, but they are not included in personal income; therefore, they are subtracted from earnings in the computation of personal income as the sum of earnings, plus dividends, interest, and rent, plus transfer payments.
  • Government current expenditures—Expenditures consisting of government consumption expenditures, current transfer payments, interest payments, and subsidies (BEA).
  • Median Income—The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts, one having incomes above the median and the other having incomes below the median. For households and families, the median income is based on the distribution of the total number of units, including those with no income.
  • Per Capita Personal Income—These are annual estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which produces a detailed series on personal income, a commonly used measure of wealth that allows for easy comparison among counties and states. Previous years have been adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index.
  • Personal Income—Personal income is the income received by persons from all sources—that is, from participation in production, from both government and business transfer payments, and from government interest. Personal income is measured as the sum of wage and salary disbursements, other labor income, proprietors' income, rental income of persons, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and transfer payments, less personal contributions for social insurance.


  • Building permits—represent the number of new housing units authorized by building permits in the United States. The building permits data relate to new private housing units intended for occupancy on a housekeeping basis. They exclude mobile homes (trailers), hotels, motels, and group residential structures, such as nursing homes and college dormitories. They also exclude conversions of and alterations to existing buildings. These numbers provide a general indication of the amount of new housing stock that may have been added to the housing inventory. Since not all permits become actual housing starts and starts lag the permit stage of construction, these numbers do not represent total new construction, but should provide a general indicator on construction activity and the local real estate market (Census).

  • Household—A household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit. A household may be comprised of one or more families, one or more unrelated individuals, or a combination of families and unrelated individuals. In 100-percent tabulations, the count of households or householders always equals the count of occupied housing units. In sample tabulations, the numbers may differ as a result of the weighting process.
  • Housing Unit—A house, apartment, mobile home or trailer, a group of rooms or a single room occupied or intended to be occupied as separate living quarters.
  • Population—Total population is a count or estimate of all people living in a given geographic area and generally includes people living in group quarters, such as colleges, hospitals, institutions, and nursing homes, as well as armed forces personnel permanently assigned to the area.
  • Race—For statistical purposes, racial categories are prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies collecting statistical data. Many state and nonprofit organizations use the same race categories, but often add or eliminate certain categories. The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification; it does not denote any clear-cut scientific definition of biological stock. The data for race represent self-classification by people according to the race with which they most closely identify. The racial classification used generally adheres to the guidelines issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.


  • Covered Employment—Essentially those jobs covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and for civilian workers covered by the program of Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE). The Covered Employment and Wages program, is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and state employment agencies.
  • Current Employment Statistics (CES)—A program that, each month, surveys about 150,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 390,000 individual worksites, in order to provide detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls (BLS).
  • Employment—Employment can refer to either a person or a job. If it is person-based, then it is also based on where that person resides. If it is job-based, it is based on the location of the job. Keep in mind that one person can have more than one job. There are many sources for employment numbers. Those from the decennial census count the number of people with jobs at the time of enumeration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates people working (employed) or looking for work (unemployed) and estimates the number of jobs by industry based on covered employment. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates the number of jobs by industry (by place of work) and also includes sole proprietors (which BLS does not). Caution is urged when "mixing" sources, since each agency uses different estimation methods and therefore have somewhat different numbers.
  • Industry—A group of establishments that produce similar products or provide similar services. For example, all establishments that manufacture automobiles are in the same industry. A given industry, or even a particular establishment in that industry, might have employees in dozens of occupations. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) groups similar establishments into industries. NAICS replaced the former Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system (BLS).
  • Labor Force—All persons 16 years old and older who are either employed or unemployed but actively looking for work and available to accept employment, plus the members of the Armed Forces.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)— A program that produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations. These are estimates of the number of people employed in certain occupations, and estimates of the wages paid to them. Self-employed persons are not included in the estimates. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available (USDOL).
  • Payroll Employment—Employment is the total number of persons on establishment payrolls employed full or part time who received pay for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th day of the month. Temporary and intermittent employees are included, as are any workers who are on paid sick leave, on paid holiday, or who work during only part of the specified pay period. A striking worker who only works a small portion of the survey period, and is paid, would be included as employed under the CES definitions. Persons on the payroll of more than one establishment are counted in each establishment. Data exclude proprietors, self-employed, unpaid family or volunteer workers, farm workers, and domestic workers. Persons on layoff the entire pay period, on leave without pay, on strike for the entire period or who have not yet reported for work are not counted as employed. Government employment covers only civilian workers. With the release of NAICS-based estimates in June 2003, the scope and definition of Federal Government employment estimates changed due to a change in source data and estimation methods. The previous series was an end-of-month federal employee count produced by the Office of Personnel Management, and it excluded some workers, mostly employees who work in Department of Defense-owned establishments such as military base commissaries. Beginning in June 2003, the CES national series began to include these workers. Also, federal government employment is now estimated from a sample of federal establishments, is benchmarked annually to counts from unemployment insurance tax records, and reflects employee counts as of the pay period including the 12th of the month, consistent with other CES industry series. The historical time series for federal government employment was revised to reflect these changes (BLS).
  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)—A program that publishes a quarterly count of employment and wages reported by employers covering 98 percent of U.S. jobs, available at the county, MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), state and national levels by industry (BLS).
  • Unemployment Insurance—Unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under state law), and meet other eligibility requirements of state law (DOLETA).
  • Union—An organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests in respect to wages, benefits and working conditions (Merriam-Webster).
  • Union Membership Data—Refers to wage and salary workers who report that they are members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union (BLS).
  • Wages and Salaries—This component of personal income is defined as the monetary remuneration of employees; this remuneration includes the compensation of corporate officers; commissions, tips, and bonuses; voluntary employee contributions to certain deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans; and receipts in kind, or pay-in-kind, that represent income. Wage and salary disbursements are measured before deductions, such as social security contributions and union dues, and they reflect the amount of wages and salaries disbursed, but not necessarily earned, during the year.




If you click on a rank for any indicator, you'll access a list that ranks all states top to bottom on the indicator in question. This is a good way to find peers or the highest and lowest for a given item. The linked ranks also provide an easy way to copy and paste selected data items into a spreadsheet.


A variety of calculations are provided as a value-added feature, helping put the data into context. Percent changes, distributions and shares of United States or individual state can help the user understand the state's position nationally.

Percent changes provide look at change over a given period of time.  The earlier year is subtracted from the latest year, divided by the earlier year and presented in percent (rather than fraction) form in this profile. 

Percent of U.S. or State (sometimes referred to as share) is a way of comparing the county to the U.S. or its state. For example, the state of Illinois has 4% of the nation’s population.  The percent of U.S. or State when calculated based on per capita or rate can be used as a relative measure and show whether the county is doing worse, better or the same as the U.S. or State.  For example, Illinois as a percent of U.S. per capita income is 105%.  This means that Illinois’s per capita income is 5% greater than that of the U.S.

Adjustment for inflation was made on all dollar values.  This was done using the CPI (consumer price index) for the years being compared.