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Census Bureau prepares to collect data for the 2022 Economic Census

U.S. Census Bureau logo
Census personnel arriving soon to share and discuss plans

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S. Census Bureau has released information for the 2022 Economic Census of Island Areas, which covers American Samoa and the other US territories, with some changes to the new questionnaires as compared to the previous economic census.

Two officials of the Census Bureau (which works in collaboration of the ASG Commerce Department) are expected to arrive on island next week to share information and discuss the planned census with local officials, private sector and the news media.

The Census Bureau said in an information package publicly released last week, that there will be changes to the 2022 insular areas economic census, saying that it will be a more standard collection across industries and islands. Some items were consolidated or eliminated to reduce respondent burden, while other items were added to better meet the needs of key data users.

It says that these changes should lead to an improved and more relevant collection, processing, and dissemination of data for 2022. Some of the planned changes:

•           Sales from Exports (Item 5): A question was added to the Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue item of all questionnaires asking for the percent of sales from exports. Prior to 2022, this question was only on wholesale and retail questionnaires.

•           Value of Inventories (Item 9): The Value of Inventories item was added to all questionnaires. Prior to 2022, this item was only on questionnaires covering the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail industries.

Selected Expenses (Item 16): Several expense categories were removed or condensed, depending on the industry-specific questionnaire type, due to a lack of relevance to the affected industry.

Type of Construction (Item 28, line C1 and C2): A question was added to construction questionnaires to collect a breakout of new construction, additions, and maintenance for both buildings and other types of construction.


The Census Bureau explained that the 2022 Economic Census of Island Areas uses direct data collection supplemented by data from federal administrative records to compile statistics on approximately 50,000 business establishments in industries defined by the 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) operating in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

And Island Areas census is the major source of facts about the structure and functioning of the economy of the territories. It provides essential information for government, business, industry, and the general public.

According to the Census Bureau, the first release of 2022 data covering American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands is scheduled to occur in June and July of 2024. 

Data for Puerto Rico will be released in June 2025.  In the event of an unplanned data revision, revised statistics may be made available under “Updates” or under “Latest Data.”

The U.S Congress authorized the economic censuses to be taken at 5-year intervals covering years ending in "2" and "7." The Economic Census is taken 5-year intervals.

The last insular areas economic census — including American Samoa — was carried out in 2018 for the 2017 economic census.

Detailed information and updates on the island area economic census (