Using American Factfinder with Economic Data Products
OpenAmericanFactFinderWorks only with recent versions of Firefox & Internet Explorer 7 (not IE 8). in a new windowOther browsers may not perform as expected.
START with theTopics filter (on the left side)
1. From within the Topics filter select a Program:
Business Expense Survey
Commodity Flow Survey
Survey of Business Owners
For more information about each program and
its geographic coverage, Click here.
2. Then select Year or Dataset
The "Search Results" display will appear either when you make your first choice from the options within the Topicsfilter menu.
The Search Results window lists all tables that
Filters you apply or searches you do will reduce
the number of tables in the Search Results
All choices will appear in the "Your Selections"
box in the upper left above the filter choices.
Selections can be deleted at any time.
All economic products in AFF use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) which is a hierarchical code scheme where the most detailed description of an industry is based on a six digit code. There are four higher levels of reporting based on the first 5, 4, 3, and 2 digits of NAICS.
Level of Reporting
all six digits of NAICS
1st five digits of NAICS
North American Industry
1st four digits of NAICS
1st three digits of NAICS
1st two digits of NAICS
In addition to NAICS, analysis based on other product or commodities codes are reported in three products:
- Economic Census
- Annual Survey of Manufactures
- Commodity Flow Survey
Click here for information about the codes used in these data products.
Industry selection involves choices about both industry description and reporting level.
In the left menu click on Industry Codes and an overlay window will appear.
The list of available industries will reflect any selections you have already made in the main AFF window.
The main AFF window will not be impacted by your industry selections until you finalize your selections.
If the Code Type filter is listed as filter, you can filter to limit to NAICS or any other code scheme. If it does not appear then data by NAICS is the only option.
For NAICS there is an additional filter, Code Year, which can be used to choose a particular release of NAICS. More information about NAICS releases is on the NAICS main page.
To shorten the list based on level of reporting use the radio buttons for code levels (all, individual, group) which are listed under the Industry code filter options.
Group entries can be either: -all totals for all industries at a particular Level of reporting
(e.g. the ALL-L3 group selects subsectors totals for all industries.
ALL-L4 all Industry Groups. etc.; typing just 00 selects all sectors),
-all totals for a selected industry at a selected level
(e.g. the ALL-L3-11 group selects all subsectors within NAICS 11 sector.)
-all totals at or below a specified level (sector, subsector, industry group)
(e.g. the ALL-113 group selects codes at all levels within subsector 113.)
To shorten the list based on description of the industry or industry group by use either the
SEARCH BOX, FILTER OPTIONS, or A COMBINATION.
Filter Options (best option as filters display codes and industry description)
When working with NAICS you can shorten the list of tables using the Industry Sector and Industry Subsector filters. These display lists, which are easy to browse, of industry codes with brief descriptions.
For a complete description of a code click on the code number in filter list.
If you are interested lower levels of reporting then use the Industry Level filter.
A search or browsing are you only options when using a product code scheme; searching can be useful for NAICS when you are familiar with industry names.
Enter text that describes the industry you want to search. An auto-complete box will appear. Selecting either what you type or what is suggested will shorten the list of available industries.
Search/Filter (an example)
If you know what level of reporting you want, say data a five digits of NAICS, first filter by Industry Level and then use the search box.
Finalize Your Selections
Making a selection causes your choices to be moved to the "Your Selections" box on the main AFF selection screen.
Make selections by checking the box to left of any location you want to choose.
To finalize your selections use the Add button found above the list of choices to finalize your selection of geographies.
Click on Geographies in the left menu and the overlay Select Geographies window will appear.
The geographic levels are listed within the Geographies Type menu and the geographies that show reflect all your Program-Dataset and Industry choices.
Select the geographic type you want and then use the "Within" options to specify a coverage area.
Using the "within" feature for ZIP codes can problematic because zip codes can cross both political and Census Bureau boundaries.
To finalize your selections use the Add button found above the list of geographies.
This will move your selections to the "Your Selections" box in the main AFF window and you can then close the overlay window.
There are only a few tables in the list distinguished by content.
In addition to information about geography and content that is in table description, on the right of each entry there is an information icon, i, that links to full description of each table.
To compare the layout of two tables, click on the box to the left of each one and then click on the Compare button that is above the list of tables.
To make a selection check the box to left of an entry.
You are able to select multiple tables but the viewing/downloading interface delivers the results one table at a time.
Above the list of tables is an option to View.
You must choose this option if you want presentation-ready formats in either PDF or Excel.
Choosing View will advance you to a window where the data table is displayed.
If you selected more than one table you must View them one after the other.
If you have selected many geographies in the View Window they may be displayed one location at a time using a pull-down menu.
In the View Window clicking on the Modify Table option activates Table Tool which you can use to customize the display. Note. Modifications are only applied to "Presentation-ready formats."
In the View Window clicking on the Modify Table option activates Table Tool menu which you can use to customize the display.
For specifics use the Table Tools help (click on the white on blue ? within the Table Tool Menu).
The tools may include the ability to transpose row and columns, hide rows and columns, filter rows, filter column dimensions, and reorder columns; some are available only in selected data products.
Particularly useful is the ability to transpose and, for ACS data, to filter by Dimension Column; that is, when a row characteristic has many dimensions, say estimate and MOE total or total, total male and total female, select one for download and display.
Downloading "Presentation-ready Formats
From the View page, clicking on the Download option gives you choices for presentation-ready formats.
If the number of geographic areas you have selected is large enough so that they are viewed via a pull-down menu then you may have to download the display-ready formats one location at a time.
Otherwise all your geographies will appear in one table even if they don't all appear in the web display.
Note. If you choose Excel format the spreadsheet the formatting may contain features like merged cells that make changing the layout difficult.
Downloading "Database-compatible" formats"
Choose this option if you
want multiple geographies in one table;
from the Search results window have chosen more than one table (each table would be a separate file within a zipped file);
have selected a number of geographic areas;
need to have FIPS codes that can uniquely identify each location in your table.
When you select the Download option on the Search page, the default is a database-compatible .csv format with the data and annotations is a single file.
If you navigate to the View page and then select the Download option the options for database-compatible formats are offered together with presentation-ready formats..
The output is a zipped file containing a data file in comma delimited (.csv) format plus explanatory files.
On selecting this download method, the "Download Progress" window appears.
When the creation of the Zip file shows as complete, click on "download" to activate the standard operating system download.