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Business & Management: NAICS

Last Updated: May 24, 2022 3:26 PM


NAICS is the U.S. government's official system for classifying business activities by industry sector.  NAICS was created by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in 1997 in conjunction with the governments of Canada and Mexico.  It is used by government agencies, private industry,  and researchers to tabulate economic statistics, categorize companies by type of business, organize published information about industries, and for other reporting purposes.

Anyone conducting  research about U.S. industries (or companies within those industries) will benefit from using the standardized six-digit NAICS codes in their search. For example, the NAICS code for the computer manufacturing industry is 334111; the code for fast-food restaurants, pizzerias, and delicatessens is 722513. Many of the business databases offered by the University Libraries utilize the NAICS reporting structure and are searchable by NAICS codes.

The NAICS system is revised every five years, in years ending in 2 or 7. The latest edition is 2017. NAICS replaces the government's former numbering system, called the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC).

For more information about NAICS, including a keyword-searchable guide to the codes, detailed definitions of each industry sector, and a downloadable manual of the complete code structure, go to the North American Industry Classification System page at the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Related Links

Recommended Reading

NAICS manual

Guide to NAICS code from the U.S. Census Bureau