New Census Surveys Provide Near Real-Time Info on Households, Businesses During COVID-19


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America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

Empty street and row of small businesses.

Pulse Surveys, Business Formation Statistics Will Be Updated Weekly

Against a backdrop of unprecedented circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau recognizes the need for accurate, real-time data on the U.S. population and economy.

The ability to understand how individuals and businesses are weathering the current crisis is critical given business disruption, stay-at-home orders, school closures, changes in the availability of consumer goods and consumer patterns, and other abrupt and significant changes to American life. 

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The Census Bureau is answering the call with three new and major data products.

  • The Household Pulse Survey will produce and disseminate data on these social and economic factors in near real-time each week.
  • The Small Business Pulse Survey includes information on location closings, changes in employment, disruptions in the supply chain, the use of federal assistance programs, and expectations concerning future operations. 
  • Initially released as a quarterly, experimental product in February 2018, Business Formation Statistics now tracks trends in business applications and formations at the state, regional, and national level on a weekly basis. 

To learn more about these data products and look at the BFS data visualizations, continue reading …

More Pulse Survey Resources

Census Bureau data

What are Experimental Data Products? Experimental data products are innovative statistical products created using new data sources or methodologies that benefit data users in the absence of other relevant products. We are seeking feedback from data users and stakeholders on the quality and usefulness of these new products.

Press Release: Experimental “Pulse” Surveys to Track Temporal Trends During Pandemic

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About America Counts

America Counts tells the stories behind the numbers in a new inviting way. It features stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, the economy, emergency preparedness, and population. Contact our Public Information Office for media inquiries or interviews. 

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