Category: Business creation and development; longitudinal databases

Overview: The Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) is a research dataset constructed at the Center for Economic Studies (CES) in the U.S. Census Bureau. The LBD contains the universe of all U.S. business establishments with paid employees listed in the Census Bureau’s business register. Updated annually, the LBD provides data on all employer establishments that are in scope for the Economic Census, as well as a large number of other out of scope entities. The LBD provides researchers with a complete and accurate set of longitudinal establishment linkages, and contains basic information on establishment size, payroll, age, industry, location, ownership, and legal form of organization as well as characteristics of the firms they belong to including firm age and firm size. The LBD can be linked to other establishment and firm information contained in Economic Census and survey files available at CES.

Form: Microdatabase, panel series

Unit of Analysis: Establishment

Coverage: All U.S. business establishments with paid employees listed in the Census Bureau’s business register

Key Data Elements: Establishment size, industry, location, ownership, start year, last year

Size: 8 million observations in 2009 & 24 million unique establishments from 1975 to present

Timeframe: LBD: 1976-2009

Frequency: Annual

Method: Constructed from linkages between establishments across annual Standard Statistical Establishment List files

Access: Use restricted to qualified researchers, through the Research Data Center Program

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Track evolution of region’s establishments by location or industry; identify contributions of young vs. old firms or small vs. large firms

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