Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning. Task 119. Transportation Users Guide to the Economic Census

The U.S. Census Bureau collects and disseminates data on individuals, households, industrial production and employment, commodity flows, international trade, and other topics that are used in transportation. Demographic products such as the Decennial Census, the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program, and the American Community Survey (ACS) are probably the best known and most utilized Census products for transportation planning, travel forecasting, and policy making. The Economic Census includes the Commodity Flow Survey but other parts of the Economic Census and its related data programs are less well known and less well utilized by transportation professionals. The Economic Census sector and industry reports on transportation, Service Annual Survey, Quarterly Services Survey, Annual Survey of Manufacturers, Foreign Trade Statistics, and Manufacturer's Shipments, Inventories, and Orders, are currently being used in transportation performance measures, freight planning, transportation and economic development assessments, and a variety of other applications. The Economic Census is also the basis for the Commodity Flow Survey, County Business Patterns, and other products used by the transportation community. The effective use of the Census Bureau's economic data could be increased significantly by providing transportation professionals with a guide to available data, including examples of applications. Data collection for the next Economic Census and related surveys is underway, with release of preliminary data sets scheduled for 2013, and detailed data sets starting in 2014 through 2016. Given the anticipated release of major data products, as well as the ongoing availability of data collected on a quarterly and annual basis, a guide would be of immediate use and benefit to transportation professionals at all levels, university researchers, consultants, and other groups. The objective of this project is to develop a guidebook for transportation planners, analysts, and other professionals, on what data the Economic Census contains and how it can be applied to transportation issues. The guidebook will include: (1) descriptions of the Economic Census elements and related data sources; (2) best practices; (3) case studies to illustrate aspects of the guidebook; (4) explanations of transportation applications and analysis methods; and (5) examples of effective visual presentations of the data, including cross sectional and time-focused data.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $80000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-36, Task

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Performing Organizations:

    Cambridge Systematics

    555 12th Street
    Suite 1600
    Oakland, CA  United States  94607
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ludlow, Donald

  • Start Date: 20131024
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150515
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38326

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547649
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-36, Task
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 12 2014 1:01AM