North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

The Industrial Classification system used by the U S government and many reference sources.

  • The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS, pronounced Nakes) was developed under the direction and guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the standard for use by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data describing the U.S. economy. Use of the standard provides uniformity and comparability in the presentation of these statistical data.

    NAICS is based on a production-oriented concept, meaning that it groups establishments into industries according to similarity in the processes used to produce goods or services. NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 1997.

    NAICS was initially developed and subsequently revised by Mexico's INEGI, Statistics Canada, and the U.S. Economic Classification Policy Committee (the latter acting on behalf of OMB). The goal of this collaboration was to produce common industry definitions for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. These common definitions facilitate economic analyses of the economies of the three North American countries. The statistical agencies in the three countries produce information on inputs and outputs, industrial performance, productivity, unit labor costs, and employment. NAICS, which is based on a production-oriented concept, ensures maximum usefulness of industrial statistics for these and similar purposes.

    NAICS in the United States was designed for statistical purposes. However, NAICS is frequently used for various administrative, regulatory, contracting, taxation, and other non-statistical purposes. For example, some state governments offer tax incentives to businesses classified in specified NAICS industries. Some contracting authorities require businesses to register their NAICS codes, which are used to determine eligibility to bid on certain contracts. The requirements for these non-statistical purposes played no role in the initial development of NAICS or its later revisions.

  • Revision of NAICSNAICS is scheduled to be reviewed every 5 years for potential revisions, so that the classification system can keep pace with the changing economy. Check the above web site for information about the 2002 NAICS classifications, the 2007 classifications and the upcoming 2012 revisions.
  • How is the classification system structured?

    NAICS is a two- through six-digit hierarchical classification system, offering five levels of detail. Each digit in the code is part of a series of progressively narrower categories, and the more digits in the code signify greater classification detail. The first two digits designate the economic sector, the third digit designates the subsector, the fourth digit designates the industry group, the fifth digit designates the NAICS industry, and the sixth digit designates the national industry. The five-digit NAICS code is the level at which there is comparability in code and definitions for most of the NAICS sectors across the three countries participating in NAICS (the United States, Canada, and Mexico). The six-digit level allows for the United States, Canada, and Mexico each to have country-specific detail. A complete and valid NAICS code contains six digits.

    • Economic Sector -- Description
    • 11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
    • 21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
    • 22 Utilities
    • 23 Construction
    • 31-33 Manufacturing
    • 42 Wholesale Trade
    • 44-45 Retail Trade
    • 48-49 Transportation and Warehousing
    • 51 Information
    • 52 Finance and Insurance
    • 53 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
    • 54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
    • 55 Management of Companies and Enterprises
    • 56 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
    • 61 Educational Services
    • 62 Health Care and Social Assistance
    • 71 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
    • 72 Accommodation and Food Services
    • 81 Other Services (except Public Administration)
    • 92 Public Administration

Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC)

This is from the government site at OSHA. Search the 1987 edition of the SIC manual by keyword.

  • NAICS replaced the SIC in 1997. Now the Federal statistical agencies use NAICS for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of economic statistics. There will be no further revisions of the SIC, which was last updated in 1987. It is possible that other organizations and state and local agencies are continuing to use the SIC for their own purposes, but these non-statistical uses are outside the scope of the Federal economic statistical programs. To find the SIC codes and their descriptions, visit the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website, which maintains a SIC Manual.

NAICS Concordances

Concordances showing relationships between the classification systems:

  • 2012 to 2007 NAICS [XLS, 172KB]
  • 2007 to 2012 NAICS [XLS, 167KB]
  • 2007 NAICS to ISIC 4 [XLS, 353KB]
  • 2007 NAICS to 2002 NAICS [XLS, 158KB]
  • 2002 NAICS to 2007 NAICS [XLS, 158KB]
  • 2002 NAICS to 1997 NAICS [XLS, 1.3MB]
  • 1997 NAICS to 2002 NAICS [XLS, 1.3MB]
  • 2002 NAICS to 1987 SIC [XLS, 397KB]
  • 1987 SIC to 2002 NAICS [XLS, 397KB]
  • 1997 NAICS to 1987 SIC [XLS, 358KB]
  • 1987 SIC to 1997 NAICS [XLS, 359KB]
  • 2002 NAICS US to ISIC Rev. 3.1 [XLS, 416KB]
  • 2002 NAICS US to NACE Rev. 1.1 [XLS, 460KB]
Last Updated: Dec 3, 2018 11:27 AM