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North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

NAICS (pronounced "nakes") is a system for classifying business establishments by type of economic activity.


NAICS was developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide comparability in statistics about business activity across North America.

  • In the U.S., NAICS falls under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  It has replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.
  • There is no central government agency with the role of assigning, monitoring, or approving NAICS codes for individual establishments. Individual establishments are assigned NAICS codes by various agencies for various purposes using a variety of methods. The U.S. Census Bureau has no formal role as an arbitrator of NAICS classification.

Revisions in NAICS

NAICS will be reviewed every five years, in the years ending in '2' or '7', for potential revisions so that the classification system can keep pace with the changing economy.

A new North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) is under development, starting in nine service sectors. Whereas NAICS focuses on the input and production processes of industries, NAPCS will classify all the output of the industries of NAICS.

More Information

For more information about NAICS, see:

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last modified Jan 01, 2009 07:22 PM