The 1954 economic census was the first to fully compile census-type data for the various kinds of business by using tax returns and social security records. The census provided comparable data across economic sectors, using consistent time periods, concepts, definitions, classification, and reporting units. For the first time, computers were used for processing economic census data. The 1948 census law that authorized the Census Bureau to conduct economic censuses in 1949 and every fifth year thereafter was modified in 1964, so that economic censuses cover the years ending in "2" and "7".
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