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Tobacco Industry: Sources of Historical Research


In the United States, statistics for tobacco and tobacco products reside in different agencies and the reporting and publishing of the data has changed over time. Generally speaking, there are a few specific agencies that have collected and reported data related to the industry. The data can often be overlapping and reported concurrently.

Thomas J. O'Halloran, photographer. Bureau of Labor Statistics- Artist working on a consumer price index chart, 1971. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Business & Census Statistics

This is a selected list of some of the business-oriented government statistical publications mostly related to agriculture and manufacturing. Many are from the Census Bureau, but not all relevant Census publications were included.

How the Census Bureau published statistical data changed over time. Much of the data was gathered through the Decennial Census, the Agricultural Census (now done by the Department of Agriculture), Census of Manufacturing, and Economic Census, which began in 1930. The way the data was published depended on how it was gathered at the time, so you will see tobacco statistics as part of either the Economic Census, Agriculture Census, or Census of Manufacturing. The organization of the publications themselves also changed: Tobacco Products was published as one part of an Industry Series volume, but sometimes it was also published as a stand-alone publication.

Most data available on the Census Bureau web site goes back to the 1990s. Some older statistical publications have been digitized and can be found on the Census site, but if you are looking for older material it might be available in print only. More recent data is available on The list below includes more identifiable tobacco related statistics. If you want to understand the Economic Census more particularly, Business Reference has a guide that includes more detailed information on it including links to catalog records and other digital content.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

Agricultural Statistics

For more current information from the Department of Agriculture see the Government & Industry Resources section of this guide.