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Know Your State, Economically Speaking


People in Hawaii spent an average of $609 per person at fast-food restaurants in 2002, more than the residents of any other state. Delaware has the highest annual per capita spending at shoe stores ($128).

Economically speaking, every state leads the nation at something. You can find these facts at Top-Ranked States by Industry, a new U.S. Census Bureau Web page that highlights state-level findings from the 2002 Economic Census.

The economic census is conducted every five years — those ending in 2 and 7. More than 4 million businesses have received 2007 Economic Census questionnaires, which are to be returned by Feb. 12.

“The economic census is the most comprehensive measure of America’s economy,” said Tom Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s associate director for economic programs. “Economic census data provide hard figures that businesses need to assess where they stand in the marketplace and where they have a competitive advantage.”

Details about all 50 states plus the District of Columbia can be mined from the 2002 Economic Census. According to the census, law offices are thriving in Washington, D.C., ranking the highest in receipts per resident at $15,839. Enough tortillas are manufactured in California to average $17 in annual shipments for every man, woman and child in the state. Residents of Washington state spent more at the dentist than residents of any other state ($374). Tennessee’s musical groups and artists earned more on a per capita basis than any other state ($65). Bowling alleys grossed more than $25 per person in Wisconsin. Alaska led the nation in revenue per person for chiropractors’ offices ($58).

The 2007 Economic Census is under way now, with businesses that received forms required by law to respond. Information about individual firms is kept confidential, and only aggregate industry data are published.

Interesting facts about the 2007 Economic Census, including the number of forms sent to each state, local area or industry, can be found at Businesses needing assistance with their forms, reporting electronically, or with questions regarding the economic census, may go to


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