The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS (/nks/)[1] is a classification of business establishments by type of economic activity (the process of production). It is used by governments and business in Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America. It has largely replaced the older Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, except in some government agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

An establishment is typically a single physical location, though administratively distinct operations at a single location may be treated as separate establishments. Each establishment is classified as an industry according to the primary business activity taking place there. NAICS does not offer guidance on organizing enterprises (companies) composed of multiple establishments.


The NAICS numbering system employs a five or six-digit code at the most detailed industry level. The first five digits are generally (although not always strictly) the same in all three countries. The first two digits designate the largest business sector; the third digit represents the subsector; the fourth digit represents the industry group; the fifth digit designates the NAICS industries, and the sixth digit represents the national industries.

NAICS aggregation levels
Digit designation Aggregation level
2 Sector
3 Subsector
4 Industry group
5 Industry
6 National industry
Example of NAICS structure
Code Titles of categories
54 Professional, scientific, and technical services
541 Professional, scientific, and technical services
5411 Legal services
54111 Offices of lawyers
541110 Offices of lawyers
2017 NAICS Sectors[2]
Sector # Description Note
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
22 Utilities
23 Construction
31–33 Manufacturing
41–42 Wholesale Trade (41 in Canada,[3] 42 in the United States[2])
44–45 Retail Trade
48–49 Transportation and Warehousing
51 Information [notes 1]
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)
91–92 Public Administration (91 in Canada, 92 in the United States[4])


NAICS is a collaborative effort by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), Statistics Canada, and the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB), through its Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), staffed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the Census Bureau. The system is designed to be largely compatible with the United Nations Statistical Office's International Standard Industrial Classification system (ISIC). NAICS versions are released every five years.

With the first version, released in 1997, NAICS offered enhanced service sector coverage relative to the SIC. The 2002 revision accommodated significant changes in the Information Sector. The 2012 revision slightly reduced the number of industries and modified six sectors.[5]

NAICS changes are done at intervals of five years; the latest NAICS updated in 2022.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Information" includes publishing industries, motion picture and sound recording, broadcasting, telecommunications, as well as data processing and hosting.


  1. ^ "North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)". Special Projects Staff, Service Sector Statistics Division. Archived from the original on March 5, 2019. Retrieved 2016-12-24. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS, pronounced Nakes)
  2. ^ a b "2017 North American Industry Classification System". United States Census Bureau. April 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "NAICS 2017 – 41 – Wholesale trade". Statistics Canada. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  4. ^ "NAICS 2017 – 92 – Public administration". Statistics Canada. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  5. ^ "14. How does NAICS 2012 differ from NAICS 2007?". Frequently Asked Questions NAICS. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  6. ^ "North American Industry Classification System – Revision for 2022" (PDF). Federal Register Notices. Retrieved 2022-04-25.

Further reading

Analogues in other countries