November 8, 2018

The Bureau of Economic Analysis made changes today to some of our tables showing data about states, counties, metro areas, and other local areas. The changes make the presentation of data more consistent across BEA’s regional tables.

These changes in the way gross domestic product and personal income figures are displayed affect only the presentation, not the actual data. But users of BEA’s developer tools, interactive database, and news release tables should take note.

Among the most significant differences: Some tables formerly presented in thousands of dollars are now denominated in millions. And some tables you’re used to seeing in millions of dollars are now presented in thousands.

Also, the names of industry categories were standardized across regional tables. In cases where a category’s name changed in some tables, only the name was affected: The definition of the category and the lower-level industries that are included within it remain the same.

The changes will require some users of our API (application programming interface) to update the retrieval requests they use to access regional data. Over time, API users will need to switch to a new, consolidated data set named “Regional.” Full details are available in the API User Guide.

A summary of the changes:

  • New API data set: The new data set named “Regional” includes all BEA’s regional statistics and eliminates the need to access two separate data sets to extract the desired statistics. The “RegionalIncome” and “RegionalProduct” data sets will continue to function while users update their retrieval requests to take advantage of the new “Regional” data set. Eventually the two older data sets will be phased out.
  • Fewer data suppressions: Small numbers that were previously replaced by the “L” suppression code in our tables are now included in the tables. The “L” suppression code now appears only in tables denominated in millions of dollars, to indicate the presence of numbers that would appear as zero in the table due to rounding.
  • Harmonization of many industry categories: In all tables containing regional statistics, industries that are defined identically now have the same label. For example, some BEA regional tables previously included information for the “Mining” industry.  This industry title now appears as “Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction” in all regional tables. The contents of the categories remain identical. Most of these changes to industry titles improve correspondence to the industry structures defined in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
  • Harmonization of units: All state-level tables containing summary statistics for personal income or GDP now contain data denominated in millions of dollars. All tables detailing the component structure of GDP or personal income contain statistics denominated in thousands of dollars. A list of these unit changes is available through the API User Guide.
  • New breakout of local area personal income tables: BEA’s interactive data will now allow users to determine whether they’d prefer to retrieve statistics for sub-state areas at the county level only (Table CAINC1), or if they’re interested in statics for other sub-state areas (Table MAINC1). County statistics are denominated in thousands of dollars. Statistics for other areas, such as metropolitan statistical areas or combined statistical areas, are denominated in millions of dollars.
  • New table name variables for API users: Tables containing BEA regional personal income and GDP statistics have been assigned consistent designations, such as “SAINC1” for state annual income and “SQGDP2” for state quarterly GDP. API users will need to use the new variables to populate the TableName parameter when retrieving data from the new “Regional” data set. See the list of these table name changes and the API User Guide for more information.