IMPLAN has provided zip code level data since the IMPLAN 2018 Annual Dataset. Note, however, that IMPLAN only develops data for those zip codes for which there is one of the following data points: land area from the latest Decennial Census, population or household count (by income group) from the latest American Community Survey (ACS), railroad employment from the latest Railroad Retirement Board report, or Census Bureau County Business Pattern (CBP) employment. Having at least one of those data points allows us to distribute part of the county's data to the zip code.

It should be noted that after getting the raw data for all of our geographies, we also balance population estimates prior to writing final IMPLAN data. Basically, we make sure that zip codes add up to counties, counties add up to the states, and states add up to the U.S. national values. As a result of this balancing, numbers won't be 100% comparable with raw data, even if we were comparing to the exact same tables that the data team started out with. For more information about zip code data considerations please see Understanding Zip Code Data.



Due to the change in Census Bureau’s disclosure policies beginning with their 2017 data, we are no longer able to produce a fully-disclosed set of Zip-Code Business Pattern (ZBP) data (CBP at the zip-code level). We now use our last fully-disclosed version of the Census’ last complete ZBP data set (2016), updated to incorporate changes reflected by the limited set of disclosed records released annually by the Census Bureau.

While the ZBP data serve as our primary data source for zip-code level Employment and Labor Income, there are some sectors which ZBP does not fully cover, so other distributors must be used to distribute the county-level data to the zip codes. These industry groups and their proxies are:

  • Farm industries: Farm counts
  • Railroad (RR) transportation: Independent RR employment data (same data source as the county-level RR employment data)
  • Religious organizations: Population
  • Government: Population
  • Construction: Employment for all construction combined


Census Bureau population and household count data are also available at the zip code level through the American Community Survey (ACS) program, and are similarly used to create ratios among all the zip codes that belong to a given county, which are then used to distribute the county values for various data points to the zip codes in that county. For example, population ratios are also used to apportion out county-level personal income and Institutional Sales, while household counts by income group are used to distribute county-level Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCEs) by household income group.


  • Decennial Census (land area)
  • Railroad Retirement Board (employment for the Rail Transportation industry)
  • Census of Agriculture (farm counts by farm Commodity)


Employment ratios are used to distribute all Industry data (Employment, Output, Employee Compensation, Proprietor Income, Other Property Type Income, and Tax on Production and Imports) into their respective zip code regions.

Proxies are used to distribute Industries that CBP does not cover to zip code regions. Read more about the CBP and its coverage at Employment and Labor Income Data Sources. These industries, and the proxies used to separate the zip code employment from the county(ies) are shown below:

  • Agricultural Industries: These are estimated from the current Census of Agriculture. County level farming is distributed to zip codes based on the Census number of farms by zip code.
  • Railroad: These are estimated based on trucking and warehousing distribution employment as a proxy.
  • Religious organizations: Population is used as the proxy for determining these employment values.
  • Government, except education: Total employment for the zip code is used to distribute county level government employment.
  • State & Local Education: Population is used.
  • Construction: Employment for NAICS Sector 22 is used for this proxy.


Final Demands also need to be estimated. The proxy values used to distribute the county-level Final Demands to a zip code area are listed below.

  • PCE by household income group: household counts by income group
  • Federal Government Defense Expenditures: land area
  • Federal Government Non-Defense Expenditures: total employment
  • Federal Government Sales: population
  • State and Local Government Other Services Expenditures: total employment
  • State and Local Government Education Expenditures: population
  • State and Local Government Hospitals and Health Services Expenditures: population
  • State and Local Government Sales: population
  • Investment: output by industry
  • Foreign Exports: employment by industry
  • Changes in Inventory: employment by industry


Due to the limited raw data at the zip code level, productivity data for the zip code area is the same as for the county containing the zip code. The following examples are included as part of the productivity data:

  • Output per Worker
  • Earnings per Worker
  • Value Added per Output


Understanding Zip Code Data


Written April 18, 2024