The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code system has been used since the 1930s. It was
developed by the Interdepartmental Committee on Industrial Statistics, established by the
Central Statistical Board of the United States who developed the List of Industries for
manufacturing, published in 1938, and the 1939 List of Industries for non-manufacturing
industries, which became the first Standard Industrial Classification for the United States.
The SIC system was last revised in 1987 and last used in the 1992 Economic Census.
The system is broken down into 10 Divisions (A-J) and each is then divided into Major Groups
(2 digits) and then into specific 4 digit numbers. Included are the previous editions for
History of the Standard Industrial Classification
From the introduction by Esther Pearce to the 1967 SIC Manual (misidentified on the site as 1957).
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System Search
This page from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Labor offers a search of the 1987 version of the SIC manual by keyword, to access descriptive information for specified 2,3,4-digit SIC's, and also allows users to browse the manual itself.
A direct link to the SIC Manual, from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
Standard Industrial Classification Manual : 1987 / [prepared by the] Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. The Office : [Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O. distributor] ; Springfield, Va., 1987.
LC Call Number: HF1042 .S73 1987
LC Catalog Record: 87602335
1982 Industry and Product Classification Manual. [Washington, D.C.] : U.S. Dept. of Commerce,
Bureau of the Census, 1982.
LC Call Number: HF1042 .A614 1982
LC Catalog Record: 83601059
Standard Industrial Classification Manual. Prepared by the Statistical Policy Division. [Washington; For
sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.] 1972.
LC Call Number: HF1042 .A55 1972
LC Catalog Record: 72601529
Standard Industrial Classification Manual. Prepared by the Technical Committee on Industrial
Classification Office of Statistical Standards. [Washington, D.C.?] : Executive Office of the President,
Bureau of the Budget ; Washington, D.C. : U.S. G.P.O., 1957.
LC Call Number: HA40.I6 U63 1957
LC Catalog Record: 57060793
Standard Industrial Classification Manual. Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off. -49.
LC Call Number: HA40.I6 U63
LC Catalog Record: 46026143
Standard Industrial Classification Manual. [Washington, 1942]
LC Call Number: HA40.I6 U623 1942
LC Catalog Record: 51053502
In 1997 the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) was developed to replace the
SIC code and is designed to be renewed/revised every 5 years. It was developed jointly by the
U.S., Canada, and Mexico in order to provide new comparability in statistics about business
activity across North America. NAICS identifies hundreds of new, emerging, and advanced
technology industries and reorganizes industries into more meaningful sectors — especially in
the service-producing segments of the economy. Generally, the NAICS are much better at covering
the industries that exploded in the 1990's — e-commerce and related areas, biotechnology, heavily
technical areas, etc. For a further discussion go to
While the system is organized somewhat like the SIC, the numbers are not necessarily comparable.
However, the Economic Census web page does offer various
conversion tools to bridge between the SIC and various NAICS versions so you can match data
under the systems when doing research for the time frame when the government started to use the
NAICS system or doing research comparing older data to current.
NAICS home page from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
NAICS (Statistics Canada)
NAICS home page from Statistics Canada.
2012 NAICS Codes and Titles
North American Industry Classification System: Canada 2002. [Ottawa] : Statistics Canada, c2003.
LC Call Number: HF1041.5 .N67 2003
LC Catalog Record: 2003447178
North American Industry Classification System : United States. / Executive Office of the President,
Office of Management and Budget. Washington, DC : Executive Office of the President : Office of
Management and Budget : For sale by the U.S. G.P.O., Supt. of Docs., 1997.
LC Call Number: HF1041.5 .N674 1997
LC Catalog Record: 98203884
North American Industry Classification System : United States, 2002 / Executive Office of the President,
Office of Management and Budget. 2002 Rev. Lanham, MD : Bernan ; Springfield, VA : National
Technical Information Service, 2002.
LC Call Number: HF1042 .N67 2002
LC Catalog Record: 2003387616
North American Industry Classification System : United States. / Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. Lanham, MD : Bernan, 1998-
Includes 2007 and 2012 editions.
LC Call Number: HF1042 .N67
LC Catalog Record: 2002249052
International Standard of Industrial Classification (ISIC) of All Economic Activities code was
developed by the UN as a standard way of classifying economic activities. The ISIC code groups
together enterprises if they produce the same type of goods or service or if they use similar
processes (i.e. the same raw materials, process of production, skills or technology). This
tends to be used cross border or in international sources.
Revision 3.1 (4 is in revision)
International Family of Economic and Social Classifications
The Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) is used in the compilation and
comparison of trade statistics. The commodity groupings of SITC reflect (a) the materials
used in production, (b) the processing stage, (c) market practices and uses of the products,
(d) the importance of the commodities in terms of world trade, and (e) technological changes.
Available online in English and Spanish. Revision 3 was issued in 1986.
SITC, Rev. 4 was accepted by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its thirty-seventh session (March 2006). The Interagency Task Force on International Merchandise Trade Statistics recommends SITC, Rev. 4 for use in the analysis of international merchandise trade by interested countries and international organizations. From the home page
Officially known as the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community, both the Rev 1.1 (2002) and the Rev 2 (2007) editions are available from the Quick Links section of the above page. The NACE (Rev.1.1 2002) classification of economic activities corresponds to ISIC Rev.3 at European level. The NACE (Rev 2 2007) edition corresponds to ISIC Rev. 4 at the European level.
United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (UKSIC)
This United Kingdom classification scheme "is Identical to the EUROSTAT System NACE at the four digit class level and the United Nations system ISIC at the two digit Divisional level." From the home page
Last Updated: 01/08/2013