The Difference Between SIC and NAICS Codes

NAICS codes provide a greater level of detail about a firm's activity than SIC codes. NAICS includes 1,170 industries and SIC includes 1,004 industries. There are 358 new industries recognized in NAICS, 250 of which are new services industries.

Additionally, NAICS codes are based on a consistent, economic concept, while SIC codes are not. For NAICS codes, establishments that use the same or similar processes to produce goods or services are grouped together. Industries under the SIC codes were grouped together based on either demand or production.

Unlike SIC codes, the NAICS codes were developed by the U.S. federal government in cooperation with Canadian and Mexican statistical agencies. Because both Canada and Mexico use NAICS for their industry classifications, government and business analysts are now able to compare directly industrial production statistics collected and published in the three North American Free Trade Agreement countries.

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