If you want to know how many pawnshops there are in Clay County or stock brokerages in Wyandotte County, the Census Bureau can help.
Besides counting people, the bureau keeps track of businesses, all sorts of businesses. And its Economic Census, last taken up and broken down in full in 2012, details businesses by type and location.
That makes it possible to see, for example, that Clay County had nine pawnshops and Wyandotte County had 10 securities brokerages in that count. Those businesses, along with banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, investment advisers, and insurance companies and brokers all fall under a Census Bureau category called finance and insurance.
That’s a lucrative category, too, as you might expect given all the money it handles. The five counties all told had 3,724 businesses in finance and insurance, employing 58,691 people with an annual payroll of $4.1 billion.
The insurance part, mostly agencies and brokerages, accounted for more than 1,600 of those businesses.
And as you would expect, affluence attracts such services. Adjusted for population, Johnson County has the most finance and insurance companies, and Wyandotte County the fewest.