The number of security clearances held by contractors slightly declined in 2011 compared to 2010, according to Fierce Government.
Citing a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Molly Bernhart Walker wrote 4.86 million individuals held a clearance as of Oct. 1, 2011, with nearly 1.17 million of them contractors.
The previous year, 1.07 million contractors out of 4.71 million held a clearance.
At the same time, Walker writes the data for 2010 covers who had access to classified information and the 2011 data covers all who have a clearance.
The office changed the methodology to meet requirements under the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010, the report says.
Nearly 320,000 people who hold clearances in 2011 could not be classified as either a government employee or a contractor.
Additionally, report authors said the numbers may include duplicative information despite efforts to cut down on duplication, Walker reported for Fierce.