Census Bureau survey of American businesses

This graphic gives a snapshot of the number of years firms have been in business by gender, race, ethnicity and veteran status.

Among the 5.4 million U.S. firms with paid employees, 481,981, or 8.9 percent, had been in business for less than two years in 2014, according to findings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s inaugural Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs.

In contrast to the employer firms that had been in business for less than two years, there were 167,917, or 3.1 percent, that had been in business for 16 years or more. More than 4 in 10 employer firms (2.4 million, or 44.1 percent) have been in business between 11 and 15 years.

Beginning with today’s release of 2014 statistics and continuing through the release of 2016 data, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs will supplement the Survey of Business Owners, conducted every five years. The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs provides a timely, more frequent socio-economic portrait of the nation’s employer businesses by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status. It includes a relevant topic not found in the Survey of Business Owners: the number of years a firm has been in business.

The survey is a public-private partnership among the U.S. Census Bureau, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Minority Business Development Agency.

“As ‘America’s Data Agency,’ the Department of Commerce puts open data resources and digital tools in the hands of families, communities, and federal and local leaders to help them make data-driven decisions,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said. “The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs is a new and exciting resource that responds to data users’ request for more timely statistics on the demographics of America’s businesses owners.”

The tables released today provide estimates of receipts, payroll and employment for the nation, states and the District of Columbia, and the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. Firm size data are available by sales size (the number of firms with sales/receipts of $1.0 million or more) and employment size (the number of firms with 500 employees or more).


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