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Number of minority-owned firms, their employees, and their payrolls all rise in 2015

July 27, 2017

The number of minority-owned employer firms in the United States inched closer to the million-mark in 2015 after growing by 4.9 percent from the previous year, according to recently published data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. The 996,248 minority-owned employer firms in the U.S. employed roughly 8.0 million people in 2015 (6.2 percent increase from 2014) and had payrolls of $254.0 billion (8.0 percent increase from 2014). Given population sizes, not surprisingly, California had the most minority-owned firms of all states (approximately 228,148 firms – 22.9 percent of the country’s total) while the New York City metropolitan area led among regions (approximately 127.736 firms – 12.8 percent of the country’s total).

The number of female owned firms also grew from 2014 to 2015, reaching approximately 1.1 million. Roughly one-fourth (268,629, or 24.7 percent) of these firms were owned by minority women. California led all states in the number of women-owned firms (140,817 – 12.9 percent of the total) and the New York City metropolitan area led among regions (94,577 – 8.7 percent of the total).

In 2015, approximately 20 percent or more of employer businesses were minority-owned in 11 states: Hawaii (55.9 percent), California (32.6 percent), Texas (27 percent), Florida (24.3 percent), New Mexico (23.4 percent), New Jersey (23.1 percent), Maryland (22.8 percent), New York (22.5 percent), Virginia (21.4 percent), Georgia (20.4 percent) and Nevada (18.7 percent). Additionally, 26.3 percent of businesses with employers in the District of Columbia were minority-owned.

The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs examines the nation’s employer businesses by gender, ethnicity, race and veteran status. The survey stems from a public-private partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, and the Kauffman Foundation.

Similar to last year, geographically, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs provides information for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the largest 50 metropolitan areas. In the survey, however, firms with more than one domestic establishment are counted in each geographic area and industry in which they operate. Firms are counted only once in the survey’s U.S. totals.