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Useful Stats: State Business Establishments, 1998 and 2003

November 15, 2004

The number of business establishments in the U.S. grew by 17.4 percent between 1998 and the end of 2003, although a slight net decline occurred in 2003 for the first time in six years, according to data recently released by infoUSA.

In its analysis, infoUSA tabulated the number of business establishments in the U.S. at the end of each calendar year, describing an "establishment" as any small, medium or large business, division, brand, organization, association or government office with an assigned telephone number and paid employees.

The Omaha-based company has been compiling and updating the database of business establishments in the U.S. for the past 30 years, and updates the data regularly through more than 20 million phone calls to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In 1998, the U.S. had 10.9 million business establishments across 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to infoUSA. Increases were made each year thereafter, but the number of businesses nationwide was down slightly from 12.84 million in 2002 to 12.79 million 2003.

On a state-by-state analysis, the highest percentage of net growth in the number of business establishments occurred among the southern and western states. The states with the highest percentage of business establishment growth between 1998 and 2003 include Nevada (48 percent), Delaware (29.5 percent), Florida (29.5 percent), Arizona (25 percent) and Georgia (24.5 percent). Those with the lowest net percentage of business establishment growth are Massachusetts (10 percent), New York (9.3 percent), West Virginia (9.2 percent), Illinois (8.5 percent) and Rhode Island (5 percent).

The top five states with the highest growth in the number of new business establishments during the same period are California (279,053), Florida (183,475), Texas (162,699), Georgia (71,006) and North Carolina (70,543).

A press release announcing infoUSA's findings is available at: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/041018/186120_1.html

In addition, SSTI has created a table showing the states ranked by their percent growth and the change in the number of business establishments between 1998 and 2003. The table is available at: http://www.ssti.org/Digest/Tables/111504t.htm