Census Bureau: ABS Release Provides Data on Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

The U.S. Census Bureau today released new estimates showing 1.1 million employer firms were owned by women and 1.0 million by minorities. According to the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), covering year 2017, 5.6% (322,076) of all U.S. businesses were Hispanic-owned and 6.1% (351,237) were owned by veterans.

  • Additional statistics released include:
  • In 2017, the sector with the most women-owned businesses 16.9% (192,159) were in the health care and social assistance industry, followed by professional, scientific and technical services 16.4% (185,649), and 11.7% (132,894) in the retail trade industry.
  • The top sectors for Hispanic-owned firms were construction with 15.6% (50,187) of all firms, followed by accommodation and food services 13.0% (41,817), and professional, scientific and technical services 10.6% (34,292). Hispanic firms in these top three industries employed approximately 1.2 million workers, had receipts totaling approximately $130.9 billion and an annual payroll of approximately $35.8 billion.
  • There were 555,638 Asian-owned businesses, with 23.9% (132,698) in the accommodation and food services sector. Asian-owned firms had the largest receipts ($814.8 billion) among minority groups.
  • Black or African Americans owned 124,004 firms in 2017 with 32.0% (39,714) of these firms in the healthcare and social services industry.

The ABS, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), and conducted jointly with the Census Bureau combined the Survey of Business Owners, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, the Business R&D and Innovation for Microbusinesses Survey, and the innovation section of the Business R&D and Innovation Survey. The ABS measures research and development for microbusinesses, innovation and technology, and provides annual data on select economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by sex, ethnicity, race and veterans status. Additional data on research and development and innovation will be released by NCSES in the coming months.

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