Census Bureau: New Demographic Data on Nonemployer Businesses Released

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a new annual data product that provides demographic characteristics for nonemployer businesses in the United States. The new product, known as the Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D), replaces the nonemployer component of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which was conducted every five years. NES-D provides more frequent and timely high-quality data at lower cost than the SBO with no additional respondent burden.

NES-D is not a survey, rather it is an annual statistical series that uses existing administrative records (AR) and census data to link demographic characteristics to the universe of nonemployers. NES-D provides economic information by owner demographics such as sex, race, ethnicity and veteran status, geography, industry, receipt size class, and legal form of organization. Coupled with the new Annual Business Survey (ABS), which supplies demographic characteristics for employer businesses, the Census Bureau now provides annual business owner demographics for all businesses through a blended-data approach that combines AR-derived estimates for nonemployer businesses (NES-D) and survey-derived estimates for employer businesses (ABS). Data will be released on the ABS website.

The release includes demographic information for 2017 nonemployer firms. Highlights include:

  • In 2017, of the approximately 25.3 million nonemployer businesses, about 8.2 million were minority-owned, accounting for around $279.3 billion in receipts out of a total of approximately $1.2 trillion.
  • About 3.6 million nonemployer firms were Hispanic-owned, with nearly $129.6 billion in receipts.
  • Approximately 10.6 million nonemployer firms were owned by women, accounting for about $286.1 billion in receipts.
  • There were approximately 1.4 million veteran-owned nonemployer firms, with $59.3 billion in receipts.

Currently NES-D does not include nonemployer C-corporations, which represent approximately 2% of nonemployer businesses.

For related demographics about employer statistics, visit <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/abs.html>. 

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