Census Facts About American Businesses


The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council has gleaned 10 interesting bullet points about U.S. businesses from the most recent census. Most likely, No. 11 would have been, "It’s now documented that Donald Trump has the most creative hair of all American business owners."

Consider the following "Ten Fascinating Facts about Business" based on the Census findings:

  • 51.6 percent of businesses were operated primarily from someone’s home.
  • 23.8 percent of employer firms operated out of a home.
  • 62.9 percent of non-employer businesses were home-based.
  • 20.8 percent of new businesses used no start-up capital.
  • "Roughly three in 10 (30.6 percent) of the respondent firms that required start-up capital launched their business with less than $5,000. Of the firms that needed start-up capital, 17.5 percent of employer firms needed less than $5,000; for nonemployer firms, the figure was 35.8 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, 1.5 percent of the firms needing start-up capital required $1 million or more for this purpose."
  • "One in 10 businesses (10.4 percent) was started or acquired by owners who used a credit card to finance the start-up or acquisition of their business. A similar percentage (10.7 percent) financed their start-up or acquisition with a business loan from a bank or financial institution."
  • Surprisingly, "e-commerce sales were reported by only 6.6 percent of firms."
  • "About 28.2 percent of firms were family-owned. These family-owned firms accounted for 42.0 percent of all firms’ receipts."
  • "Business owners were well-educated: 50.8 percent of owners of respondent firms had a college degree."
  • And 13.6 percent of business owners were foreign born.

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