Prosperity Now Scorecard

Businesses & Jobs
Business Ownership by Race
Definition

Ratio of the business ownership rate of white, non-Hispanic workers to workers of color, 2012. 

Description

Business ownership is a fundamental engine for wealth creation, but business ownership is more prevalent among white workers than among workers of color nationally and in almost all states. This measure describes the disparity in business ownership between white workers and workers of color. For example, in Iowa, white workers own businesses at a rate more than two times higher than workers of color.

To see the data disaggregated by race and ethnicity, click on the Data by Race tab below.

1.2 times as many white workers in United States own a business compared to workers of color

Business Ownership by Race, 2012

StatePercent of
White Labor Force
Owning Firms (%)
Percent of
People of Color
in Labor Force
Owning Firms (%)
RatioRank
United States 19.1% 15.7% 1.22
Alabama 18.6% 13.9% 1.33 19
Alaska 20.8% 13.9% 1.49 26
Arizona 18.6% 11.7% 1.60 35
Arkansas 17.9% 13.3% 1.34 20
California 24.0% 15.7% 1.52 28
Colorado 22.7% 14.2% 1.61 36
Connecticut 19.0% 12.4% 1.54 31
Delaware 18.7% 9.7% 1.94 46
District of Columbia 19.5% 15.6% 1.25 13
Florida 20.9% 25.1% 1.20 7
Georgia 19.2% 20.0% 1.04 2
Hawaii 30.9% 15.0% 2.06 49
Idaho 20.4% 9.3% 2.18 50
Illinois 18.7% 14.8% 1.26 14
Indiana 16.2% 13.5% 1.20 6
Iowa 16.3% 8.1% 2.01 47
Kansas 18.1% 10.5% 1.73 40
Kentucky 16.5% 9.1% 1.81 44
Louisiana 21.0% 17.3% 1.22 11
Maine 19.6% 15.5% 1.27 15
Maryland 18.3% 14.7% 1.25 12
Massachusetts 18.9% 12.6% 1.50 27
Michigan 17.9% 18.2% 1.02 1
Minnesota 17.4% 12.0% 1.45 25
Mississippi 18.9% 15.6% 1.21 10
Missouri 17.2% 12.7% 1.36 22
Montana 23.1% 17.4% 1.33 18
Nebraska 17.6% 8.6% 2.06 48
Nevada 21.4% 12.3% 1.74 42
New Hampshire 17.8% 13.7% 1.30 17
New Jersey 20.4% 13.4% 1.53 29
New Mexico 21.9% 13.0% 1.69 38
New York 22.3% 19.3% 1.15 5
North Carolina 20.5% 12.0% 1.70 39
North Dakota 18.5% 7.6% 2.44 51
Ohio 16.0% 13.2% 1.21 9
Oklahoma 19.8% 12.6% 1.57 33
Oregon 18.5% 12.8% 1.45 24
Pennsylvania 15.3% 12.1% 1.27 16
Rhode Island 18.2% 13.4% 1.36 23
South Carolina 19.6% 11.9% 1.65 37
South Dakota 19.4% 10.3% 1.88 45
Tennessee 18.8% 15.6% 1.21 8
Texas 21.7% 16.1% 1.35 21
Utah 19.8% 11.2% 1.77 43
Vermont 21.5% 14.1% 1.53 30
Virginia 16.4% 14.6% 1.12 4
Washington 17.2% 10.9% 1.58 34
West Virginia 13.8% 12.4% 1.11 3
Wisconsin 14.7% 9.5% 1.55 32
Wyoming 21.1% 12.2% 1.74 41

Business Ownership Rate, by Race and Ethnicity 1

Business Ownership by Race (%)
StateWhiteWorkers of ColorBlackAsianNative AmericanHispanic
United States 19.1% 15.7% 14.4% 24.3% 25.2% 13.8%
Alabama 18.6% 13.9% 13.2% 58.3% 21.0% 9.4%
Alaska 20.8% 13.9% 13.2% 13.0% 27.3% 10.0%
Arizona 18.6% 11.7% 11.1% 25.3% 25.8% 9.4%
Arkansas 17.9% 13.3% 11.5% 16.9% 41.3% 13.7%
California 24.0% 15.7% 18.3% 24.9% 29.5% 11.9%
Colorado 22.7% 14.2% 11.9% 27.9% 35.9% 11.5%
Connecticut 19.0% 12.4% 10.9% 13.1% 66.9% 11.9%
Delaware 18.7% 9.7% 8.6% 20.6% 6.4%
District of Columbia 19.5% 15.6% 16.1% 26.6% 33.7% 10.2%
Florida 20.9% 25.1% 17.9% 35.2% 30.4% 28.1%
Georgia 19.2% 20.0% 19.3% 30.9% 16.4%
Hawaii 30.9% 15.0% 16.1% 22.9% 9.0%
Idaho 20.4% 9.3% 7.8% 18.8% 19.9% 6.3%
Illinois 18.7% 14.8% 17.6% 21.6% 59.4% 10.1%
Indiana 16.2% 13.5% 13.9% 29.2% 9.0%
Iowa 16.3% 8.1% 10.9% 12.2% 18.4% 5.4%
Kansas 18.1% 10.5% 9.6% 15.8% 29.0% 9.3%
Kentucky 16.5% 9.1% 8.3% 18.0% 74.1% 7.1%
Louisiana 21.0% 17.3% 15.7% 46.3% 40.9% 14.7%
Maine 19.6% 15.5% 11.1% 32.2% 46.5% 23.2%
Maryland 18.3% 14.7% 14.1% 19.0% 13.4%
Massachusetts 18.9% 12.6% 10.1% 17.4% 9.8%
Michigan 17.9% 18.2% 20.1% 19.7% 12.5%
Minnesota 17.4% 12.0% 16.2% 11.6% 29.5% 7.8%
Mississippi 18.9% 15.6% 15.2% 38.8% 28.6% 13.9%
Missouri 17.2% 12.7% 12.0% 20.1% 21.4% 15.0%
Montana 23.1% 17.4% 11.6% 23.7% 15.1% 16.7%
Nebraska 17.6% 8.6% 12.8% 13.3% 6.8% 5.9%
Nevada 21.4% 12.3% 13.3% 17.3% 16.3% 10.8%
New Hampshire 17.8% 13.7% 8.1% 19.7% 63.8% 13.7%
New Jersey 20.4% 13.4% 10.5% 22.4% 10.8%
New Mexico 21.9% 13.0% 18.0% 15.4% 13.1% 12.0%
New York 22.3% 19.3% 15.4% 30.7% 26.2% 16.3%
North Carolina 20.5% 12.0% 11.1% 24.9% 12.2% 10.9%
North Dakota 18.5% 7.6% 9.7% 16.9% 5.9% 8.2%
Ohio 16.0% 13.2% 12.5% 25.8% 35.1% 9.7%
Oklahoma 19.8% 12.6% 11.3% 32.1% 24.7% 12.7%
Oregon 18.5% 12.8% 28.6% 20.0% 30.1% 8.2%
Pennsylvania 15.3% 12.1% 8.8% 33.4% 32.3% 11.2%
Rhode Island 18.2% 13.4% 7.3% 22.6% 50.1% 13.9%
South Carolina 19.6% 11.9% 10.5% 55.5% 11.1%
South Dakota 19.4% 10.3% 10.0% 39.5% 8.6% 7.0%
Tennessee 18.8% 15.6% 15.5% 24.9% 11.0%
Texas 21.7% 16.1% 14.4% 23.6% 51.0% 15.1%
Utah 19.8% 11.2% 14.1% 17.7% 7.9% 9.2%
Vermont 21.5% 14.1% 9.3% 17.3% 41.1% 22.9%
Virginia 16.4% 14.6% 11.2% 25.1% 25.8% 15.5%
Washington 17.2% 10.9% 12.9% 17.6% 15.4% 6.9%
West Virginia 13.8% 12.4% 8.6% 24.9% 30.3% 15.8%
Wisconsin 14.7% 9.5% 12.2% 20.1% 6.3% 5.4%
Wyoming 21.1% 12.2% 17.1% 34.8% 8.2% 9.2%

"—" indicates that no data is available.

Estimates for White workers are generated for the White, non-Hispanic population. Likewise, estimates for Hispanic workers include all workers of Hispanic or Latino origin, regardless of race.

Definition

Ratio of the business ownership rate of white, non-Hispanic workers to workers of color (Black or African-American; American Indian and Native Alaskan; Asian; Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander; Hispanic or Latino), 2012. The business ownership rate is defined as the number of businesses in which white workers or workers of color own 50% or more of the equity, interest or stock of the business as a percentage of white workers or workers of color in the labor force.

Calculated by dividing the higher value by the lower value (i.e., the business ownership rate of white workers divided by workers of color, except in Florida, Georgia and Michigan, where workers of color have a higher rate of business ownership).

A ratio of 1 indicates perfect equality; the higher the ratio, the greater the inequality. 

Source

Survey of Business Owners. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2015.

Labor Force: Current Population Survey, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2012. Data calculated by CFED using the CPS Table Creator.