African Americans Making Some Progress in Business Ownership

200px-Census_Bureau_seal.svgAmong recent African American college graduates, degrees in business administration are the most popular. Thus, it would make sense to believe that African Americans would be gaining ground in business ownership in the United States. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that this is so.

Every five years the Census Bureau releases a new report on business ownership in the United States. The latest data, which was recently made available to the public, is for the year 2012. The most recent data prior to this recent release was for 2007.

The new figures from, the 2012 Survey of Business Owners show that in that year, there were 2.6 million businesses owned by African Americans in the United States. This was up from 1.9 million Black-owned businesses in 2007, an increase of 34.5 percent. In 2012, Black-owned businesses accounted for 9.4 percent of all businesses in the United States. In 2007, African Americans owned 7 percent of all businesses. This is significant progress over the five-year period.

Here are some other interesting facts from the new data:

  • Black-owned enterprises made up 19.2 percent all firms in the health care sector, the largest percentage of any category of business in the survey.
  • There were 256,848 million businesses owned by African Americans in the state of Georgia, the most in any state. Florida ranked second.
  • New York City had the largest number of Black-owned businesses of any city with 250,890. Atlanta had the second highest number of Black-owned business among metropolitan areas.
  • In the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Mississippi, Black-owned firms were at least 25 percent of the total number of firms within the boundaries of those geographic areas.
  • In Detroit, 77 percent of all businesses were owned by African Americans, the highest percentage by far of any metropolitan area. Memphis ranked second at 56.2 percent.

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