Black-Owned Businesses Are Still a Small Fraction of the American Economy

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau examines the status of minority-owned businesses in the United States.

In 2020, there were a total 5,775,258 U.S. firms in all sectors. They employed about 129,363,644 workers and had a total annual payroll of $7.3 trillion. Of these, there were 140,918 U.S. Black- or African American-owned businesses across all sectors of the economy. They had annual sales of $141.1 billion and employed 1.3 million people.

Thus, Black-owned businesses accounted for only 2.4 percent of all firms in the nation with paid employees. They employed just 1 percent of all employees. The total revenue of Black-owned businesses was a tiny percentage of the revenues of all firms.

More than one quarter of Black-owned firms with paid employees were in the healthcare sector.  These businesses employed 468,433 workers and had an annual payroll of $12.2 billion.  There were 2,524 firms with paid employees involved with educational services.

In addition to the 140,918 Black-owned firms with paid employees, the latest data show there were about 3,115,000 businesses owned by African Americans that had no paid employees.

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