Kauffman Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship

Measures established small business activity – focusing on businesses more than five years old with less than fifty employees – from 1997 to 2015 for the United States.

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Main Street Reports


The Kauffman Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship: Metropolitan Area and City Trends

This report provides a broad index measure of small local business activity for the forty largest metropolitan areas of the United States. Key findings include:

  • Small business activity is on the rise 38 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas.
  • The top five metropolitan areas for small business activity as measured by the Index were New York, Boston, Providence, San Francisco and Portland.
  • Insights on business owners demographics:
    • Metro areas with the highest rates of female business owners were Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; and Miami.
    • Metro areas with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64) were Portland, Ore.; Austin; San Diego; Los Angeles; and Miami.
    • Metro areas with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34) were Miami; Nashville; Austin; Jacksonville; and Portland, Ore.

This index presents an equally weighted index of two normalized measures of small and local business activity:

  1. The Rate of Business Owners in the economy, calculated as the percentage of adults who own a business on average, per year.
  2. The Established Small Business Density of a region, measured as the number of established (older than five years) small employer businesses (with less than fifty employees) normalized by population.
Main Street Report
Download The Kauffman Index of
Main Street Entrepreneurship: Metropolitan Area and City Trends
(PDF)

The Kauffman Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship: State Trends

This report provides a broad index measure of small local business activity for the fifty states of the United States, analyzing them in peer groups of the 25 largest states by population and the 25 smallest states by population. Key findings include:

  • Small business activity is on the rise in 49 of the 50 U.S. states.
  • Among the 25 largest states, the five states with the highest activity were Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
  • Among the 25 smallest states, the states with the highest activity were Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
  • Insights on business owners demographics for the 25 largest states:
    • States with the highest rates of female business owners were Colorado, Minnesota, California, Washington and Wisconsin.
    • States with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64) were Colorado, California, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Florida.
    • States with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34) were Florida, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana and Missouri.
  • Insights on business owners demographics for the 25 smallest states:
    • States with the highest rates of female business owners were Vermont, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and South Dakota.
    • States with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64) were South Dakota, Vermont, North Dakota, Montana and Nebraska.
    • States with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34) were South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Vermont.

This index presents an equally weighted index of two normalized measures of small and local business activity:

  1. The Rate of Business Owners in the economy, calculated as the percentage of adults who own a business on average, per year.
  2. The Established Small Business Density of a region, measured as the number of established (older than five years) small employer businesses (with less than fifty employees) normalized by population.
Main Street Report
Download The Kauffman Index of
Main Street Entrepreneurship: State Trends
(PDF)

The Kauffman Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship: National Trends

This report provides a broad index measure of small local business activity in the United States. It presents an equally weighted index of two normalized measures of small and local business activity:

  1. The Rate of Business Owners in the economy, calculated as the percentage of adults who own a business on average, per year.
  2. The Established Small Business Density of a region, measured as the number of established (older than five years) small employer businesses (with less than fifty employees) normalized by population.
Main Street Report
Download The Kauffman Index of
Main Street Entrepreneurship: National Trends
(PDF)