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Historical Kauffman Index

The Kauffman Index, from 1996-2014 and from 2015-2016, was among the most requested and far-reaching entrepreneurship research in the United States, and, arguably, the world. View the historical KIEA reports > | View the historical KIEA microdata >

From 1996 to 2014, the original Kauffman Index – authored by Robert W. Fairlie – was an early indicator for entrepreneurship in the United States, used by entrepreneurs and policymakers, from the federal to state and local levels. It tracked one of the earliest measures of business creation: when and how many people first started working for themselves, becoming entrepreneurs. With the relaunched 2015 version, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship focused primarily on entrepreneurial outcomes, as opposed to inputs – actual results of entrepreneurial activity, like new companies and growth rates.

In the policy world, the Index has been referenced in multiple testimonies to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, by U.S. Embassies and Consulates across various countries – including nations like Spain, Ukraine, and United Kingdom – by multiple federal agencies, by state governments and governors from fifteen states – from Arizona to New York – and by the White House’s office of the President of the United States. On the academic side, more than 200 research papers quote the Kauffman Index. In media circles, the Kauffman Index has been highlighted in more than 100 media channels, including most major publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, CNN, the Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review.

Why was the Kauffman Index retired?

In order to provide information that was actionable and directly relevant to users, the Kauffman Foundation retired the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship and replaced it with the Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation received input from policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders about how to accomplish clearer indicators, as well as provide timely and current information in the context of existing data constraints and a focus on the nature of entrepreneurship.