In 2009, the number of people reporting entry into entrepreneurial activity in the United States reached its
highest point over the last fourteen years. This increased rate of entrepreneurship was seen across most
demographic categories, with the largest increases coming among older individuals and African-Americans.
While the West continues to have a higher rate of entrepreneurship than other parts of the country do, it
showed a sharp decline in 2008. These trends and many more are discussed here in the Kauffman Index of
Entrepreneurial Activity, the leading indicator of new business creation in the United States.
Capturing new business owners in their first month of significant business activity, this measure
provides the earliest documentation of new business development across the country. The percentage of the
adult, non-business-owner population that starts a business each month is measured using data from the
Current Population Survey (CPS). In addition to this overall rate of entrepreneurial activity, separate estimates
for specific demographic groups, states, and select metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are presented. The
Index provides the only national measure of business creation by specific demographic groups.
New 2009 data allow for an update to previous reports, with consideration of trends in the rates of
entrepreneurial activity over the fourteen-year period between 1996 and 2009. The Kauffman Index reveals
important shifts in the national level of entrepreneurial activity and shifts in the demographic and geographic
composition of new entrepreneurs across the country. Key findings for 2009 include:
After Inception: How Enduring is Job Creation by Startups?
An Overview of the Kauffman Firm Survey 2004-2008