2002 Survey of Business Owners Summaries of Findings

Survey of Business Owners - Chinese-Owned Firms: 2002


In 2002, there were over 286,000 Chinese-owned firms in the U.S., employing more than 649,100 workers, and generating more than $105 billion in revenue. These Chinese-owned firms accounted for 1.2 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the U.S., 0.6 percent of their employment, and 0.4 percent of their receipts.

The number of Chinese-owned businesses grew 13.2 percent between 1997 and 2002, and the revenues decreased 1.1 percent.

The 2002 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) defines Chinese-owned businesses as firms in which Chinese own 51 percent or more of the stock or equity of the business. The data in this report were collected as part of the 2002 Economic Census from a large sample of all nonfarm businesses filing 2002 tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more.


In 2002, 32.5 percent of Chinese-owned firms operated in professional, scientific, and technical services; and accommodation and food services, where they owned 2.3 percent of all such businesses in the U.S.

Wholesale trade accounted for 40.5 percent of all Chinese-owned business revenue. Table A [xls, 19K] shows the five industries accounting for the largest receipts for Chinese-owned firms.


California had the most Chinese-owned firms with 110,823 firms or 38.7 percent, with receipts of $56.2 billion or 53.5 percent. New York was second with 57,673 firms or 20.2 percent, with receipts of $10.2 billion or 9.7 percent. Texas was third in number of Chinese-owned firms with 13,735 firms or 4.8 percent, and receipts of almost $5.2 billion or 5.0 percent. Table B [xls, 21K] shows the seven states with the largest number of Chinese-owned firms and corresponding business revenues.

Table C [xls, 19K] shows the four combined statistical areas with the largest number of Chinese-owned firms and their corresponding business revenues.


Table D [xls, 21K] provides a comparison of the 2002 and 1997 published data for Chinese-owned firms and all U.S. firms. The table shows that when compared to all U.S. businesses, excluding publicly held corporations and firms for which race ownership is indeterminate, Chinese-owned firms accounted for 1.3 percent of firms, 1.2 percent of employees and 1.2 percent of receipts.

The kind-of-business data for 2002 for Chinese-owned firms are not comparable to 1997 due to the transition from the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system to the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Additional changes affecting data comparability are discussed in detail in Methodology, in the section titled "Comparability of the 2002 and 1997 SBO Data."