2002 Survey of Business Owners Summaries of Findings

Survey of Business Owners - Korean-Owned Firms: 2002


In 2002, there were nearly 158,000 Korean-owned firms in the U.S., employing nearly 321,000 workers, and generating almost $47 billion in revenue. These Korean-owned firms accounted for 0.7 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the U.S., 0.3 percent of their employment, and 0.2 percent of their receipts.

The number of Korean-owned businesses grew 16.3 percent between 1997 and 2002, and the revenues grew 2.2 percent.

The 2002 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) defines Korean-owned businesses as firms in which Koreans 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, 44 percent of Korean-owned firms operated in other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance; and retail trade, where they owned 1.3 percent of all such businesses in the U.S.

Retail and wholesale trade accounted for 54 percent of all Korean-owned business revenue. Table A [xls, 19K] shows the industries accounting for the largest receipts for Korean-owned firms.


California had the most Korean-owned firms with 52,279 firms or 33.2 percent, with receipts of $19.5 billion or 41.5 percent. New York was second with 21,135 firms or 13.4 percent, with receipts of $5.2 billion or 11.1 percent. Next were New Jersey and Illinois with the most Korean-owned firms. New Jersey had 9,387 firms or 6.0 percent, and receipts of $2.9 billion or 6.2 percent. Illinois had 8,503 or 5.4 percent of all Korean-owned firms, and receipts of $2.1 billion or 4.5 percent of receipts. Table B [xls, 20K] shows the nine states with the largest number of Korean-owned firms and corresponding business revenues.

Table C [xls, 20K] shows the eight combined statistical areas with the largest number of Korean-owned firms and their corresponding business revenues.


Table D [xls, 21K] provides a comparison of the 2002 and 1997 published data for Korean-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, Korean-owned firms accounted for 0.7 percent of firms, 0.6 percent of employees and 0.5 percent of receipts.

The kind-of-business data for 2002 for Korean-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."