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1997 Survey of Business Owners Press Releases

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Public Information Office                                                                                    CB01-88
301-457-3030/301-457-3670 (fax)
301-457-1037 (TDD)
e-mail: pio@census.gov

Eddie Salyers
Valerie Strang
301-457-3316

Asian- and Pacific Islander-Owned Businesses Number 900,000+;
California, New York, Texas Leading States, Census Bureau Reports

Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses [PDF] in the United States totaled about 913,000, employed more than 2.2 million people and generated $306.9 billion in revenues in 1997, according to a report released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

Businesses owned by Asians and Pacific Islanders made up 4 percent of the nation's 20.8 million nonfarm businesses and generated 2 percent of all receipts.

The vast majority of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms, 71 percent or 648,300, were sole proprietorships (unincorporated businesses owned by individuals).

For the first time, the data, which were collected in the 1997 Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises, included C corporations. C corporations are incorporated businesses, excluding subchapter S corporations whose shareholders elect to be taxed as individuals rather than corporations. Nearly half of all revenues generated by Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses were produced by 27,500 C corporations with receipts of $145.8 billion.

The number of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms, excluding C corporations for which prior data are not available, increased 30 percent from 1992 to 1997, compared with a 7 percent increase for all U.S. firms.

Receipts of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms rose 68 percent, to $161 billion in 1997, compared with a 40 percent increase for all U.S. firms over the same period.

Four states, California (316,000), New York (123,300), Texas (60,200) and Hawaii (50,600), accounted for 60 percent of the firms owned by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Six out of 10 Asians and Pacific Islanders reside in these states.

The following two tables show the top states by number and percentage of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms.


States With Largest Number of Asian- and Pacific Islander-Owned Firms: 1997
Geographic area Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms Percent of total Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms in U.S.
U.S. Total 913,000
California 316,000 34.6
New York 123,300 13.5
Texas 60,200 6.6
Hawaii 50,600 5.5
New Jersey 41,400 4.5
Illinois 36,900 4.0
Florida 33,800 3.7
Washington 23,300 2.6
Virginia 22,400 2.5
Maryland 22,200 2.4


States With the Largest Percentage of Asian- and Pacific Islander-Owned Firms: 1997
Geographic area Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms All firms Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms as a percent of all firms
U.S. Total 913,000 20,821,900 4.4
Hawaii 50,600 94,000 53.8
California 316,000 2,565,700 12.3
New York 123,300 1,509,800 8.2
New Jersey 41,400 654,200 6.3
Maryland 22,200 400,200 5.5
District of Columbia 2,400 45,300 5.3
Washington 23,300 447,400 5.2
Virginia 22,400 480,100 4.7
Illinois 36,900 882,100 4.2
Texas 60,200 1,526,000 3.9
Nevada 5,000 129,800 3.9

Twenty-eight percent (259,600) of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses had 1997 receipts of under $10,000, and about 5 percent (45,300) had sales of $1 million or more. Average receipts per firm were $336,200 compared with $410,600 for all U.S. firms excluding publicly held corporations and firms, such as mutual companies, whose owners' race or ethnicity could not be determined.

The survey data also show that 32 percent, or 290,000, of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms had paid employees. There were 2,100 firms with 100 or more employees.

Forty-four percent of Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms were in the service industry and 21 percent were in retail trade. These two industries each had 22 percent of all receipts.

The data in the report were collected as part of the 1997 Economic Census from a large sample of nonfarm businesses filing tax forms as sole proprietorships, partnerships or any type of corporation with receipts of $1,000 or more in 1997.

The report, 1997 Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises: Asians and Pacific Islanders, presents data for Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses by size, type of business and geographic areas (states, counties, metropolitan areas and places).

The data were collected in a sample survey and are subject to sampling variability, as well as nonsampling errors. Sources of nonsampling error include errors of response, nonreporting and coverage. Further information on survey design, methodology and data limitations are contained in the full report. Comparisons with 1992 data should be conducted with extreme caution due to changes in tax laws that caused inconsistencies between 1992 and 1997 data. Changes in survey methodology also could contribute to differences.

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Percentage of Total Asian- and Pacific Islander-Owned Firms by State Compared With Percentage of Asian- and Pacific Islander-Owned Firms as a Percent of All Businesses by State: 1997
Geographic area Asian- and Pacific Islander-
owned firms
Percent of total Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned
firms in U.S.
All firms Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned firms as a percent of all firms
U.S. Total 913,000   20,821,900 4.4
Alabama 3,300 0.4 285,200 1.2
Alaska 1,800 0.2 64,100 2.8
Arizona 7,100 0.8 329,000 2.2
Arkansas 1,500 0.2 193,400 0.8
California 316,000 34.6 2,565,700 12.3
Colorado 9,000 1.0 410,200 2.2
Connecticut 5,900 0.6 284,000 2.1
Delaware 1,500 0.2 56,600 2.7
District of Columbia 2,400 0.3 45,300 5.3
Florida 33,800 3.7 1,301,900 2.6
Georgia 18,200 2.0 568,600 3.2
Hawaii 50,600 5.5 94,000 53.8
Idaho 1,000 0.1 109,800 0.9
Illinois 36,900 4.0 882,100 4.2
Indiana 4,900 0.5 413,400 1.2
Iowa 1,700 0.2 227,600 0.7
Kansas 2,600 0.3 213,400 1.2
Kentucky 2,600 0.3 281,600 0.9
Louisiana 6,500 0.7 295,700 2.2
Maine 600 0.1 127,500 0.5
Maryland 22,200 2.4 400,200 5.5
Massachusetts 12,700 1.4 537,200 2.4
Michigan 11,700 1.3 677,500 1.7
Minnesota 5,400 0.6 410,600 1.3
Mississippi 2,500 0.3 167,900 1.5
Missouri 5,000 0.5 411,400 1.2
Montana 400 0.0 93,700 0.4
Nebraska 900 0.1 138,800 0.6
Nevada 5,000 0.5 129,800 3.9
New Hampshire 1,200 0.1 115,700 1.0
New Jersey 41,400 4.5 654,200 6.3
New Mexico 2,500 0.3 131,700 1.9
New York 123,300 13.5 1,509,800 8.2
North Carolina 8,100 0.9 570,500 1.4
North Dakota 300 0.0 55,300 0.5
Ohio 11,400 1.2 781,300 1.5
Oklahoma 4,000 0.4 280,700 1.4
Oregon 7,500 0.8 291,600 2.6
Pennsylvania 17,400 1.9 837,800 2.1
Rhode Island 1,100 0.1 80,900 1.4
South Carolina 3,500 0.4 260,300 1.3
South Dakota 300 0.0 65,800 0.5
Tennessee 5,300 0.6 415,900 1.3
Texas 60,200 6.6 1,526,000 3.9
Utah 2,400 0.3 169,200 1.4
Vermont 300 0.0 67,500 0.4
Virginia 22,400 2.5 480,100 4.7
Washington 23,300 2.6 447,400 5.2
West Virginia 1,200 0.1 111,700 1.1
Wisconsin 3,800 0.4 366,400 1.0
Wyoming 300 0.0 49,400 0.6

Note: Detail may not add to the total because a firm may be counted in more than one state.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Survey of Business Owners | (301) 763-3316 | csd.sbo@census.gov Last Revised: September 29, 2014