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1997 Survey of Business Owners Press Releases

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Public Information Office                                                                                    CB01-53
301-457-3030/301-457-3670 (fax)
301-457-1037 (TDD)
e-mail: pio@census.gov

Eddie Salyers
Valerie Strang
301-457-3316

U.S. Businesses Owned by Hispanics Top 1 Million;
California, Texas, Florida Lead States, Census Bureau Reports

   Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States totaled 1.2 million firms, employed over1.3 million people and generated $186.3 billion in revenues in 1997, according to a report released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

   Hispanic-owned firms made up 6 percent of the 20.8 million nonfarm businesses in the nation and 1 percent of the $18.6 trillion in receipts for all businesses.

   The largest number of Hispanic-owned firms (1 million) were sole proprietorships, unincorporated businesses owned by individuals. C corporations, all legally incorporated businesses except for Subchapter S corporations (whose shareholders elect to be taxed as individuals rather than as corporations), numbered 78,500. But C corporations ranked first in receipts ($71.8 billion) among all Hispanic-owned firms, the report showed. C corporations were included in the Hispanic portion of the Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises, source of the data, for the first time in 1997.

   Four states, California (336,400), Texas (240,400), Florida (193,900) and New York (104,200), accounted for 73 percent of the firms owned by Hispanics. Seven out of 10 Hispanics reside in these four states.


States with the Largest Number of Hispanic-Owned Firms: 1997
Geographic Area Hispanic-owned firms Percent of total
U.S. Total 1,199,900  
California 336,400 28.0
Texas 240,400 20.0
Florida 193,900 16.2
New York 104,200 8.7
New Jersey 36,100 3.0
Illinois 31,000 2.6
Arizona 28,900 2.4
New Mexico 28,300 2.4
Colorado 20,900 1.7
Virginia 13,700 1.1

   New Mexico had the highest percentage of firms owned by Hispanics, 22 percent; 5 percent of that state's business receipts were from Hispanic-owned businesses. Texas ranked second with 16 percent of the state's firms owned by Hispanics. These firms accounted for 3 percent of all of Texas' receipts; Florida was third, with 15 percent of its firms being Hispanic-owned and 4 percent of its receipts coming from Hispanic-owned firms; California was fourth, with 13 percent Hispanic-owned businesses and 2 percent of the state's total receipts coming from Hispanic businesses.


States with the Largest Percentage of Hispanic-Owned Firms: 1997
State Hispanic-owned firms All firms Hispanic-owned as a percent of all firms
U.S. Total 1,199,900 20,821,900 5.8
New Mexico 28,300 131,700 21.5
Texas 240,400 1,526,000 15.8
Florida 193,900 1,301,900 14.9
California 336,400 2,565,700 13.1
Arizona 28,900 329,000 8.8
New York 104,200 1,509,800 6.9
New Jersey 36,100 654,200 5.5
Colorado 20,900 410,200 5.1
Nevada 6,600 129,800 5.1
District of Columbia 2,200 45,300 4.8

   Among Hispanic groups, Mexicans owned by far the greatest number of Hispanic-owned firms, 472,000, or 39 percent. "Hispanic Latin Americans," a write-in category, was second, with 287,300 businesses or 24 percent of Hispanic firms.


Hispanic-Owned Firms by Ethnic Group: 1997
Ethnic group Firms Receipts
U.S. Total 1,199,900 186,300
Mexican 472,000 73,700
Hispanic Latin American 287,300 41,000
Other Hispanic 188,500 20,700
Cuban 125,300 26,500
Puerto Rican 69,700 7,500
Spaniard 57,200 16,900

   Four in 10, or 475,300 Hispanic businesses, had receipts of $10,000 or less; slightly more than 2 in 10, or 273,300 had receipts between $10,000 and $25,000; while 26,700, or about 2 percent, had sales of $1 million or more. Receipts per firm averaged $155,200 for Hispanic-owned firms compared with $410,600 for all U.S. firms, excluding publicly held corporations and firms whose owners' race or ethnicity were indeterminate (e.g., mutual companies whose ownership is shared by its members).

   The survey data also show that 18 percent, or 211,900, of Hispanic-owned firms had paid employees. These firms accounted for 85 percent of the gross receipts of Hispanic businesses.

   There were 1,100 firms with 100 or more employees and receipts of $28.3 billion.

   Four in 10 Hispanic-owned firms were in the service industry and accounted for 21 percent of gross receipts; while wholesale firms accounted for 3 percent of total Hispanic-owned firms, but 22 percent of gross receipts.

   The number of Hispanic firms, excluding C corporations for which prior comparable data are not available, increased 30 percent from 1992 to 1997, compared with a 7 percent increase for all U.S. firms.

   Receipts of Hispanic-owned firms rose 49 percent, from $77 billion in 1992 to $114 billion in 1997, compared with a 40 percent increase for all U.S. firms of the same type over the same period.

   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, which had receipts of $1,000 or more in 1997.

   The report, 1997 Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises: Hispanic, presents data for Hispanic-owned businesses by size, type of business, geographic areas (states, counties, metropolitan areas and places) and specific ethnic groups.

   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 details concerning survey design, methodology and data limitations are contained in the full report. Comparisons with 1992 should be carried out with extreme caution due to changes in tax laws causing inconsistencies between the 1992 and 1997 data. Changes in survey methodology also may contribute to differences.

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Percentage of Total Hispanic-Owned Firms by State Compared With Percentage of
Hispanic-Owned Firms to All Businesses by State: 1997
Geographic Area Hispanic-owned firms Percent of total Hispanic-owned
firms in U.S.
All firms Hispanic-owned firms as a percent of all firms
U.S. Total 1,199,900   20,821,900 5.8
Alabama 2,900 0.2 285,200 1.0
Alaska 1,400 0.1 64,100 2.2
Arizona 28,900 2.4 329,000 8.8
Arkansas 2,600 0.2 193,400 1.3
California 336,400 28.0 2,565,700 13.1
Colorado 20,900 1.7 410,200 5.1
Connecticut 6,600 0.6 284,000 2.3
Delaware 900 0.1 56,600 1.6
District of Columbia 2,200 0.2 45,300 4.9
Florida 193,900 16.2 1,301,900 14.9
Georgia 11,700 1.0 568,600 2.1
Hawaii 4,200 0.4 94,000 4.5
Idaho 2,800 0.2 109,800 2.6
Illinois 31,000 2.6 882,100 3.5
Indiana 4,300 0.4 413,400 1.0
Iowa 1,300 0.1 227,600 0.6
Kansas 3,500 0.3 213,400 1.6
Kentucky 1,500 0.1 281,600 0.5
Louisiana 6,600 0.6 295,700 2.2
Maine 500 0.0 127,500 0.4
Maryland 11,200 0.9 400,200 2.8
Massachusetts 12,700 1.1 537,200 2.4
Michigan 10,000 0.8 677,500 1.5
Minnesota 3,600 0.3 410,600 0.9
Mississippi 1,000 0.1 167,900 0.6
Missouri 4,100 0.3 411,400 1.0
Montana 1,000 0.1 93,700 1.1
Nebraska 1,400 0.1 138,800 1.0
Nevada 6,600 0.6 129,800 5.1
New Hampshire 700 0.1 115,700 0.6
New Jersey 36,100 3.0 654,200 5.5
New Mexico 28,300 2.4 131,700 21.5
New York 104,200 8.7 1,509,800 6.9
North Carolina 7,300 0.6 570,500 1.3
North Dakota 400 0.0 55,300 0.7
Ohio 6,400 0.5 781,300 0.8
Oklahoma 4,300 0.4 280,700 1.5
Oregon 6,000 0.5 291,600 2.1
Pennsylvania 7,900 0.7 837,800 0.9
Rhode Island 2,200 0.2 80,900 2.7
South Carolina 2,000 0.2 260,300 0.8
South Dakota 300 0.0 65,800 0.5
Tennessee 3,600 0.3 415,900 0.9
Texas 240,400 20.0 1,526,000 15.8
Utah 4,700 0.4 169,200 2.8
Vermont 900 0.1 67,500 1.3
Virginia 13,700 1.1 480,100 2.9
Washington 10,000 0.8 447,400 2.2
West Virginia 900 0.1 111,700 0.8
Wisconsin 3,000 0.3 366,400 0.8
Wyoming 1,200 0.1 49,400 2.4

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: November 16, 2012