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Survey of Business Owners (SBO)

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2007 Survey of Business Owners Summaries of Findings

Survey of Business Owners - Women-Owned Firms: 2007


Please Note. The data contained in this summary of findings and the linked tables, charts, and graphs do not reflect the most recent revisions. For the most recent data, use American FactFinder.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Women owned 7.8 million nonfarm U.S. businesses operating in the fifty states and the District of Columbia in 2007, an increase of 20.1 percent from 2002. These women-owned firms accounted for 28.7 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States. Women-owned firms employed 7.6 million persons (6.4 percent of total employment) and generated $1.2 trillion in receipts (3.9 percent of all receipts).

Men owned 13.9 million nonfarm U.S. businesses (51.3 percent of all nonfarm businesses) in 2007, an increase of 5.5 percent from 2002. These men-owned firms employed 41.5 million persons (35.0 percent of total employment) and generated $8.5 trillion in receipts (28.2 percent of all receipts).

In addition, 4.6 million nonfarm U.S. businesses (17.0 percent of all nonfarm businesses) were equally (50-percent/50-percent) owned by men and women. These firms employed 8.1 million persons (6.9 percent of total employment) and generated $1.3 trillion in receipts (4.2 percent of all receipts).

Of the 27.1 million nonfarm U.S. businesses, 805,533 firms (3.0 percent of all firms) were publicly held and other firms not classifiable by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status.

These data come from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) and were collected as part of the 2007 Economic Census. The SBO includes a sample of more than 2.3 million nonfarm businesses filing 2007 tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more.

In the SBO, businesses are defined by gender as either:

  • All firms classifiable by gender in which companies could be:
    • Women-owned. Women own 51 percent or more of the stock or equity of the business.
    • Men-owned. Men own 51 percent or more of the stock or equity of the business.
    • Equally men-/women-owned. Ownership of the stock or equity of the business is split evenly (50-percent/50-percent) between men and women.
  • Publicly held and other firms not classifiable by gender.

Table 1 [xls, 21K] and Table 7 [xls, 30K] show the number of firms and value of receipts for all U.S. businesses by gender for 2007 and the changes from 2002 to 2007. Chart 7 [pdf, 168K] and Chart 8 [pdf, 168K] show the distribution of firms and the distribution of the value of receipts by gender for 2007.

Employment size and receipts size data for women-owned businesses are shown in Chart 3 [pdf, 169K] and Chart 2 [pdf, 170K]. Employment size and receipts size data for men-owned businesses are shown in Chart 6 [pdf, 169K] and Chart 5 [pdf, 170K].

KIND-OF-BUSINESS CHARACTERISTICS

In 2007, 31.9 percent of women-owned U.S. firms operated in the repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services (NAICS 81) and the health care and social assistance (NAICS 62) sectors. Women-owned U.S. firms accounted for 45.2 percent of all U.S. businesses in these sectors. Table 6 [xls, 180K] and Chart 1 [pdf, 170K] show the distribution of women-owned U.S. firms by sector. Wholesale trade (NAICS 42) and retail trade (NAICS 44-45) accounted for 36.1 percent of women-owned business revenue.

Table 11 [xls, 37K] shows the number of firms as a percentage of the total for all sectors by gender and NAICS sector. Chart 4 [pdf, 170K] shows the distribution of men-owned U.S. firms by sector.

GEOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

California had the largest number of women-owned U.S. firms at 1.0 million (13.3 percent of all women-owned U.S. firms), with receipts of $181.0 billion (15.2 percent of all women-owned U.S. firm receipts). Texas had the second largest number of women-owned U.S. firms at 610,162 (7.8 percent), with receipts of $96.3 billion (8.1 percent). New York was third, with 594,421 women-owned U.S. firms (7.6 percent) and receipts of $84.0 billion (7.1 percent). Table 2 [xls, 27K] and Map 1 [pdf, 214K] show, for each state, the number of women-owned firms as a percentage of the total number of firms in 2007. Table 9 [xls, 55K] and Map 2 [pdf, 214K] show, for each state, the change in the number of women-owned firms from 2002 to 2007.

Among U.S. counties, Los Angeles County, California, had the largest number of women-owned firms in 2007 at 316,583. Cook County, Illinois, had the second largest number of women-owned firms, with 165,272. Miami-Dade County, Florida, was third, with 116,533 women-owned firms. Table 3 [xls, 28K] shows, for the 50 most populous counties, the number of women-owned firms as a percentage of the total number of firms in 2007.

The three cities with the largest number of women-owned businesses in 2007 were New York City, with 305,145; Los Angeles, with 136,626; and Chicago, with 92,132. Table 4 [xls, 28K] shows, for the 50 most populous cities, the number of women-owned firms as a percentage of the total number of firms in 2007.

Statistics for women-owned firms in the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas in 2007 can be found in Table 5 [xls, 30K].

Table 8 [xls, 27K] and Map 3 [pdf, 214K] show, for each state, the number of men-owned firms as a percentage of the total number of firms in 2007. Table 10 [xls, 55K] and Map 4 [pdf, 214K] show, for each state, the change in the number of men-owned firms from 2002 to 2007.

EMPLOYER FIRM CHARACTERISTICS

The SBO collects data from both employer and nonemployer businesses. Employer businesses are firms with paid employees, including workers on the payroll and excluding sole proprietors and partners. Nonemployer businesses are firms without paid employees, including sole proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses that do not have any other employees on payroll.

In 2007, there were 910,761 women-owned U.S. employer firms. These firms employed 7.6 million persons, had a total payroll of $217.6 billion, and generated $1.0 trillion in receipts. In 2007, employer firms accounted for 11.7 percent of the total number of women-owned U.S. firms and 84.7 percent of women-owned U.S. firmsí gross receipts. Average receipts for these women-owned U.S. employer firms in 2007 were $1.1 million.

NONEMPLOYER FIRM CHARACTERISTICS

In 2007, 6.9 million women-owned U.S. firms had no paid employees. These nonemployer firms generated $182.3 billion in receipts. In 2007, nonemployers accounted for 88.3 percent of the total number of women-owned U.S. firms and 15.3 percent of gross receipts. Average receipts for these women-owned U.S. nonemployer firms in 2007 were $26,486.

DATA COMPARABILITY TO PRIOR SURVEYS

The 2007 and 2002 SBO data were published according to the 2007 and 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) respectively. Prior to the 2002 SBO, data were published according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. Additional changes affecting data comparability are discussed in detail in Methodology, in the section titled "Comparability of the 2007 and 2002 SBO Data."

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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