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In 2007, women owned 7.8 million businesses and accounted for 28.7 percent of all businesses nationwide, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners. These firms generated $1.2 trillion in receipts, about 3.9 percent of all business receipts nationwide. (See Table 1 [Excel].)
Businesses owned equally by men and women numbered 4.6 million firms (17.0 percent of all businesses) and generated $1.3 trillion in receipts (4.2 percent of all receipts).
“As business owners, women in 2007 had a major impact on the nation's economy, employing more than 7.6 million workers,” said Census Bureau Deputy Director Thomas Mesenbourg. “In addition, the businesses they owned equally with men added another 8.1 million workers. Furthermore, businesses where women were owners or half-owners numbered 12.4 million firms, representing 45.7 percent of all firms.”
The percentage of women-owned businesses was fairly constant from state to state. In every state, women owned at least a fifth of the businesses and the percentage exceeded 30 percent in several states. (See map 1 [PDF].)
In some industries, women controlled a significant share of the businesses. For example, women-owned businesses accounted for 52.0 percent of all businesses operating in the health care and social assistance sector.
Nearly half of all women-owned businesses (45.9 percent) operated in repair and maintenance; personal and laundry services; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services.
“Nonetheless, women-owned businesses still lag behind businesses owned by men,” Mesenbourg said. In 2007, businesses owned by men numbered 13.9 million (accounting for 51.3 percent of all businesses) and generated $8.5 trillion in receipts (28.2 percent of all receipts).
In addition, there were 805,533 publicly held and other firms not classifiable by gender, accounting for 3.0 percent of all businesses. These firms generated $19.2 trillion in receipts, 63.6 percent of all receipts.
These new data come from Survey of Business Owners: Women-Owned Businesses: 2007, which provides detailed information every five years for women-owned businesses, including the number of firms, sales and receipts, number of paid employees and annual payroll.
Statistics are also shown for men-owned businesses, for businesses that are equally owned by women and men, and publicly held and other businesses for which the gender of ownership is indeterminate. Data are presented by geographic area (United States, state, county, city and metro area), industry and size of business. Preliminary national and state data were released in July 2010.
The three states with the largest number of women-owned businesses in 2007 were California, Texas and New York. California had 1.0 million women-owned businesses, or 13.3 percent of all women-owned businesses in the United States. Texas had 610,162 women-owned businesses, or 7.8 percent of all women-owned businesses in the United States, and New York had 594,421 women-owned businesses, or 7.6 percent. (See Table 2 [Excel].)
The three counties with the largest number of women-owned businesses in 2007 were Los Angeles County, Calif. (316,583); Cook County, Ill., (165,272); and Miami-Dade County, Fla., (116,533). (See Table 3 [Excel].)
The three cities with the largest number of women-owned businesses in 2007 were New York (305,145), Los Angeles (136,626) and Chicago (92,132). (See Table 4 [Excel].)
The three metropolitan statistical areas with the largest number of women-owned businesses were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (604,647); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (409,872); and Chicago-Naperville-Joliet (271,068).
The Survey of Business Owners defines women-owned businesses as firms in which women own 51 percent or more of the equity, interest, or stock of the business. Additional reports from the survey highlighting minority- and veteran-owned businesses will be issued over the next year.