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This report provides selected economic and demographic characteristics for an estimated 3 million U.S. military veterans (14.5 percent of the 20.5 million owners) that held business interests in the firms that responded to the 2002 Survey of Business Owners (SBO). The 2002 SBO estimated 812 thousand veterans associated with respondent firms with paid employees and 2.2 million veterans associated with respondent firms with no paid employees.
Respondent firms reported that nearly 7 percent of veteran business owners were service-disabled-i.e., disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
The Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002 (CVBO) [pdf, 559K] report is a supplement to the 2002 SBO publication series with statistics on selected economic and demographic characteristics of the owners, veteran owners, and service-disabled veteran owners of U.S. respondent firms. Data aggregates are presented by the gender, Hispanic or Latino origin, race, and veteran status of the owner(s). Additional CVBO statistics for the owners of both employer and nonemployer respondent firms cover:
The data in this report were compiled by combining data collected on businesses and business owners in the 2002 SBO with data collected by the main economic census and from administrative records. Included are businesses that filed 2002 tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more.
Data are presented for both veteran and service-disabled veteran owners of respondent firms, as well as for all U.S. owners of respondent firms. Each owner is classified by:
Data on veteran owners and veteran-owned firms are only representative of respondent firms (other than publicly held and other firms whose owners' characteristics are indeterminate) that answered the veteran ownership question. No adjustments were made to the data to account for nonresponse to the veteran ownership question.
For more information on veteran characteristics, access the summary of findings from the 2002 Characteristics of Business Owners (CBO) on the Census Bureau's Web site at https://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/getsof.html?02cbo, specifically the section titled "Nearly Fifteen Percent of Respondent Business Owners are U.S. Military Veterans," and Table 4, "Statistics for Owners of Respondent Firms by Owner's Veteran Status and Business Interest: 2002," at https://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/02/cbo/sb0200cscbo.pdf [pdf, 510K]. Please note that the CBO data only refer to veteran owners and not veteran-owned businesses.
Table A [pdf, 17K] shows that veterans owning a majority interest in respondent firms are overwhelmingly male (97.3 percent), non-Hispanic (97.7 percent), and white (95.5 percent); 3.2 percent are Black, 2.3 percent Hispanic, 1.0 percent American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.9 percent Asian, and 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. (Percentages do not add to 100 percent because a Hispanic owner may be of any race. Moreover, each owner had the option of selecting more than one race and therefore is included in each race selected.)
Veteran and service-disabled veteran business owners responding to the 2002 SBO tended to be older than all owners of respondent firms.
In 2002, 68 percent of the veteran owners of respondent firms were age 55 and over, with 36 percent between the ages of 55 and 64, and 32 percent over the age of 65. Among service-disabled veteran owners of respondent firms, 57 percent were age 55 and over, with 31 percent between the ages of 55 and 64, and 27 percent over the age of 65.
In contrast, only 31 percent of the owners of all respondent firms were age 55 and over, with 20 percent of these owners between the ages of 55 and 64, and 11 percent over the age of 65.
Veteran and service-disabled veteran business owners were somewhat more likely than all business owners to have at least some college education before establishing, purchasing, or acquiring their business.
In 2002, 67.8 percent of veteran business owners of respondent firms had at least some college education at the time they started or acquired ownership in their business. Twenty-one percent had some college but no degree; 5.9 percent had an associate's degree; 21.5 percent had a bachelor's degree; and 19.2 percent had a master's, doctorate, or professional degree.
Among service-disabled veteran owners of respondent firms, 69.7 percent had at least some college education. Twenty-five percent had some college but no degree; 8.5 percent had an associate's degree; 17.9 percent had a bachelor's degree; and 18.2 percent had a master's, doctorate, or professional degree.
In contrast, only 63.9 percent of all owners of respondent businesses had at least some college education. Eighteen percent had some college but no degree; 5.6 percent had an associate's degree; 22.8 percent had a bachelor's degree; and 17.3 percent had a master's, doctorate, or professional degree.
More than half (50.8 percent) of the veteran owners of employer respondent firms reported working an average of 41 hours or more per week in 2002. Similar percentages were reported for service-disabled veteran owners of employer firms (53.9) and all owners of employer firms (50.5).
An estimated 52.1 percent of all owners of respondent firms had "producing this business's goods/services" as their primary function; 52.8 percent had "managing day-to-day operations" as their primary function. (SBO respondents could assign their owners more than one primary function.) Percentages for veteran business owners were 54.4 percent and (an identical) 54.4 percent, respectively; and for service-disabled veterans, 57.6 percent and 55.6 percent, respectively.
Respondents reported that the business was the owner's primary source of income for 50.9 percent of all owners of respondent firms, 48.0 percent of all veteran owners of respondent firms, and 44.1 percent of all service-disabled veteran owners of respondent firms.
Expansions and improvements are made each time the quinquennial CBO is conducted in order to keep up with the changing needs of data users. First conducted in its current form in 2002, the SBO incorporates many of the purposes and survey questions of three predecessor surveys-the Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (SMOBE), the Survey of Women-Owned Business Enterprises (SWOBE), and the 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners (CBO) survey. While the SMOBE/SWOBE program continued, the CBO survey was discontinued after 1992.
The 2002 SBO survey restored much of what had been in the CBO survey (including the veteran and service-disabled veteran owner questions) and merged these materials with the SMOBE/SWOBE questions.
However, the 2002 kind-of-business data are not comparable to the 1992 CBO data 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 the Methodology section, "Comparability of the 2002 CB/CBO and 1992 CBO Data," of the 2002 Characteristics of Businesses (CB) and 2002 CBO reports, which are part of the SBO publication series.
Firms were asked to report information about the characteristics of up to three individuals with the largest share of ownership; additional owners were not surveyed regarding characteristics.