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For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 08, 2024

Census Bureau Releases Nonemployer Business Data by Demographic Characteristics of Owners

Press Release Number CB24-TPS.14

Feb 8, 2024 — Women owned 41.1% (11.2 million) and minorities owned 36.7% (10 million) of the nation’s nonemployer businesses (those without paid employees) and had $307.9 billion and $345.1 billion, respectively, in receipts in 2020, according to the new Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D) released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. There were a total of 27.2 million nonemployer businesses with $1.3 trillion in receipts in 2020.

In addition to demographic characteristics of nonemployer business owners, this release also includes data by urban and rural classification, receipt size of firm, and legal form of organization (e.g., sole proprietorships and partnerships).

The NES-D is an annual statistical series that uses existing administrative records and census data to link demographic characteristics of owners to the universe of nonemployer businesses. Nonemployer businesses are those without paid employees and are subject to federal income tax, with receipts of $1,000 or more. The NES-D statistics are the accompanying dataset to the Annual Business Survey (ABS) data on employer businesses (those with paid employees) and when combined with the ABS, provide a complete picture of business owner demographics, such as sex, race, ethnicity and veteran status.

Highlights for nonemployer businesses in 2020:

  • Hispanic-owned firms accounted for 16.4% (4.5 million) of nonemployer businesses and had $164.0 billion in receipts.
  • Veteran-owned firms made up about 4.8% (1.3 million) of nonemployer businesses with $57.0 billion in receipts.
  • Asian-owned firms accounted for 8.6% (2.3 million) of nonemployer businesses, with receipts of $106.1 billion, the most receipts among businesses owned by minority race groups.
  • Black or African American-owned firms made up 13.2% (3.6 million) of nonemployer businesses, with receipts of $85.8 billion.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native-owned firms accounted for 1.2% (329.0 thousand) of nonemployer businesses, with $10.7 billion in receipts.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander-owned firms accounted for 0.3% (83.5 thousand) of nonemployer businesses, with $2.8 billion in receipts.

This release also includes demographic statistics of all businesses, those with and without employees, combining results from the previously released 2021 ABS (data year 2020) and the 2020 NES-D (data year 2020).

Highlights from these combined statistics (total employer and nonemployer businesses):

  • There were 32.9 million employer and nonemployer businesses, with $40.2 trillion in receipts.
  • Minorities owned 11.1 million businesses, with $1.9 trillion in receipts.
  • Women owned 12.4 million businesses, with $2.2 trillion in receipts.
  • Hispanics owned 4.8 million businesses, with $636.2 billion in receipts.
  • Veterans owned 1.6 million businesses, with $983.7 billion in receipts.

For more information on the methods used to assign demographic characteristics to nonemployer businesses, refer to the NES-D methodology.

No news release associated with this product. Tip Sheet only.



Jewel Jordan
Public Information Office
301-763-3030 or
877-861-2010 (U.S. and Canada only)

Page Last Revised - February 9, 2024
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