The County With the Most Business Applications in Every State

Businesses come and go, and fortunately there are always entrepreneurs willing to start up a business — some more successfully than others. (These are large cities where starting a business is worth the risk.)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 49% of U.S. small businesses do not survive into their sixth year, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that only 12% of new businesses last beyond 25 years. But the Small Business Administration estimates the share of businesses that open in any given year is slightly higher than the ones that close, at 8.1% compared to 7.7%.

That amounts to significant churn in the U.S. small-business sector, which is responsible for 66% of new jobs created at any given time and 44% of U.S. gross domestic product, according to the SBA. Small businesses include operations like boutique hotels, family-owned restaurants, trucking firms, real estate agencies, and manufacturers with a small number of employees.

The number and density of small businesses is an indication of an area’s overall economic activity. One city or county can have fewer businesses (and therefore fewer jobs and less commercial activity) than another. 

The number of applications for new business can be another indication of an area’s economic conditions, though it’s important to remember that not all applications become new businesses. Each state has a county that leads in the number of new business applications per capita.

To identify the county with the most business applications in each state in 2020, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Business Formation Statistics from the U.S Census Bureau. All county and county equivalents in the 50 states were considered, including independent cities. Counties and county equivalents were ranked on new business applications submitted in 2020 per 1,000 people. All other data came from the Census’ 2019 American Community Survey. 

Some of the U.S. counties with the highest number of new-business applications in their state are not among the most urban. Among the counties with the most new-business applications per 1,000 residents are Kent, Delaware; Noxubee, Mississippi; and San Juan County, Colorado. 

Out of the top 50 business-creating counties in their state, the median number of new-business applications is 20.3 per 1,000 residents. (This is the best small city to start a business in every state.)

Click here to see the county with the most business applications in every state

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