FAQs

Updated August 2020

Why is there missing data for some years and regions and not others?

Calculations are provided for regions, year, and business age groups for which the underlying data are available. There may be missing data related to coverage in the underlying data.

How can I interpret the New Employer Business series?

In 2018, the national Rate of New Employer Business Actualization was 11.33%, meaning that for every 100 new business applications, about 11 businesses achieved a first payroll within eight quarters. 

The Rate of New Employer Businesses reflects the emergence of new employer businesses in the population. The national Rate of New Employer Businesses was 0.12 in 2018, meaning there were 120 new employer businesses for every 100,000 people. 

New Employer Business Velocity is the average amount of time it takes, in quarters, for a new business application to become an employer (make a first payroll), assuming it does so within eight quarters. In 2014, the national New Employer Business Velocity was 1.92, indicating that, on average, approximately six months pass between business application and first hire. 

Employer Business Newness captures new employer businesses as a share of all employer firms. In 2016, national Employer Business Newness was 6.8%, meaning that almost 7 out of every 100 employer businesses were new businesses applications that made a first payroll within the first eight quarters. 

How can I interpret the Early-Stage Entrepreneurship series?

The Rate of New Entrepreneurs in 2018 was 0.32%, which reflects that 320 out of every 100,000 adults became new entrepreneurs in an average month. The Rate of New Entrepreneurs captures the percentage of the adult, non-business owner population that starts a business each month. This indicator captures all business owners, including those who own incorporated or unincorporated businesses, and those who are employers or non-employers.

The Opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs was 86.2% in 2017, reflecting that more than 4 out of 5 entrepreneurs started a business out of opportunity as opposed to necessity. Opportunity entrepreneurs are defined as those starting a business out of wage and salary work, school, or other labor market status. Necessity entrepreneurs are defined as those starting a business out of unemployment.

The Startup Early Job Creation indicator was 5.20 per 1,000 people in 2018 (meaning that startups created, on average, 5.20 new jobs for every 1,000 people in the United States). This indicator measures how many jobs are created by startups in their first year, normalized by the total population. This allows us to track the total number of jobs created by startups while accounting for differences in population over time or by geography.

The Startup Early Survival Rate in 2018 was 79.43%. This reflects that roughly 4 out of 5 new establishments were still active after one year of operation.

More detailed information about historical trends and interpretations of the indicators can be found in the National and State reports.

What data sources are used to produce the Early-Stage Entrepreneurship series?

The U.S. Census’s Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Business Employment Dynamics (BED) are the underlying data sources for the Early-Stage Indicators. The Business Formation Statistics (BFS), Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS), and Population Estimates Program (PEP) are the underlying data sources for the New Employer Business Indicators.

Do you have demographic data for individual states or for groups other than those presented on the website?

Due to constraints with the sample sizes of the source variables, we are unable to produce accurate measures for demographics at the state level. Nationally, we present all available demographic groups for which we can produce accurate estimates on the website.

Why do you not have demographic data for the Startup Job Creation and Startup Survival Rate Indicators or any of the New Employer Business Indicators?

Those variables are produced using the BLS BED statistics and Census Bureau BFS statistics. These data sources do not include data on the demographics of who owns businesses. As such, we are unable to report demographic breakdowns for those indicators.

For how many years is data available? Is there additional data available for other years?

The website generally provides all of the data we have available. Generally, we have data back to 1998 for the two CPS-derived indicators (Rate of New Entrepreneurs and Opportunity Share), and 1996 for the two BED-derived indicators (Startup Job Creation and Survival Rate). The New Employer Business Indicators are presented from 2005 through the most recent year of data available for each metric. 

Where can I download the data?

Can I download or print the data visualizations?

All data visualizations per indicator at the national and state levels are available to print in a consolidated report through your browser’s native printing functionality. For example, Chrome users can click on the three dots in the upper right portion of the browser and click “print.” You can also open a print dialogue box regardless of browser via CTRL + P for PC and COMMAND + P for Mac.

The data visualizations are also individually available for download by clicking the “Download Chart” link provided.

How can I print my state page?

The instructions to print and download the data visualizations from the previous question apply to the state pages, as well.

Why might an estimate on the website look a little different from an estimate in a report?

The data used to calculate indicators comes from underlying sources that are updated at different times throughout the year. In addition, some indicators use projected data that is later with current data over time. This means there may be discrepancies during the time between report production and data updates to the website.

Why is Kauffman no longer ranking states or cities?

A major goal of the Kauffman Indicators is to provide useful measures for types and stages of entrepreneurs, as well as across geographies and demographic groups where possible. Individual stakeholders such as state policymakers and entrepreneurship support organizations may have different priorities and needs. Furthermore, small year-to-year variations in the indicators could result in larger shifts in the overall rankings, even if the underlying conditions are largely the same. As such, we felt that users could choose how to use and interpret each of the indicators or the index as appropriate for their needs.

What happened to the Kauffman Index?

In 2018, in order to provide information that was actionable and directly relevant to users, the Kauffman Foundation retired the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship and replaced it with the Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation received input from policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders about how to accomplish clearer indicators, as well as provide timely and current information in the context of existing data constraints and a focus on the nature of entrepreneurship.

The Kauffman Indicators are intended to provide a broad and balanced perspective on measuring the complex phenomenon of entrepreneurship.


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