Small businesses in the west show rapid growth

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

As we continue to explore the regional changes in the number of smaller firms, we get to the first one of the two regions that showed an impressive growth at the beginning of the previous decade. In those years (except for 2003), the number of small businesses in the West has been increasing by 30,000 to 40,000 each year. The year-over-year changes can be seen in the chart below:

In recent years, the number of small businesses in the region has begun to rise again; the growth has been on par with the Southern states despite the significant difference in population (in 2010, the South’s population was 60 percent higher).

Electronic shopping and securities brokerages are two industry sectors that we frequently see among those with the largest increases in the number of small businesses. The class of industries that seems specific to the region is custom computer programming services; it added almost 3,500 new establishments in just five years since 2007. Note that this sector, as described in the NAICS, excludes companies providing packaged software. Of course, if we look at the relative increase in numbers, nothing compares to e-commerce, where the number of small businesses has increased by 167 percent in the same timeframe.

Geographically, we see mixed patterns — the coastal counties show a modest but visible increase in the number of small businesses per 1,000 residents. At the same time, a more significant increase can be seen to the northeast of the region, possibly caused by the somewhat lower population of these states. In Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah, numbers above 40 (and sometimes even 50) small businesses per 1,000 county residents are frequently registered.

As the map shows, the popularity of small businesses is quite low in Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Source: the US Census Bureau County Business Patterns data

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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

Other posts by Andrey Kamenov:

2 thoughts on “Small businesses in the west show rapid growth”

    1. Thanks for the comment! Almost all of the maps on our blog are made by us using publicly available data.

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