The number of businesses owned, broken down by race/ethnicity expressed as a percentage of all businesses.
Business ownership plays a significant role in wealth creation and accumulation, and can help address the racial wealth gap in the U.S. while also creating jobs and stimulating the economy more broadly.
In 2017, a significant majority of businesses in Essex County were owned by white people (84%), followed by Asian (6.0%), Hispanic (3.4%) and African American (0.8%) owners. Essex County's shares of African American and Asian-owned businesses were lower than both the state and nation, while its share of Hispanic-owned businesses was higher than the state (1.9%) and lower than the nation (5.6%).
Compared to Essex County, both Middlesex and Westchester counties had smaller shares of businesses owned by whites, both at 79%. Westchester had the highest shares of businesses owned by Asians (11%), Hispanics (7.5%) and African Americans (3.0%). Essex County had a higher percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses and a lower share of Asian-owned businesses than Middlesex.
The lack of equal opportunities for wealth accumulation and systemic racism in the banking industry both contribute to these disparities. Would-be businesses owners of color have significantly less investment capital than their white peers due to historic discrimination in housing, a traditional method for accumulating personal wealth, and in the lending industry through both housing and corporate redlining.
Annual Business Survey (ABS) data are sourced from a combination of responses to the survey, data from the economic census, and administrative records data. The ABS only include tabulations for employer businesses, which are businesses with paid employees. The Annual Business Survey uses the collection year (the year the survey was collected) in the survey name rather than the reference year (the year the survey collects data on).