Where Do Minority-Owned Businesses Flourish in the U.S.?

People of color already own a majority of local businesses in seven U.S. metro areas.

National Journal

As the rapidly changing demographics of the U.S. shape the future economic landscape, policymakers have been occupied with finding ways to encourage and support more minority business ownership. As part of that work, they might want to take a look at areas in which people of color already own a majority of businesses.

A National Journal analysis of census figures shows that in 2007 (the latest year for which data are available), minorities owned a majority of businesses in seven metro areas across the country. The border metro area of Laredo, Texas, had the largest share of businesses owned by minorities: almost three-quarters of all firms were minority-owned. Laredo was followed by McAllen, Texas (72 percent); Honolulu, (66 percent); El Paso and Brownsville, Texas (65 percent);  El Centro, Calif. (60 percent); and Miami-Fort Lauderdale, (53 percent). Of the top 20 metro areas with the largest share of minority-owned firms, 14 were in Texas or California.

Large cities on the coasts and in the South dominated the list of metropolitan areas with the largest number of firms owned by minorities. New York topped the list with 649,000 minority-owned firms. Los Angeles with more than 570,000 and Miami with almost 430,000 businesses owned by minorities rounded out the top three. Two Midwestern cities, Chicago and Detroit, also make the top 20 with more than 211,000 and 73,500 minority-owned businesses, respectively.