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The numbers on minority business Featured

9:36am EDT July 22, 2002
The ranks of minority business owners have grown at triple-digit rates, but their representation in the marketplace remains far behind their make-up of the population as a whole.

According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 10 years between 1987 and 1997, the number of Hispanic-American owned enterprises increased 230 percent to 1.4 million, with revenue increasing a whopping 417 percent to $184 million. But while Hispanic-Americans make up 10.9 percent of the population, they own only 4.5 percent of all businesses.

The number are similar for African- and Asian-Americans.

During the same period, African-American business ownership grew 108 percent and revenue increased 109 percent to nearly $59 billion. The number of Asian-American owned enterprises jumped 180 percent with revenue increasing 463 percent to nearly $275 billion.

And while African-Americans make up 12.7 percent of the population, they own only 3.6 percent of the businesses. Members of the Asian-American community are closer, but still slightly underrepresented. Asian-Americans make up 3.8 percent of the population and own 3.5 percent of the businesses.

Daniel G. Jacobs