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New research reveals the most entrepreneurial states in the US

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Oregon named the most entrepreneurial state in the US   

  • Oregon ranked top of the list with close to 20,000 new businesses opening in the state last year 
  • Idaho and Montana share second place, each having a 10.5% increase in business openings 
  • Washington finished last with nearly 28,000 fewer businesses opening in 2023

New research has revealed the most entrepreneurial states, with Oregon topping the list. 

The study, conducted by QRFY, analyzed data from the US Bureau of Labor statistics to find the number of new businesses in 2022 compared to 2023; each state was ranked according to the difference rate. 

 Oregon tops the list with an increase of 10.7% (equating to 19,423) new businesses opening in 2023, meaning there are now 200,766 registered establishments in the state, rising from 181,343. 

 Neighboring states Idaho and Montana share second place, each having a 10.5% increase in business openings – 8,922 and 6,201 respectively. The former jumped from 85,354 to 94,276 while the latter rose from 59,303 in 2022 to 65,504 in 2023.  

Virginia is extremely close behind in third, with a 10.4% rise in new businesses, with figures growing from 323,607 in 2022 to 357,131 in 2023. 

With a 9.3% increase in new businesses, equating to a difference of 7,497, Mississippi places fourth making it the highest-ranking southern state. The figure was up from 80,215 in 2022 to 87,712 last year.  

 Hawaii follows in fifth place as the number of businesses increased by 4,784 (9.3%) from 51,738 in 2022 to 56,522 in 2023.  

At the other end of ranking, Washington is the least entrepreneurial state with 27,954 fewer businesses opening in 2023 (241,004) compared to 2022 (268,958), equating to a decrease of 10.4% 

Nebraska is next in the ranking with a 2.2% decrease, giving a figure of 1,743 and declining from 78,549 in 2022 to 76,806 in 2023. 

Maryland follows behind Nebraska with a decrease of 0.5%, which meant a reduction of 890 businesses compared to the previous 12 months, with a total of 187,147 businesses in 2023. 

Next is Iowa, the only other state that experienced a decline, which stands at 0.1% with 110,667 businesses in 2022 compared to 110,535 in 2023. 

New Mexico rounds off the bottom five with a very marginal increase of new businesses (0.3%) equating to 223, up to 66,732 from 66,509 in 2022.  

Commenting on the findings, Marc Porcar, CEO of QRFY said: “While there are a few states with negative figures, it’s excellent to see the number of businesses in most areas increased, even if only slightly in some cases; most are over 5%, which indicates a healthy growth figure. 

“Interestingly, the top three were all located in the Northwest and have all witnessed an increase of over 10%. While last place Washington, which is in the same location, surrounded by the top three states declined by around the same figure.” 

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