Data Sources

Small Business Data Sources


Sortable data base of over 60 separate small business surveys

Bureau of the Census

(The most comprehensive source of business statistics, many tables of which are broken out by size of firm. It is also the source of non-employer businesses.)

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


Private sector loans to small businesses.

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has released a highly useful series of reports to Congress on small business finance. They are unfortunately scattered over its Web site and have no central location. See, for example,

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)

An international consortium measures business Pre-start and start-up activity. The United States has a team participating in the consortium devoted to measuring such activity in the U.S.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Federal tax statistics— Business-Tax-Statistics

Kauffman Foundation

Focuses on entrepreneurship rather than small business. However, there is considerable overlap, particularly in its firm survey of new businesses. Studies as well as data.
Firm survey:

Panel Study on Entrepreneurial Dynamics  

A rich and sophisticated data set focused on new business activity in the Unites States. It is not intended for the casual user.

Small Business Administration

SBA principally presents data collected by others. But the agency serves as a useful “one stop shop” and typically organizes data in a user-friendly manner. For basic statistics, SBA is the first site to visit.) or Its Office of Advocacy has also sponsored a number of studies over the years.

World Bank

The World Bank’s Doing Business series, dating to 2001, is an annual compendium and international ranking of regulatory measures impacting small business, such as the number of days it takes to legally register a business. Different aspects appear each year.