Buildings Demography Environment GIS Information Policy Technology Transportation More subjects
Note: The Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis is no longer a division of the Dept. of Administration. The work units which made up this division can be found on the left menu of this page. Resources found on the GDA website are being migrated to other domains. Logo

Indicator 5 0 : Net gain in businesses

Goal: Rural areas, small cities and urban neighborhoods throughout the state will be economically viable places for people to live and work. Minnesotans value their freedom to choose where to live. Minnesotans in communities throughout the state also want their youth to be able to make a living without moving away. The indicators for this goal deal with economic and transportation issues that affect the viability of urban and rural communities.

Rationale: The vitality of local economies depends on retaining and attracting businesses. This indicator measures the extent to which that has occurred in each Minnesota county.

About this indicator: This indicator was higher in the second half of the 1990s compared to the first half of the decade. In nine of the eleven years between 1990 and 2000, at least 63 Minnesota counties had net business gains. During a time of minimal economic growth, 1990, only 18 counties had net gains in businesses, the lowest amount in the decade. The strongest year was 1996, when 80 of Minnesota's 87 counties had net gains in the number of businesses. The strong growth in net businesses as well as business expansions in the latter half of the decade has resulted in historically low unemployment levels during the late 1990s for most parts of the state. These are all indications of strong local and regional economies.

Things to think about: At least 65 Minnesota counties have had net business gains every year since 1995. In 2000, Minnesota had a net gain of 3,933 businesses. A net increase in businesses does not necessarily mean an increase in jobs. A community could have more businesses from one year to the next, but job gains from new businesses may not offset job losses in existing businesses. Most new businesses, which are small, tend to have high failure rates.

Technical notes: Businesses that were sold or merged may be mistakenly counted as start-ups or closures. In order to avoid disclosure of some individual businesses, data was suppressed for some counties in some years. Any business with at least one wage-earning employee is counted in this data. However, self-employed people, farmers, religious workers and elected officials are not counted. The Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development's Business Tracking System data is based on information provided by the Research Division and Tax Division of the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, including quarterly reports to the Reemployment Insurance program.


  • Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Business Tracking System: Minnesota Business Births, Dissolutions, Expansions and Contractions,

Related data trends:

Related indicators:

Other related indicators:

  • Employment growth rate (Minnesota Department of Economic Security,

Technical problems? Contact: