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Why Do People Start Businesses in Every U.S. State?

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why do people start businesses in every U.S. state?

Why Do People Start Businesses in Every U.S. State?

People have various motivations for starting their businesses.

Some seek higher income. Others are looking for a balance between family life and career. In some situations, entrepreneurship may be the only way to fight unemployment.

In this infographic, OnDeck uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Annual Business Survey to highlight the most unique reasons for why people start businesses in each U.S. state.

Editor’s note: The map tracks the most popular unique reasons to start a business. In this case, “unique” is defined by how much a particular reason stands out from the U.S. average across all states. For example, in Delaware, more respondents said they started businesses because they “couldn’t find jobs” (11.6%) than in any other state (U.S. average: 7.3%). So, even though it’s not numerically the most popular reason overall, it is the unique reason that stands out the most for that state.

The Most Popular Unique Reasons to Start a Business

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, entrepreneurship rates in the U.S. have been trending upward over the past two decades.

In fact, despite multi-billion dollar companies getting the spotlight, 99.9% of businesses across the U.S. are small businesses, employing over 60 million people.

Wanting to make more income is the biggest unique factor in starting a business in 14 states, including some of the states with the highest unemployment rates, like New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Alabama.

Reasons people start businesses ranking

In Utah, a higher percentage (65.4%) of entrepreneurs start businesses to achieve a work-life balance than in any other state. Notably, Utah is known for having the largest average family size, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, and has a strong religious presence.

On the other hand, in Florida, more business founders (69.2%) start their businesses to become their own bosses than anywhere else.

New York and California are states where entrepreneurs mentioned that they couldn’t find a job as a key unique reason to start a business. In fact, both states lead as the worst for job seekers, as shown in another Visual Capitalist graphic.

Small Businesses to Remain Vital

Despite all the different reasons to start a business, the fact is that entrepreneurship is still crucial for the U.S. economy.

Over the last 25 years, small businesses have added over 12.9 million jobs. For perspective, that’s about two-thirds of the jobs added to the economy.

In 2021, a record-breaking 5.4 million new business applications were filed in the U.S.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Charted: Inflation Across U.S. Fast Food Chains (2014-2024)

Even fast food restaurants have seen their prices surge this past decade. Which ones lead in terms of fast food inflation?

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Cropped chart of fast food inflation across 10 restaurant chains

Inflation Across Fast Food Chains from 2014 to 2024

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Fast food joints were once the go-to option for quick, cost-friendly meals, but now, they’re starting to pinch the budget.

Inflation has hit fast food chains hard in the past decade, with many restaurants seeing an average price increase on menu items of more than 50%.

This graphic visualizes the average price increase of 10 core menu items from select American fast food chains, as well as the change in the consumer price index (U.S. city average) for food away from home, from 2014 to 2024.

Fast food chain data comes from Finance Buzz and the food away from home figure comes from the Federal Reserve’s March 2024 Consumer Price Index data.

The Rising Costs of Dining Out

On average, eating at these 10 fast food restaurants has gotten 63% more expensive since 2014, as shown in the table below.

RestaurantAverage price increase of 10 different menu items (2014-2024)
McDonald's100%
Popeye's86%
Taco Bell81%
Chipotle75%
Jimmy John's62%
Wendy's55%
Arby's55%
Chick-fil-A55%
Burger King55%
Panera Bread54%
Food Away from Home Inflation49%
Starbucks39%
Subway39%

McDonald’s leads the pack in term of fast food inflation, with some of its food items doubling in price since 2014. The company likely took notice of complaints of its rising prices, and is preparing to roll out a month-long, affordable $5 combo meal deal this summer.

While not visualized on the graphic above, Subway and Starbucks were the only two restaurants that had average price increases that were lower than food away from home inflation, at 39% for both restaurants.

As the cost of dining out has increased across the board, with even fast food options surpassing overall inflation, consumers are running out of cheaper alternatives when it comes to having food away from home.

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