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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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U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion

U.S. debt interest payments have surged past the $1 trillion dollar mark, amid high interest rates and an ever-expanding debt burden.

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This line chart shows U.S. debt interest payments over modern history.

U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion

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.

The cost of paying for America’s national debt crossed the $1 trillion dollar mark in 2023, driven by high interest rates and a record $34 trillion mountain of debt.

Over the last decade, U.S. debt interest payments have more than doubled amid vast government spending during the pandemic crisis. As debt payments continue to soar, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that debt servicing costs surpassed defense spending for the first time ever this year.

This graphic shows the sharp rise in U.S. debt payments, based on data from the Federal Reserve.

A $1 Trillion Interest Bill, and Growing

Below, we show how U.S. debt interest payments have risen at a faster pace than at another time in modern history:

DateInterest PaymentsU.S. National Debt
2023$1.0T$34.0T
2022$830B$31.4T
2021$612B$29.6T
2020$518B$27.7T
2019$564B$23.2T
2018$571B$22.0T
2017$493B$20.5T
2016$460B$20.0T
2015$435B$18.9T
2014$442B$18.1T
2013$425B$17.2T
2012$417B$16.4T
2011$433B$15.2T
2010$400B$14.0T
2009$354B$12.3T
2008$380B$10.7T
2007$414B$9.2T
2006$387B$8.7T
2005$355B$8.2T
2004$318B$7.6T
2003$294B$7.0T
2002$298B$6.4T
2001$318B$5.9T
2000$353B$5.7T
1999$353B$5.8T
1998$360B$5.6T
1997$368B$5.5T
1996$362B$5.3T
1995$357B$5.0T
1994$334B$4.8T
1993$311B$4.5T
1992$306B$4.2T
1991$308B$3.8T
1990$298B$3.4T
1989$275B$3.0T
1988$254B$2.7T
1987$240B$2.4T
1986$225B$2.2T
1985$219B$1.9T
1984$205B$1.7T
1983$176B$1.4T
1982$157B$1.2T
1981$142B$1.0T
1980$113B$930.2B
1979$96B$845.1B
1978$84B$789.2B
1977$69B$718.9B
1976$61B$653.5B
1975$55B$576.6B
1974$50B$492.7B
1973$45B$469.1B
1972$39B$448.5B
1971$36B$424.1B
1970$35B$389.2B
1969$30B$368.2B
1968$25B$358.0B
1967$23B$344.7B
1966$21B$329.3B

Interest payments represent seasonally adjusted annual rate at the end of Q4.

At current rates, the U.S. national debt is growing by a remarkable $1 trillion about every 100 days, equal to roughly $3.6 trillion per year.

As the national debt has ballooned, debt payments even exceeded Medicaid outlays in 2023—one of the government’s largest expenditures. On average, the U.S. spent more than $2 billion per day on interest costs last year. Going further, the U.S. government is projected to spend a historic $12.4 trillion on interest payments over the next decade, averaging about $37,100 per American.

Exacerbating matters is that the U.S. is running a steep deficit, which stood at $1.1 trillion for the first six months of fiscal 2024. This has accelerated due to the 43% increase in debt servicing costs along with a $31 billion dollar increase in defense spending from a year earlier. Additionally, a $30 billion increase in funding for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in light of the regional banking crisis last year was a major contributor to the deficit increase.

Overall, the CBO forecasts that roughly 75% of the federal deficit’s increase will be due to interest costs by 2034.

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