The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration released Minorities in Business: A Demographic Review of Minority Business Owners. The data are compiled primarily from the 2002 U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons.

"This report continues Advocacy‚s tradition of providing small business data for policy makers and others," said Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the Office of Advocacy. "Solid research and data on small business will help drive sound policy decisions."

The report presents a snapshot of how minority business ownership has changed from 1997 to 2002. It also compares the latest data to earlier surveys and derives growth rates in ownership and other demographic factors. However, over time the Census Bureau has changed definitions and collection methods; therefore, comparisons are problematic and growth rates as well as other measures of dynamic change should be viewed with caution.

Among the data presented in the report (owners may claim multiple races/ethnicities):

• In 2002 (latest data), Asians owned 4.6 percent of all firms (1.1 million), Blacks 5.0 percent (1.2 million), Hispanics 6.6 percent (1.6 million), Native Americans .8 percent (.2 million), and Pacific Islanders .1 percent (.03 million).

• In 2002 (latest data), women owned 17 percent of all employer firms (those with employees), or 900,000. Women owned 22 percent of Asian-owned employer firms (71,000), 29 percent of Black-owned employer firms (27,000), 22 percent of Hispanic-owned employer firms (43,000), 30 percent of Native American-owned employer firms (7,000), and 23 percent of Pacific Islander- owned employer firms (800).