Startups account for a much smaller share of U.S. businesses than they used to. Recently released data from the Census Bureau shows that back in 1977, 16 percent of U.S. companies were new. By 2009, that share had fallen to 8 percent.
As the figure below shows, the overall trend in the proportion of startups has been downward, but the new company share had increased for several years prior to the Great Recession. The downturn reversed the increase and was a period of rapid decline in the proportion of start-ups.
Chart: Startups as a Percentage of all Businesses, 1977 to 2009