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American Indian and Alaska Native Firms Grew from 2002 to 2007

The largest industry in 2007, in terms of the number of firms owned by American Indians and Alaska natives, was health care and social assistance.

The number of North Dakota firms owned by American Indians and Alaska natives totaled 988 in 2007 (latest data available), which is an increase of 16 percent from 852 firms in 2002. The total revenue of these firms was $198 million in 2007, which was up 43 percent from 2002 after adjusting for inflation.

This month’s “Economic Briefs,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on the number of firms owned by American Indians and Alaska natives in North Dakota. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 survey of business owners focuses on nonfarm business organizations (companies with one or more establishments).

It also defined these firms as companies in which American Indians and Alaska natives owned 51 percent or more of the interest or stock of the business. It excluded businesses owned by American Indian tribes because they are considered government-owned entities.

American Indians and Alaska natives, North Dakota’s largest minority group, represented 5 percent of the population statewide and owned 2 percent of all firms in 2007. Nationally, 1 percent of all firms were owned by American Indians and Alaska natives.

In North Dakota, 27 percent of all firms had employees, but among firms owned by American Indians and Alaska natives, 15 percent had employees (employing 1,436 people).

The largest industry in 2007, in terms of the number of firms owned by American Indians and Alaska natives, was health care and social assistance (208 firms with $3 million in revenue). However, the largest industry in terms of revenue generated by these firms was construction (134 firms with $59 million in revenue).

The industry that showed the largest growth from 2002 to 2007 by firms owned by American Indians and Alaska natives was administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, which grew by 104 firms. The professional/scientific/technical services industry grew by 66 firms. This was followed by finance and insurance (increase of 24 firms) and accommodation and food services (increase of approximately 19 firms).

“What is impressive about the changes in American Indian-owned firms in North Dakota is not only the magnitude of growth, but the diversification by industry,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “This growth in American Indian-owned firms parallels the economic expansion we are seeing from energy development activity.”


NDSU Agriculture Communication – April 19, 2011

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621, richard.rathge@ndsu.edu
Editor:Richard Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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