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Is there a simple way to figure out how many new businesses appear and disappear each year in the US economy? It seems a key question to figure out how the economy is changing over time, although I suppose the data is potentially messy...

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  • $\begingroup$ If you google your own question [and add "US" in the end] you would get the answer. If you just change the words a bit to death business us economy you actually improve the quality of the sources. $\endgroup$ – dugo May 20 '16 at 20:43
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The Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) of the Census provides annual measures of business dynamics (such as job creation and destruction, establishment births and deaths, and firm startups and shutdowns) for the economy and aggregated by establishment and firm characteristics. The use of the LBD as its source data permits tracking establishments and firms over time. In particular, BDS provides information on Establishment openings and closings and Number of startups and firm shutdowns.

The following figure is based on BDS and from Haltiwanger, John, Ron Jarmin, and Javier Miranda, (2009) "Business Dynamics Statistics: An Overview".

enter image description here

Note: SUSB means Statistics of U.S. Businesses from Census firms as well.

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This is the current image from the above mentioned website on establishment entry (blue) and exit (black)

It shows a slow decline of both series from about 14% to about 10%, and also, opposite jumps around 2008, but its quite stable over time, seems to me.

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