A new U.S. Census report gives an inside look at who owns America’s businesses. Hawaii wins the distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of minority-owned businesses.

Minority-owned businesses made up nearly 57 percent of businesses in Hawaii, the highest percentage in the nation, according to the 2007 Survey of Business Owners. The state is followed by the District of Columbia, which trailed with 40.2 percent, and California, which had 35.6 percent. Not surprisingly, Hawaii was home to 9.4 percent of businesses owned by Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, the highest percentage in the U.S.

Across the nation, the number of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander businesses grew to 38,881, 34.3 percent up from the last survey in 2002, bringing in some $7 billion in gross receipts.

By volume, California led with the most minority-owned firms at 1.2 million.

The report also singled out California for the most women-owned firms at 1 million, or 13.3 percent of such firms, and the most Asian-owned firms at 509,670, or 32.8 percent.

The report, however, would seem to need reevaluation in post-recession years. The bureau bases its findings on data from 2007, the year that brought the second-most state revenues for Hawaii in the last 15 years. The new question will be how these businesses have fared in economic slump.

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