Wisconsin had the Second-Best 10-year Small Business Survival Rate over the Last Decade

Wisconsin had the second-best 10-year small business survival rate in the nation over the last decade. Only Iowa had a better ranking.

That’s according to a recent analysis from The Southern Bank Company, a financial institution based in Alabama that looked at data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare the state-by-state business survival rates from March 2012 through that month of 2022.

Among Wisconsin’s 8,199 private sector businesses that opened in a 12-month period ending in March 2012, 43 percent — or 3,523 — were still operating a decade later, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. And those surviving businesses went from averaging 4.5 employees each to 10.7 workers.

The state’s 10-year small business survival rate has remained fairly stable over time. For example, 42.2 percent of the businesses that opened in a 12-month period ending in March 1994 were still open in 2004, but only 19.7 percent were still open by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Small business survival rates tend to decrease the longer small businesses are in operation, according to The Southern Bank Company. After the first year, roughly 80 percent of small businesses nationally remain in operation. That drops to roughly 50 percent by the fifth year of business.