Where are the U.S.’s fastest-growing companies? Many aren’t where you’d expect (infographic)

Inc 500 Kauffman Map

When it comes to entrepreneurial hubs and good places to start a business, reports that name Silicon Valley and Boston as technology and healthcare clusters are only telling part of the story.

Those places may have the greatest volume of health and technology companies, but from another angle, cities like Salt Lake City, Utah, and Indianapolis, Indiana, may have just as many advantages.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation took a different approach to identifying entrepreneurial clusters and plotted the geographies of companies on nearly 30 years’ worth of Inc. 500 lists to identify areas where the fastest-growing, privately held companies are located.


In a series of reports called The Ascent of America’s High-Growth Companies, the foundation notes that while many high-growth companies were located in Austin, Boston and Silicon Valley, cities like Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Raleigh and Buffalo have been home to similar volumes of fast-growing companies over the past three decades. And while most states’ “Inc. scores” remained relatively flat over three decades, Washington, D.C. and Utah became especially fruitful in terms of growing companies.


What’s also interesting about the findings is the startlingly low number of health companies that have been named to Inc.’s list. If you look at the 2012 list, only 35 of the top 500 companies (7 percent) are health-related. Maybe that’s partly due to the slower growth of traditional life sciences companies.

To see the entire series of reports, click here.

[Map and infographic from Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation]

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