Since the very beginning of the United States nearly 246 years ago, family-owned businesses have been the backbone of the economy of the nation.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in South Dakota.

According to a new report from The Gate and OnDeck, data from the Annual Business Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the Mount Rushmore State leads the way when it comes to keeping business a family affair.

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Percentage of Family-Owned Businesses
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South Dakota's 43.4 percent of family-owned businesses is a full 13 points higher than the national average (30.3%) and has its roots in what has been the state's leading industry for most of its 133 years.

Agriculture.

A whopping 98 percent of South Dakota's farms are family-owned.

Idaho is the only other state where more than 40 percent of businesses are family-owned.

STATES WITH HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES

  1. South Dakota - 43.4%
  2. Idaho - 42.3%
  3. Alaska - 38.6%
  4. Nebraska - 37.9%
  5. Arkansas - 36.8%
  6. Iowa - 36.8%
  7. New Mexico - 36%
  8. Montana - 35.8%
  9. Washington - 35.6%
  10. Utah - 34.2%

At the opposite end of the spectrum, less than a quarter of businesses in seven eastern states are family-owned.

STATES WITH LOWEST PERCENTAGE OF FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES

  1. New York - 20.4%
  2. Massachusetts - 20.8%
  3. New Jersey - 21.9%
  4. Connecticut - 22.2%
  5. Georgia - 23.2%
  6. Delaware 23.4%
  7. Pennsylvania - 24.8%
  8. Michigan - 25%
  9. Vermont - 25%
  10. Illinois - 25.3%

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