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The Midwest and Mountain West are America’s latest new-business hotspots, a recently released Axios analysis of U.S. Census data finds. 

New business applications rose 7.4% nationally between December 2022 and December 2023, but growth was more than triple that average in many western and midwestern states.  In New Jersey new business applications declined 1% from 13,000 filings in 2022 to 12,800 in 2023, according to the analysis. 

Breaking down the data by state, the analysis found Colorado (+115%), North Dakota (+37.7%) and Iowa (+33.7 %) had the highest year-over-year change. Georgia (-9.9%), Louisiana (-8.6%) and Mississippi (-6.4%) had the largest declines. 

Many of the emerging new-business hotspots have also seen recent spikes in population. Also of note, Colorado temporarily lowered the cost of filing for a new business from $50 to $1 between mid-2022 and mid-2023 — as part of a broader push aimed at encouraging new business creation. 

Statistics on the number of new business applications filed do not necessarily mean all these companies got off the ground and began hiring employees. Nevertheless, when looking only at businesses that the Census Bureau identifies as having a high chance of employing people, new business applications were up 10.3% nationally between December 2022 and December 2023, the analysis said.