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More Seniors, More Entrepreneurs: Senior Self-Employment on the Rise in the U.S.

Release Date: 
Thursday, August 18, 2016 - 9:00am
Release Number: 
16-07 ADV
Elle Patout

For Release: August 18, 2016

SBA Number: 16-07 ADV

Contact: Elle Patout

More Seniors, More Entrepreneurs:  Senior Self-Employment on the Rise in the U.S.

          WASHINGTON, D.C. – This Sunday marks National Senior Citizens Day, a day to celebrate and recognize the valuable contribution our seniors make in communities across America.  Today’s report, The Ascent of the Senior Entrepreneur by Daniel Wilmoth, Ph.D., focuses on the growing senior population and their involvement in the entrepreneurial sector of our economy.  This report is part of the Office of Advocacy series, Trends in Entrepreneurship; the first report outlined trends in millennial entrepreneurship.

“As the baby boomer generation gets older, we will see more and more Americans reaching retirement age,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Darryl L. DePriest.  “Today’s report highlights how these seniors are choosing to stay in the workforce, and in many cases, work for themselves in the later years of their lives.”

Top points from today’s report include:

  • Self-employment is increasing among seniors.
  • The percentage of individuals age 62 and over who were self-employed increased from 4.2 percent in 1988 to 5.4 percent in 2015.
  • Unlike seniors, the percentage of individuals under the age of 62 who were self-employed decreased from 7.2 percent in 1988 to 6.0 percent in 2015.

The report can be found here on the Office of Advocacy website.  The next part of the Trends in Entrepreneurship series will focus on immigrant entrepreneurship.


The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts and policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit, call (202) 205-6533 or get updates on Twitter (@AdvocacySBA) or Facebook at