The turnover rate (combined birth and death rates) for U.S. companies has remained consistently in the 31%-to-32% range, affected only marginally by the state of the economy.

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(figures in thousands)

Total number of companies New and successor companies: Number Rate Terminations: Number Rate
1982 4,738 781.0 16.7% 706.6 15.2%
1983 4,825 804.1 17.0 716.9 15.1
1984 4,995 854.9 17.7 685.6 14.2
1985 5,121 880.9 17.6 754.1 15.1
1986 5,207 899.8 17.6 814.2 15.9
1987 5,388 911.5 17.5 730.8 14.0
1988 5,504 886.1 16.4 769.5 14.3
1989 5,564 897.7 16.3 837.2 15.2
1990 5,636 915.1 16.4 844.1 15.2
1991 5,680 864.2 15.3 820.4 14.6
1992 5,635 929.9 16.5 917.1 16.3
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Note: "Birth and death rates" are defined relative to the number of companies that existed in the previous year; "total number of companies" includes all full-time nonfarm companies that pay federal withholding taxes (that is, companies with employees); "new companies" represent new applications with the U.S. Department of Labor; "succes-sors" are companies that were taken over by new or established companies (the total includes spin-offs); "terminations" represent companies either out of business or with no employment for at least two years; 1992 numbers represent activity for the first half of the year only.

Source: Adapted by the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, from unpublished data provided by the Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

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