Which startups/industries will survive? The information startups won’t survive.  

Interested in founding a startup? Your success may depend on the industry you choose. I’ve seen a lot of conflicting statistics about the likelihood of success, so I put together these graphs on the survival rates of establishments as a function of time since founding.

The first graph shows the average survival rate across all industries. Specifically, it depicts the percentage of establishments (these count multiple branches/franchises) that is still open from one to five years after initiation. The data used include ten consecutive years of startups, including all U.S. companies that first opened their doors between 1998 and 2007. The graph indicates that, after five years, about 54% of startups are still operating.

The second graph plots the data by industry, normalized to the average across all industries. For this, I took the differences (subtraction, not division) in percentages between the curve for each industry and the average shown in the first graph. This highlights which industries have, in the past decade, outperformed and remained more likely to stay in business, and which have underperformed, with more establishments closing.

Data source: http://1.usa.gov/QN2TDp

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