Mississippi had the highest percent increase in new business applications in the nation between January 2020 and January 2021, a whopping 164%, with over 6,000 new applications in January 2021 alone.

This data from the U.S. Census Bureau was presented by Visual Capitalist in February in an article entitled “Visualizing America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit During COVID-19.”

“Despite the risks of opening a business during a global pandemic, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the United States,” Visual Capitalist’s Avery Koop wrote.

Following Mississippi as the leader were the states of Georgia (126%), Louisiana (112%), Alabama (111.4%) and Illinois (110%).

The region with the highest growth rate was the South at 84% with more than 220,000 new business applications in the region in January of this year.

“Prior to the pandemic, new business startups were actually on the decline, but in times of crisis there is often opportunity,” Koop noted.  “People have become wildly innovative during COVID-19, partly because they were forced to do so due to job or income loss. Economists call this ‘creative destruction,’ wherein new innovation springs up because of the failure of particular industries or businesses.”

In January, over 100,000 new retail business applications were reported nationally, the most of any industry code tracked.  These are mostly online businesses instead of brick and mortar stores.

The next highest applications were in professional services and construction.