California remains home to the greatest number of women-owned businesses in the nation and is the only state to surpass the 1 million threshold, according to the latest American Express analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report -- commissioned by American Express OPEN, the small business services division of American Express -- estimates that there are more than 1.1 million women-owned firms in the state, employing 984,000 people. The number of firms is larger than the number of employees because some businesses are one-woman ventures, and some women own multiple firms.

The combined companies have estimated annual revenue of nearly $199.2 billion.

The number of California firms represents about 12 percent of the national total of an estimated 9.08 million women-owned firms.

By comparison, in 2002, there were 870,496 women-owned firms in California, employing 941,136 people and generating combined revenue of about $137.7 billion.

The 2014 report estimated that the Sacramento metro area has 56,700 women-owned firms, employing about 50,000 and generating combined revenue of nearly $8.5 billion. Those numbers are up from 2002 totals of 46,266 local, women-owned businesses with 38,629 workers and combined revenue of nearly $4.7 billion.

The report estimated that the more than 9 million women-owned businesses currently operating in the United States are generating more than $1.4 trillion in annual revenue and employing nearly 7.9 million.


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"The report clearly shows that women are choosing the path of entrepreneurship at record rates," said Randi Schochet, a vice president with American Express OPEN.