Maryland has the highest rate of per-capita minority and women business ownership in the United States, a recent study shows.

The state has nearly 42 minority owners for every 100,000 residents, according to a survey by Paychex, a payroll, human resources and insurance services company. It also has 17.5 women-owned businesses per 100,000 residents.


"Despite facing higher taxes and even a higher cost of living, small business opportunities in Maryland are often boosted by the state's proximity to Washington, D.C., and the availability of government contracts," the report said.

Black workers in Baltimore are concentrated in low wage industries and jobs, a study released Monday by the Associated Black Charities shows.

The next highest state for minority ownership was Delaware, with 29 minority-owned businesses per 100,000 residents, followed by Arkansas, with 17.7 per 100,000 residents.

Rhode Island ranked second to Maryland in women-owned businesses with 14.8 per 100,000 residents, followed by Washington state, with 13.4 per 100,000 residents, according to the study.

Maryland's top five ranked communities in order of business ownership diversity were Capitol Heights, Beltsville and Brentwood, all in Prince George's County, Gambrills in Anne Arundel County and Bowie, also in Prince George's.

For women business ownership, Sykesville in Carroll County topped the list in the state, followed by Kensington in Montgomery County, Annapolis, Lutherville and Stevensville in Queen Anne's County.

The wage gap in Maryland has widened, with women earning 84 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The study did not include nine states that lacked accessible statistics on minority business owners.

Capitol Heights also topped a list of the 10 localities with the greatest rate of minority-owned businesses, followed by New York City and Miami. Other Maryland places in that top 10 ranking include Temple Hills, Hyattsville, Spencerville and Beltsville.

Maryland did slip behind Delaware for the highest rate of minority female-owned businesses. Maryland had 17.6 per 100,000 residents compared with Delaware's 20.8 per 100,000.

New York City topped the lists in all three categories among the nation's most populated cities.