Best Places for Boomer Entrepreneurs to Start a Business

Today there are more people in the U.S. over 50 than there are under 18, and the number of business owners in the country over 50 is increasing.

As the boomer generation moves toward retirement age, many are choosing to use their hard-earned experience to work for themselves.

LendingTree, an online loan broker, analyzed data from 50 U.S. metro areas to find the best places for these older entrepreneurs to start and run a business.

To determine the best places for boomer entrepreneurs, LendingTree analysts used census data to calculate the median and average earnings of boomer-owned businesses, as well as the share of businesses founded by boomers. They scored each city (up to 100) based on these elements.

LendingTree defines boomer entrepreneurs as those born between 1946 and 1964 who reported being self-employed and actively engaged in the workforce in 2016.

Median business income indicates how much most people are earning, while the average business income indicates how much income there is overall. A bigger gap between median and average signals that there is a lot of money to be made, but fewer people are earning it.

The rate of businesses founded by boomers in the past five years is based on those seeking loans on LendingTree's business loan platform. This is an indication of how attractive and hospitable metros are to entrepreneurs in that age bracket.

Here are the best metros for boomer entrepreneurs.

1. San Jose, Calif.
1. San Jose, Calif.

1. San Jose, Calif.

  • Score: 93.6
  • Median Business Income: $13,602
  • Average Business Income: $47,401
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 24.1%

The seat of the Silicon Valley is by far the best place for boomer entrepreneurs. In addition to representing high business income, San Jose boasts the largest share of boomer business founders.

Photo: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

2. San Francisco
2. San Francisco

2. San Francisco

  • Score: 86.5
  • Median Business Income: $16,827
  • Average Business Income: $45,505
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 20%

San Francisco comes in second with a score of 86.5, thanks to remarkable earnings potential, relative to the other metros on the list. The data indicates that boomers are sharing in the general prosperity of self-employed entrepreneurs there.

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Boston
3. Boston

3. Boston

  • Score: 74.1
  • Median Business Income: $14,106
  • Average Business Income: $38,543
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 20.3%

Photo: jiawangkun / Shutterstock

4. Sacramento, Calif.
4. Sacramento, Calif.

4. Sacramento, Calif.

  • Score: 72.0
  • Median Business Income: $15,114
  • Average Business Income: $37,314
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.3%

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Nashville, Tenn.
5. Nashville, Tenn.

5. Nashville, Tenn.

  • Score: 69.0
  • Median Business Income: $15,114
  • Average Business Income: $35,251
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.1%

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

6. Hartford, Conn.
6. Hartford, Conn.

6. Hartford, Conn.

  • Score: 61.9
  • Median Business Income: $11,688
  • Average Business Income: $38,973
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 17.4%

Photo: Zak G / Shutterstock

7. Houston
7. Houston

7. Houston

  • Score: 60.9
  • Median Business Income: $12,091
  • Average Business Income: $34,236
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 18.7%

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Austin, Texas
8. Austin, Texas

8. Austin, Texas

  • Score: 60.6
  • Median Business Income: $12,192
  • Average Business Income: $38,927
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 16.6%

Photo: Rudy Mareel / Shutterstock

9. Los Angeles
9. Los Angeles

9. Los Angeles

  • Score: 60.2
  • Median Business Income: $12,091
  • Average Business Income: $32,567
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.1%

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

10. Memphis, Tenn.
10. Memphis, Tenn.

10. Memphis, Tenn.

  • Score: 59.1
  • Median Business Income: $9,068
  • Average Business Income: $34,091
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 20.3%

Photo: Shutterstock

11. San Antonio
11. San Antonio

11. San Antonio

  • Score: 58.8
  • Median Business Income: $10,076
  • Average Business Income: $37,930
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 17.9%

Photo: Eblis / Shutterstock

12. Pittsburgh
12. Pittsburgh

12. Pittsburgh

  • Score: 58.5
  • Median Business Income: $10,076
  • Average Business Income: $28,375
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 21.6%

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Washington, D.C.
13. Washington, D.C.

13. Washington, D.C.

  • Score: 58.0
  • Median Business Income: $10,076
  • Average Business Income: $32,443
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.8%

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Buffalo, N.Y.
14. Buffalo, N.Y.

14. Buffalo, N.Y.

  • Score: 54.9
  • Median Business Income: $9,673
  • Average Business Income: $37,672
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 16.9%

Photo: Atomazul / Shutterstock

15. Cincinnati
15. Cincinnati

15. Cincinnati

  • Score: 54.4
  • Median Business Income: $10,076
  • Average Business Income: $31,249
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19%

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Riverside, Calif.
16. Riverside, Calif.

16. Riverside, Calif.

  • Score: 54.0
  • Median Business Income: $12,091
  • Average Business Income: $28,538
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 18.5%

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Louisville, Ky.
17. Louisville, Ky.

17. Louisville, Ky.

  • Score: 53.7
  • Median Business Income: $4,433
  • Average Business Income: $29,565
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 23.4%

Photo: Shutterstock

18. New York
18. New York

18. New York

  • Score: 52.6
  • Median Business Income: $6,751
  • Average Business Income: $38,000
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 18.0%

Photo: BravoKiloVideo / Shutterstock

19. Dallas
19. Dallas

19. Dallas

  • Score: 51.5
  • Median Business Income: $11,184
  • Average Business Income: $33,391
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 16.3%

Photo: Shutterstock

20. San Diego
20. San Diego

20. San Diego

  • Score: 50.5
  • Median Business Income: $11,083
  • Average Business Income: $31,560
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 16.7%

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Kansas City, Mo.
21. Kansas City, Mo.

21. Kansas City, Mo.

  • Score: 50.4
  • Median Business Income: $9,572
  • Average Business Income: $31,751
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 17.7%

Photo: TommyBrison / Shutterstock

22. Seattle
22. Seattle

22. Seattle

  • Score: 49.8
  • Median Business Income: $9,068
  • Average Business Income: $32,565
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 17.5%

Photo: Shutterstock

23. Providence, R.I.
23. Providence, R.I.

23. Providence, R.I.

  • Score: 48.9
  • Median Business Income: $8,464
  • Average Business Income: $33,355
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 17.3%

Photo: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

24. Columbus, Ohio
24. Columbus, Ohio

24. Columbus, Ohio

  • Score: 47.7
  • Median Business Income: $11,083
  • Average Business Income: $28,734
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 16.9%

Photo: iStock

25. Denver
25. Denver

25. Denver

  • Score: 47.2
  • Median Business Income: $6,449
  • Average Business Income: $29,523
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.7%

Photo: Shutterstock

26. Phoenix
26. Phoenix

26. Phoenix

  • Score: 44.7
  • Median Business Income: $7,557
  • Average Business Income: $27,546
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 18.8%

Photo: Shutterstock

27. Richmond, Va.
27. Richmond, Va.

27. Richmond, Va.

  • Score: 44.4
  • Median Business Income: $6,046
  • Average Business Income: $30,266
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 18.7%

Photo: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

28. Las Vegas
28. Las Vegas

28. Las Vegas

  • Score: 43.5
  • Median Business Income: $7,053
  • Average Business Income: $25,861
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.4%

Photo: Nick_Nick / Shutterstock

29. Birmingham, Ala.
29. Birmingham, Ala.

29. Birmingham, Ala.

  • Score: 43.0
  • Median Business Income: $5,038
  • Average Business Income: $28,677
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 19.5%

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

30. Baltimore
30. Baltimore

30. Baltimore

  • Score: 39.9
  • Median Business Income: $6,046
  • Average Business Income: $27,665
  • Percent of New Businesses Founded by Boomers: 18.1%

If you're wondering which cities were worst, New Orleans, Miami and Orlando ranked last on the list, with scores of 16.4, 20.5 and 21.1, respectively.

Boomers in New Orleans - the city at the very bottom - earn a median business income of just $1,008, less than 13% of the national average. While boomer entrepreneurs there on average take home $20,562 each year, that's only two-thirds of the national average.

In two Florida cities, Orlando and Tampa, self-employed boomers earn a median business income of $0. This means at least half of the businesses founded by boomers there don't profit at all.

See the rankings of all 50 metros here.

Photo: Shutterstock

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