(Stacker) — In 2021, the IRS received a whopping 5.4 million business applications—an all-time high since the U.S. government began tracking this data in 2004. The year with the second-highest number of new business applications? 2020. Today, small businesses employ nearly half of the nation’s workers, according to a Chamber of Commerce report.

It’s fair to say that the past few years have been banner years for small businesses, but what about regional differences? The business climate in a small town in Texas is likely not the same as a small town in Connecticut. The Chamber of Commerce report found that the Midwest was the most business-friendly region, thanks to the relatively low cost of living, well-educated workforce, and regulations lowering taxes and easing zoning restrictions for businesses.

Of course, the East and West coasts also have plenty to offer, from California’s Silicon Valley and Hollywood studios to New York’s financial hub to Massachusetts’ prominence in the aerospace, defense, and information technology industries. A few states—including DelawareWyoming, and Nevada—even allow you to incorporate your business within their borders without ever setting foot there.

For even more specific data, let’s take it a step further by analyzing parishes. Are certain parishes more friendly to small businesses than others? To pinpoint the areas where small businesses abound, altLINE used Census Bureau data to find the parishes in Louisiana with the highest concentration of small businesses in 2021, calculated as small establishments per 1,000 residents. Small establishments are defined as those with fewer than 500 employees. Parishes with fewer than 1,000 residents were excluded from the analysis, as well as parishes for which the Census Bureau didn’t have population estimates.

Another important factor to consider: States where nonresidents are allowed to incorporate businesses will also have a higher ratio of small businesses to residents since not all small businesses are actually operated by people living in that state.

Taking a close look at the type of counties that topped the list in each state also reveals some interesting trends. World-class vacation destinations are well represented on the lists of each state, perhaps because tourists are looking to get a sense of how the locals live through small businesses like restaurants, bakeries, bars, and boutiques.

While the top counties in each state do include a few major cities, less populated counties with smaller towns are much more common. Although most of the nation’s small businesses are located in major metropolitan areas, those that are located in rural areas tend to be more stable—possibly due to loyalty from local residents or the absence of competition from large corporations.

Keep reading to discover the parishes in Louisiana with the highest concentration of small businesses, and see how it compares across 50 states. It just might give you inspiration for your next endeavor.

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten, writing by Annalise Mantz, and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

50. De Soto Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 429 (15.9 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 26,934

49. Jackson Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 239 (16.0 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.6%
  • 2021 population: 14,922

48. Bienville Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 210 (16.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.5%
  • 2021 population: 12,800

47. Union Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 347 (16.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 20,996

46. St. James Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 330 (16.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 19,790

45. Red River Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 125 (16.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 7,490

44. Pointe Coupee Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 343 (16.9 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 20,323

43. Beauregard Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 619 (16.9 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.5%
  • 2021 population: 36,619

42. Vermilion Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 966 (17.0 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 56,854

41. West Carroll Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 164 (17.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 98.8%
  • 2021 population: 9,596

39. Morehouse Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 429 (17.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.5%
  • 2021 population: 25,000

39. St. John the Baptist Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 721 (17.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 42,021

38. Lafourche Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 1,692 (17.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 97,537

37. Caldwell Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 167 (17.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 98.8%
  • 2021 population: 9,593

36. Avoyelles Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 687 (17.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 39,265

35. St. Martin Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 935 (18.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 51,573

34. Madison Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 180 (18.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 9,804

33. Iberville Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 546 (18.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.1%
  • 2021 population: 29,713

32. St. Charles Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 978 (18.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.4%
  • 2021 population: 52,405

31. Concordia Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 349 (19.0 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 18,373

30. St. Landry Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 1,569 (19.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 82,283

29. Tangipahoa Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 2,593 (19.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 135,508

28. Catahoula Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 170 (19.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 98.8%
  • 2021 population: 8,712

27. Ascension Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 2,525 (19.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 128,502

26. Acadia Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 1,129 (19.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 57,262

25. Bossier Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 2,573 (19.9 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 129,402

24. Winn Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 272 (20.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 13,507

23. Jefferson Davis Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 653 (20.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 32,413

22. Franklin Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 402 (20.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.5%
  • 2021 population: 19,593

21. West Baton Rouge Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 581 (20.9 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.3%
  • 2021 population: 27,805

20. Sabine Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 467 (21.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 22,098

19. Webster Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 764 (21.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 36,024

18. Richland Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 422 (21.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 19,890

17. Iberia Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 1,490 (21.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 69,298

16. Natchitoches Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 805 (21.8 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.5%
  • 2021 population: 36,995

15. Calcasieu Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 4,641 (22.6 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 205,095

14. St. Mary Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 1,094 (22.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 48,188

13. LaSalle Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 348 (23.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 14,793

12. Lincoln Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 1,140 (23.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 100.0%
  • 2021 population: 48,153

11. Rapides Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 3,127 (24.3 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 128,748

10. Terrebonne Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 2,658 (24.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.8%
  • 2021 population: 109,013

9. Cameron Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 126 (24.7 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 96.2%
  • 2021 population: 5,099

8. St. Tammany Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 6,801 (25.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 270,087

7. Caddo Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 6,027 (25.9 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 232,741

6. New Orleans

  • Total small business establishments: 9,882 (26.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 377,063

5. Ouachita Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 4,203 (26.5 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 158,919

4. Jefferson Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 11,768 (27.1 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 433,929

3. Plaquemines Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 634 (27.2 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 23,284

2. East Baton Rouge Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 12,525 (27.6 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.7%
  • 2021 population: 453,653

1. Lafayette Parish

  • Total small business establishments: 8,664 (35.4 per 1,000 residents)
  • Share of establishments that are small: 99.9%
  • 2021 population: 244,922

This story originally appeared on altLINE and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.