Which States Host the Most Fast-Growing Firms?


Boasting a three-year growth rate of 1,111.3%, charter bus marketplace company CharterUP earlier this year established a new HQ where 100 new jobs were expected to be created in Austin, Texas, the No. 2 state for Inc. 5000 firms with 484 companies.

Photo courtesy of CharterUP via Business Wire

August saw the annual release of the Inc. 5000. Which means that today, on the same date we performed our analysis last year, we examine where all 5,000 firms call home.

California has topped the list the past three years and repeats at No. 1 this year with 677 firms, still far outdistancing other states even as the gap has closed over the four years we have conducted this analysis:

Top 10 States by No. of Inc. 5000 Firms in 2023

California 677
Texas 484
Florida 450
New York 320
Virginia 276
Illinois 231
Georgia 222
Pennsylvania 158
Massachusetts 154
North Carolina 138

According to Inc., this year’s batch of 5,000 companies have added 1,187,266 jobs to the economy over the past three years.



Among the fastest-growing Inc. 5000 firms in California is No. 9 overall EverHive, a contingent workforce solutions company based in San Diego. The company manages worker assignments in more than 20 countries and operates from locations in the U.S. and Ireland, with new operations coming soon to the Asia Pacific.

"Securing the 9th spot on the Inc. 5000 list is a momentous milestone," said EverHive president Brandon Moreno in a press release.

Photo courtesy of EverHive via PR Newswire

Both California and Texas claim six companies each among the 30 fastest-growing, led by Austin-based CharterUP, an integrated charter bus marketplace that earlier this year opened a new headquarters in Austin, Texas, while maintaining certain services in its former hometown of Atlanta. The company is said to be creating 100 new jobs in the Austin area.

“Austin is leading the charge in innovation and technology nationwide, making it an ideal base for CharterUp as we embark on this exciting new chapter,” CharterUP CEO Armir Harris told the Austin American-Statesman in May.

While the total number of Inc. 5000 firms has fallen over the past four years in California from a high of 720 in 2020, Texas, Florida and Georgia have shown a steady rise, with Florida leading the pack by having grown that number by 74 companies to a total of 450. (Read about some of the state’s entrepreneurial firms in Ron Starner’s May 2023 story, “How Florida Convinced 3 Tech Entrepreneurs to Leave California.”)

Here's a look at the Top 10s from the past four years:

Top 10 States by No. of Inc. 5000 Firms, 2020-2023

2023 Rank State 2023 2022 2021 2020
1 California 677 690 685 720
2 Texas 484 466 423 431
3 Florida 450 392 369 376
4 New York 320 317 273 (5) 319
5 Virginia 276 257 309 (4) 280
6 Illinois 231 216 (7) 230 (6) 240
7 Georgia 222 222 (6) 209 (7) 199
8 Pennsylvania 158 146 (T10) 176 (8) 188
9 Massachusetts 154 153 Colorado: 164 Ohio: 152
10 North Carolina 138 Colorado: 146 (T10)* New Jersey: 146 Colorado: 151

*Arizona. No. 8 last year with 154 firms, comes in No. 12 this year with 130.

Examined on a per-capita basis, the District of Columbia comes in No. 1, followed by Virginia, Utah and Delaware. Virginia, No. 5 in the cumulative standings, is the highest-ranking of five states to make both Top 10s.

Top 10 States or Territories by No. of Inc. 5000 Firms Per Capita

State/Territory No. of Firms
District of Columbia 35
Virginia 276
Utah 102
Delaware 29
Colorado 133
Massachusetts 154
Florida 450
Georgia 222
Nebraska 40
Illinois 231

Among the fastest-growing firms in DC is Pie Insurance (No. 257), which unlike many of its counterparts in this year’s ranking has recently reduced its headcount by 14%, which meant the departure of 66 “Pie-oneers” from the staff, Pie CEO John Swigart wrote in a May 2023 letter. The company leverages technology “to transform how small businesses buy and experience commercial insurance, with the goal of making it affordable and as easy as pie.” In announcing four leadership appointments in August, the company, which also has an office in Denver, noted it has received over $615 million in funding and partnered with over 2,800 agencies nationwide since 2017.

Another top DC-based Inc. 5000 company is AdLumin (No. 438 nationally), whose CEO and Co-founder Robert Johnston, a former Marine Corps officer, was saluted among the Washingtonian’s 2023 “Tech Titans” this month for having grown the company from a one-person cybersecurity operation in 2016 to more than 100 employees today.

Watch this space next week for a breakdown of Top Metros, Cities and industry sectors in the Inc. 5000. — Adam Bruns and Daniel Boyer

Pie Insurance is based in Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy of Pie Insurancde