According to data compiled by the Brookings Institution and Kansas City’s Kauffman Foundation, business startups have been in a steady decline during the past 30 years and are now outpaced by business closures. Brookings reports that a “precipitous drop” in startup activity began in 2006. The decline in new businesses has apparently been seen in most states and metropolitan areas and spans all economic sectors. Economists are reportedly baffled by the cause, but suggest that lending practices for small businesses, regulatory burdens and the increased effort required to bring a product to market have contributed to the decline. One group more willing to start businesses in the United States, according to Kauffman data, are immigrants, who are nearly twice as likely to start businesses as native-born Americans. See The Kansas City Star, May 19, 2014.