The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known to most of us as the Mormon church, places considerable emphasis on self-reliance. This concept centers on a dedication to providing life’s necessities for yourself and your family.

“Work is the foundation upon which self-reliance and temporal well-being rest,” the church says in its guide to welfare. “Members should prepare for and carefully select a suitable occupation or self-employment that will provide for their own and their families’ needs. They should become skilled at their jobs, be diligent and trustworthy, and give honest work for the pay and benefits they receive.”

For thousands of residents of the Provo-Orem, UT, metro area — home to the Mormon church’s Brigham Young University — self-reliance takes the form of self-employment. In fact, Provo-Orem is the No. 1 large metro area in the U.S. for reliance on self-employment income, according to a LawnStarter analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

BYU

Provo, UT, is home to Mormon-affiliated Brigham Young University.
Photo: Brigham Young University

Here at LawnStarter, we applaud the grit of self-employed Americans, as a lot of them operate the lawn care businesses that constitute the backbone of our company. Without self-employed lawn care entrepreneurs, we’d be like a house without a foundation.

Given the importance of self-employed Americans to our business, we decided to dig into Census Bureau data to discover which metro areas are hubs for self-employment. For the 100 metro areas with the largest populations, we examined the number of households that reported at least some income from self-employment in the previous 12 months. Provo-Orem ranks first on our list, with 16.24 percent of the region’s households having received income from self-employment.

The data, pulled from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2010-14, was released in September 2016.

With Provo-Orem at No. 1, here’s our ranking of the Top 14 Self-Employment Hubs in America.

1. Provo-Orem, UT

Provo LDS temple

Photo: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Number of households: 158,270
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 25,699
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 16.24%

2. McAllen, TX

McAllen TX

Photo: Alba Energy

Number of households: 225,692
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 36,509
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 16.18%

3. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco

Photo: University of California, San Francisco

Number of households: 1,689,907
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 264,968
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 15.68%

4. Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles

Photo: UVA Club of Los Angeles

Number of households: 4,315,637
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 674,165
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 15.62%

5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

Ventura CA

Photo: City of Ventura

Number of households: 269,566
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 42,035
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 15.59%

6. Boise, ID

Boise ID

Photo: Good Free Photos/Alden Skeie

Number of households: 245,109
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 35,465
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 14.47%

7. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Stamford CT

Photo: Stamford Downtown

Number of households: 333,528
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 45,904
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 13.76%

8. Portland, OR

Portland Oregon

Photo: Flickr/Jeff Hintzman

Number of households: 901,402
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 123,246
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 13.67%

9. San Diego, CA

San Diego CA

Photo: Flickr/Geoff Lang

Number of households: 1,113,610
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 150,958
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 13.56%

10. Austin, TX

Austin TX 360 bridge

Photo: Flickr/sbmeaper1

Number of households: 723,914
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 97,435
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 13.46%

11. Nashville, TN

Nashville TN

Photo: Flickr/Jorge Gómez

Number of households: 686,640
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 89,793
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 13.08%

12. Denver, CO

Denver CO

Photo: Flickr/Nan Palmero

Number of households: 1,075,919
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 138,896
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 12.91%

13. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu

Photo: Flickr/Prayitno

Number of households: 307,703
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 38,015
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 12.35%

14. San Jose, CA

Silicon Valley

Photo: Flickr/Vadim Kurland

Number of households: 651,352
Number of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 80,146
Percentage of households reporting self-employment income in previous 12 months: 12.30%

Top photo: City of Provo

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