Governor Steve Bullock highlighted a report from the Kauffman Foundation on Thursday that shows that Montana continues to have the highest ranking for entrepreneurial activity of all 50 states. Communications Director Dave Parker said that’s an increase from the previous year’s number of 530 entrepreneurs for every 100,000 adults:

"For the second year in a row, Montana has the highest entrepreneurial activity rate," Parker said. "That's roughly 610 per 100,000 adults creating businesses each month."

But what exactly is it about Montana that encourages entrepreneurship?

"Primarily it's the Montana spirit," Parker said. "We traditionally have ranked fairly high in this. In the last few years, even as other states in the nation have declined during the recession and the recovery, our entrepreneurs have really helped us strengthen the state's economy and provide consistent job growth."

The annual ranking was published by the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States.

In its report, the Kauffman Foundation found that in 2013, while the Montana rate of business start-up had increased, the national business start-up rate had declined slightly from 0.3 percent of American adults per month starting businesses in 2012, to 0.28 percent in 2013.

The report also found that entrepreneurial activity is generally the highest in western and southern states.

Alaska, South Dakota, California, and Colorado round out the top five states for entrepreneurs.