A nonprofit membership organization providing unbiased information and research on broad-based employee stock plans

A Statistical Snapshot of ESOPs: Company and Participant Numbers, and Industry Distribution

How many ESOPs are there? How many ESOP participants are there? What industries are ESOP companies in? Find out here.

The most common form of employee ownership by far in the U.S. is an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan), a retirement plan that acquires company stock in accounts for employees. After their enactment into federal law in 1974, ESOPs grew to encompass millions of employees, presently numbering almost 8% of the private-sector workforce. Note that the total number of employees in these plans is smaller than the total number of participants, who include vested ex-employees who have not finished receiving distributions from the plan. For more details on ESOP statistics, see Employee Ownership by the Numbers. Also see our infographic How an ESOP Works.

A Statistical Snapshot of ESOPs
An Interactive Introduction to ESOPs

The infographic above is an elaboration of one developed for our Interactive Introduction to ESOPs, a free online educational tool.