The rate of new business startups fell in 2010 to the lowest point on record, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Figures released Wednesday indicated that new companies as a percentage of all businesses dropped below 8 percent in 2010, the latest year for which numbers are available.

The rate has been falling since peaking at 13 percent in the 1980s, but the slower rate of new startups accelerated during the recession, said Robert E. Litan, vice president of research at the Kauffman Foundation, which partially funds the gathering of business data.

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