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Latest ESOP Research and Surveys

The NCEO maintains a wealth of resources on the state of ESOPs in the U.S., including plan counts, sponsor demographics, and a comprehensive list of ESOPs. Our ESOP company surveys provide the ESOP community with the most current data on company practices and trends in corporate governance, compensation, and more.

NCEO members receive access to a free set of reports (member login required) summarizing our research findings on ESOP company executive compensation, corporate governance, ESOP transactions, ESPPs, private company equity compensation, and more.

Research and Surveys

Latest ESOP Statistics and Lists

Key Statistics on ESOPs

According to the most recent DOL data, there are 6,660 ESOPs in the U.S. covering over 14 million participants. We publish up-to-date statistics on the ESOP universe at ESOPs by the Numbers.

List of All U.S. ESOPs

We also publish a comprehensive database of ESOPs, updated annually, that includes data on each sponsor company's location, industry, size, plan assets, and more. The current ESOP database covering filing year 2015, updated in March 2018, is available for purchase here.

Latest Research on ESOPs and the Economy

  • Our new report Employee Ownership and Economic Well-Being finds striking relationships between employee ownership and improved economic prospects for workers, making new use of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLS). Learn more and download the report at
  • The NCEO and Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA)'s 2016 paper Economic Growth Through Employee Ownership summarizes major findings on ESOPs' economic effects, including past research by the NCEO finding that employee-owners are less likely to be laid off compared to workers who are not employee-owners.
  • A large body of academic research explores the effects of employee ownership on firms and workers. Our research summary provides a guide to key findings.

ESOP Company Surveys

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The ESOP Repurchase Obligation Survey collects data on ESOP companies' approaches to their repurchase obligations and distribution and diversification policies. The 2017 results are available.

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The ESOP Corporate Governance Survey covers a range of issues related to corporate governance in ESOP companies, including board composition and the role of ESOP participants, the trustee, and more.

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The ESOP Executive Compensation Survey is one of the only sources of data on executive compensation specific to ESOP companies. Results from the 2016 survey are now available.

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The Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) Survey explores trends in plan design, compensation cost, plan satisfaction, and other aspects of employee stock purchase plans.

In addition to our research surveys, the NCEO conducts the Ownership Culture Survey, an employee survey product designed to help individual companies assess and improve their ownership culture by measuring employee attitudes. Learn more about the Ownership Culture Survey here.

Research Inquiries

We gladly undertake custom research to answer questions about employee ownership for NCEO members and other interested parties. Contact Research Director Nancy Wiefek at or 510-208-1312.