A recent study reports that Iowa still ranks at the bottom among U.S. states and the District of Columbia  when it comes to the women-owned businesses and their economic impact.

According to the fourth annual American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses report released last week, Iowa is ranked 49th in growth of number of women-owned businesses and 51st in overall economic clout. Economic clout is based on growth in number of businesses, the revenues of those business and the number of people those businesses employed from 1997-2014.

Two years ago, Iowa was ranked 50th and 51st, respectively, in the same study.

The number of women-owned businesses in Iowa grew by 22.7 percent from 1997 to 2014. In 2014, there are an estimated 70,600 women-owned businesses in Iowa, compared with 69,400 in 2012.

However, both employment and revenue dropped during the same period, contributing to the state's overall ranking. Employment has dropped by 22 percent over the past 17 years compared to 19.8 percent in 2012, while sales are down 3.8 percent compared to 3.5 percent in 2012.

Iowa's women-owned businesses employ 56,100 people and generate roughly $7.8 billion in revenue.

Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has increased 68 percent since 1997. Women are starting 1,288 new businesses per day, which is double the rate from only three years ago. The report estimates that there are more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States (compared to 8.6 million in 2013). These businesses generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues, employ 7.9 million people and account for 30 percent of all enterprises. 

See the full release detailing the report's findings.