In order to study business failure rates, you have to first define what a business "failure" is. We use quotes around failure because there's no clear-cut definition. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the business failure rate question, nor is there one place where the data is available as easy-to-read statistics. You may need to interpret and calculate the raw data, turning it into the statistical information necessary for your research. You need to be ready to do some work if you find that no one else has already done this ahead of you.
These are things to consider.
The Small Business Administration and Bureau of Labor Statistics keep statistics on business exits. This is the number of businesses that close in any given year. Notice that they're not tracking business failures, because the term is subjective, as discussed in the section above. Business exits is probably the number that you should seek out, but you need to think carefully about what it will provide.
Business exits include any company that closes, such as:
You will need to plot the survival rates by industry for firms founded in a specific year. Listed below are helpful government websites that track business exits or other related statistics or information.
You can sometimes find articles that will present figures on failure rates, but be cautious and take a close look at how the article is defining failure for that figure. Additionally, it may be useful to search for business survival rates for various time-spans (e.g. 5 years).
Here are some alternate terms:
business births and deaths
business survival or longevity or mortality