Market research industry - Statistics & Facts

The global revenue of the market research industry exceeded 44.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, rising year-on-year since it experienced a slight dip in 2009 during the Great Recession. In 2016, North America generated the largest share of market research revenue at 44 percent, or 19.6 billion U.S. dollars, closely followed by Europe with 36 percent. These regions also ranked first and second in terms of annual growth, with North America growing by 3.1 percent over 2014 and Europe by 2.8 percent.

Global leaders of the market research industry include Nielsen Holdings (U.S.), Kantar (UK), IMS Health Holdings (U.S.), Ipsos (France) and GfK (Germany). Nielsen, headquartered in New York City, was by far the largest market research company worldwide in terms of revenue in 2016. That year, the company’s revenue amounted to 6.31 billion U.S. dollars – almost twice that of its closest competitor, Kantar, with revenues of 3.85 billion.

In the United States, market research industry leaders made over 11 billion U.S. dollars combined in revenue in 2016. The same companies also employed more than 38,800 people in the U.S. – Nielsen employees accounted for almost a quarter of this figure.



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