Business enterprises in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Approximately 5.51 million private businesses are currently in operation in the United Kingdom, around two million more than there were at the turn of the century when there were 3.47 million. Taken as whole, the private sector employs around 27 million people and had a combined turnover of over 4.16 trillion British pounds. London was the UK region with the highest number of businesses, at more than one million, and was also the city with the highest start-up rate, at 105 start-ups per 10 thousand population. Among UK-based companies, BP had, by some distance, the highest revenue at 282.62 billion US dollars, with HSBC having the second-highest revenue respectively.

Large companies and SMEs

Although there are only around 3.,795 large companies, that employ 500 or more people, in the UK, these particular companies are responsible for a huge share of employment and turnover. Out of 27 million private sector employees, just under 9.3 million are employed by large companies, and taken together, these companies also had a turnover of over 1.76 trillion British pounds. Nevertheless, there are certainly far more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK than there are large ones, with SMEs numbering around 5.5 million in 2022. In the same year, UK SMEs employed over 16.4 million people and had a turnover of 2.18 trillion British pounds.

The business environment

The economic climate since 2020 has been dominated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which first came to UK shores at the end of January, 2020. In response to the public health crisis which engulfed the UK in the spring, a major lockdown was enforced, resulting in the economy grinding to a halt. The UK's gross domestic product fell by 20 percent in April, with the business confidence index (BCI) also sharply falling in response. Although the affect on the labor market was expected to be significant, the government mitigated this damage by furloughing jobs under the job retention scheme. Nevertheless, there is still a high degree of uncertainty in the British economy, which as of the third quarter of 2022 is on the verge of a recession following a negative GDP growth rate of 0.2 percent. High inflation, which reached a peak of 10.1 percent in September 2022, has resulted in sharp interest rate hikes from the Bank of England. Due to these factors business investment, which has been depressed since 2016, may remain low going into 2023.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Businesses in the UK".


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