Stats Gate

Which Are The Biggest Industries In The United Kingdom?

flag of the United Kingdom

With the sixth-largest nominal GDP in the world, valued at $2.83 trillion, the United Kingdom, leading trading power and financial center, is the third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. The economy of the United Kingdom is divided into 17 broad categories including Professional, scientific, & technical; Construction; and Business administration, & support services.

A quantitative breakdown of the industrial profile: Professional, Scientific, and Technical constitute the largest sector of the United Kingdoms’ economy with a total number of 467,595 businesses, with only 17.01% businesses in the UK within this industry. Coming in second was construction with 351,250 businesses, third was business administration and support services with a 235,755 total, and fourth was information and communication, standing at 225,745.

At The CEOWORLD magazine, we analyzed the latest available data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is a snapshot of the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) taken on 13 March 2020 and shows the number of VAT and/or PAYE based businesses by broad industry group, as defined by the Standard Industrial Classification. First, we looked at statistics across more than 2.7 million (2749700) micro, small, and medium-sized businesses that exist within 17 core industries.

Which Are The Biggest Industries In The United Kingdom?

RankIndustryNumber of Companies% of total Companies
1Professional, scientific, and technical4675950.1701
2Construction3512500.1277
3Business administration, and support services2357550.0857
4Information and communication2257450.0821
5Retail2087950.0759
6Arts, entertainment, recreation & other services1757200.0639
7Accommodation and food services1616950.0588
8Production1526750.0555
9Agriculture, forestry, And fishing1488450.0541
10Transport and Storage (inc postal)1230750.0448
11Health1032650.0376
12Property1023400.0372
13Wholesale1013300.0368
14Motor trades769100.028
15Finance and insurance620400.0225
16Education450000.0164
17Public administration and defence76650.0028

Languishing at the bottom of the table with a total of 7,665 organizations was public administration and defense. The next lowest number of enterprises came from the Education sector with a total of 45,000. The third lowest sector was Finance and insurance with a total of 62,040 and the fourth was Motor trades with 76,910 businesses in operation.


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Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj
CEO and editorial director of the CEOWORLD magazine, an extensively kudized author, noted journalist, syndicated columnist, and ostensible entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.
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