Telephone iconCall UsTelephone icon0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Chevron left icon
Knowledge centre

UK and US business demographics - Interactive visualisation

2-minute read

Simply Business

27 February 2015

Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

Small businesses? They’re bigger than you think. Get a clearer understanding of the UK business landscape through this simple graphic.

Small businesses is big, and it’s getting bigger. The number of new businesses started in the UK is the highest in a decade, and the number of self-employed is at a 40-year high. Trends in the US paint a slightly different picture, with the number of self-employed rising slowly despite the recent economic growth. Accounting for over 99% of businesses in the UK and the US, small businesses are a significant part of the economy and make up about half of the GDP in both countries.

To help make sense of these trends we dug into the official statistics both in the US and the UK and created an interactive visualisation of business demographics in both countries. A little like visualisations showing “If the world were 100 people”, we look at businesses in America and Britain and compare them by employment, turnover, gender of the owner, industry, location, and age of a business.

If we look at the number of people businesses employ, the official statistics show that over three-quarters of businesses in the UK employ less than 5 people and only two businesses in 100 have 50 or more employees.

100 businesses pic1

As such, more than 99% of businesses in the UK are actually small or medium enterprises by HMRC’s definition. The US, however, appears to have more large businesses: 38 out of 100 businesses in America employ more than 5 people.

100 businesses pic2

By annual turnover, 91 out of 100 businesses in Britain make between 0 and £1 million, with only 2% making more than £5 million.

100 businesses pic3

Meanwhile in the United States, as many as 77 businesses don’t go over the $1 million threshold in their turnover, whereas more than one in five (21) do turn over $1 million or more.

100 businesses pic4

Finally, looking at the gender split of business owners, it appears that only 18 out of 100 businesses in the UK are owned by women.

100 businesses pic5

In the United States, on the other hand, there is greater equality, with women owning 28 out of 100 businesses and men owning the remaining 72.

100 businesses pic6

Keen to find out how many businesses in Britain are in England? Interested in seeing how many businesses in the US are in the construction industry?

Head straight to our interactive visualisations for the UK and the US economies.

We would love to know what you think - let us know in the comments!

Ready to set up your cover?

As one of the UK's biggest business insurance providers, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored quote?

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon

People also liked

20 February 20141-minute read

Hungry tech giants: who's acquired who?

2013 was a busy year for tech acquisitions. But how has the landscape changed over the last 15 years? To see all of the acqusitions in…

Read more

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Popular articlesBusiness resources from FarillioGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resources from FarillioLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.