Business Population Estimates

This collection brings together all documents relating to business population estimates.

The Business population estimates for the United Kingdom (UK) and regions (BPE) publication provides the only official estimate of the total number of private sector businesses in the UK at the start of each year, with their associated employment and turnover.

Business population estimates annual publications are National Statistics.

The Department’s Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008: statement of compliance provides details of officials and ministers who have pre-release access to the Business population estimates for the UK and regions.

This publication differs from other national statistics outputs produced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on value-added tax (VAT) traders and pay as you earn (PAYE) employers. The ‘Guide to Business Statistics’, sets out the differences. The business population estimates provide further information by number of employees, legal status, industry and geography.

Published editions

The publication has 3 main outputs. For headline summary information, refer to the ‘statistical release’. In 2019, for the first time, this was published in html, as well as pdf format. More detailed data is available in the ‘Detailed tables’ published in Excel and OpenDocument source format. The ‘Methodology and quality note’ explains how the estimates are calculated and reports on quality and changes in methodology.

The 2019 edition of Business population estimates for the UK and regions was published on 10 October 2019. View the latest BPE figures. Future release dates will be announced on the GOV.UK release calendar.

Data Tools

Data tools are based on data from the 2019 Business population estimates release, published on 10 October 2019.

Access the data tools:

  • data downloaders allow users to download headline data for 2019 and time-series in a quick and flexible manner
  • Application Programme Interface (API) instructions explain how to use a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in a specific format to access headline time series and detailed 2019 data

Get in touch

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  1. Business population estimates 2019
  2. Business population estimates 2018
  3. Business population estimates 2017
  4. Business population estimates 2016
  5. Business population estimates 2015
  6. Business population estimates 2014
  7. Business population estimates 2013
  8. BIS: business population estimates 2010 to 2012
  9. UK Statistics Authority assessment of the Business Population Estimates
  10. Business population estimates: user engagement
  11. Guide to business statistics
Published 7 October 2013
Last updated 14 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Changes made to text to indicate availability of, provide description of, and link to data tools

  2. Business population estimates for the UK and regions 2019 added.

  3. Added business population estimates for 2018.

  4. Added details of new data tools.

  5. Added Business population estimates 2017.

  6. Added business population estimates for 2016.

  7. Added business population estimates for 2015

  8. Added Business population estimates 2014.

  9. Updated for the 2013 Business Population Estimates.

  10. First published.