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’, published in html and pdf format since 2019. 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 2021 edition of Business population estimates for the UK and regions was published on 7 October 2021. View the latest BPE figures. Future release dates will be announced on the GOV.UK release calendar.

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Published 7 October 2013
Last updated 7 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updating page to link to 2021 editon of publication

  2. Updating the collection page for release of 2020 edition of publication

  3. Changes made to text to indicate availability of, provide description of, and link to data tools

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

  5. Added business population estimates for 2018.

  6. Added details of new data tools.

  7. Added Business population estimates 2017.

  8. Added business population estimates for 2016.

  9. Added business population estimates for 2015

  10. Added Business population estimates 2014.

  11. Updated for the 2013 Business Population Estimates.

  12. First published.