High-growth firms make up just 7% of all UK firms - yet they generate around half of all new jobs and are particularly resilient during a recession. Because they make a disproportionate contribution to economic growth, it is vital that we understand more about them.
These infographics illustrate where these firms are across the UK and which sectors they appear in. We've also provided access to the full high-growth firms dataset, sourced from the Office for National Statistics, which contains data about these high-growth firms for 62 UK cities between 2002 and 2010.
*High-growth firms are defined by:
High growth firms are prevalent across the UK. Over the three periods since 2002, the average share of high-growth firms is above 5% in all the cities considered. Please note: Northern Ireland city data wasn't available for this research.
More than 40% of UK high-growth firms are located outside cities, in towns or more rural areas, a figure which is relatively stable over time, and show high-growth firms can emerge both in big cities and small villages.
Business services appear most often within the top three sectors by number of high-growth firms. Manufacturing and construction are also quite prevalent, followed by hotels & restaurants, retail and wholesale. But the data shows that high-growth firms can arise in all sectors, and each city can have different strengths.
Detailed business registry information for all UK businesses in the period 2002-2010 was extracted from the Office for National Statistics' Business Structure Database. This work was undertaken on behalf of NESTA by a research team from Aston University (Michael Anyadike-Danes, Karen Bonner and Mark Hart). The cities were identified using the Centre for Cities definition of Primary Urban Areas (PUAs), which encompasses the urban areas around major UK cities and is available here: http://www.centreforcities.org/puas.html.
In addition to these English cities, selected Scottish and Welsh cities were included in the analysis. A report published by the Centre for Cities provides further analysis on cities and high-growth firms.
This work contains statistical data from ONS which are Crown copyright and reproduced with the permission of the controller of HMSO and Queen's Printer for Scotland. The use of the ONS statistical data in this work does not imply the endorsement of the ONS in relation to the interpretation or analysis of the statistical data. This work uses research datasets which may not exactly reproduce National Statistics aggregates.