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Business Numbers by Sector


Information on Business Sectors is drawn from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) of 80,000 businesses across the UK. Produced annually BRES data estimates business counts to a high level of reliability, though it does not include very small businesses not registered for VAT or PAYE.

Bar chart shows the different business volumes comparable between industries. Use the geography filter to choose area and the date filter for a given period. Data shown can be broken down by business size or turnover. Use the industry filter to see specific variations. Right click the graph to show underlying data. Click to slide 2 for a map of Devon.

About the data

Devon’s business sectoral composition is dominated by the agricultural industry with over 7,800 firms categorised as Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing, 98.5% of which are micro and employ less than 10 people. Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing is 3.7 times larger in Devon than it is nationally and despite major falls in the last fifteen years, the tradition of family farming continues in the South West.

Retail, Construction and Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities are the next largest sectors by business volume with between 4-5,000 businesses each. Given that 89% of Devon businesses are micro; the same proportion as the national average, turnover by firm is low, and most firms that turnover more than £1m are within Manufacturing, Retail, Construction and Health, reinforcing the dependence the Devon economy has on these sectors. High volumes of Retail and Agricultural businesses reinforces the issues Devon has with low productivity. Growth in either the number of businesses or the turnover in other targeted sectors such as IT is important for the economy creating revenues that lead to productive employment and investment.

Last Updated: August 2018