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UK business owners
The typical business owner is 51, British and male
You need a lot of things to start your own business, from a new idea and a lot of courage to great employees and a good business loan to help you make it true. More often than not, luck also plays its part. There are thousands of business owners in the UK, but who are they exactly?
We analysed data submitted on over 5 million people to the Companies House, People with Significant Control (PSC) register. As the name suggests, this register includes individuals, companies and legal persons who own a large portion of a company, or otherwise have the right to significantly influence its actions. How do the individuals in this sample compare to the rest of the UK population?
The average age of UK business owners
Their ages approximately follow a bell-shaped curve. The most common age is 51, accounting for 2.92% of the sample, compared to only 1.45% of the general population. The average age is a little lower, at 49 years old. People between 37 and 67 years of age are also overrepresented in business owners, meaning you’re more likely to find them in a sample of company shareholders than in a random sample of people.
Age distribution of business owners vs. the general population
MethodologyThe full PSC dataset was downloaded from the Companies House site on 19 January 2018. People, companies and legal entities included in the dataset all fulfil at least one of the following criteria:
- They hold over 25% of a company’s shares.
- They hold 25% of a company’s voting rights.
- They have the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors.
- They have the right to exercise significant influence or control.
- They have the right to exercise significant control over a company that meets any of the four previous conditions.
CSVs were produced counting up the information provided by each PSC. The data was then cleared of very low-frequency responses that were clearly a mistake, such as the person who entered “Douglas” as their title.
Age was calculated from the date of birth by subtracting its year from 2018 (which, since this calculation was done on January, will be accurate the majority of the time). The age distribution of the general population was taken from the ONS, adding two years to each age, as two years have passed since that dataset was uploaded.
The gender ratio was calculated from all titles with a definite gender. All gender neutral titles were left out.
The distribution of nationalities among the general population was sourced from the ONS, and combined with their estimate of the UK population for the same time period, to get the percentage of each nationality.
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