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UK Market and Social Research Sector

A few facts about the UK’s market and social research sector which you are involved in. It is estimated that the total turnover of the research sector is £5 billion per annum.  The UK research industry is the second-largest in the world, second only to the US.

There are about 3,500 businesses in the UK which provide market, social and opinion research, with a further circa 2,500 listing research as a subsidiary activity.

The industry is growing by about 3% per year and employs approximately 44,000 people of whom 30,000 are full-time and 14,000 are part-time. So, who is commissioning all this research? The biggest three users of research are brands who are interested in talking to their consumers which is nearly a third of all UK research, second is the government with just over 10% and third is the financial services and media at circa 10%.

Qualitative research represents about 12% of research bought. The methodologies used within the qualitative sector are 33% groups, 24% depths, 23% online, 11% ethnography, 3% mobile and the rest spread across other methodologies.


[All figures as per the Research Live 2020 report.]

For more information about the UK sector see the Research-Live Industry Report