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Statistics in more details

People working in an officeSummary: Age and Business and Enterprise

  • In 2014, more than 1 in 3 of small to medium-sized enterprise employers in Scotland fell in the 45 to 54 age category (34%). The two next largest categories were the 55 to 64 (22%) and 35 to 44 (19%) age categories.  The proportion in the under 35 and 65 and over age groups were smaller at 11% each.
  • Between 2012 and 2014 the proportion of small to medium-sized enterprise employers in the 55 to 64 age group decreased markedly, and there were also small decreases in the under 35 and 35 to 44 cohorts.  Increases were seen however in the 45 to 54 and 65 and over cohorts.

Percentage of SME Employers by Age Band, 2012 and 2014

Source: Small Business Survey 2012, Small Business Survey 2014 (More recent data is currently unavailable. Last updated: March 2015)

  • In 2016, although those aged 65 and over made up a small share of all those self-employed (10%), those aged 65 and over had the highest self-employment rate. In 2016, 36% of those aged 65 and over in employment were self-employed compared to an overall self-employment rate of 13% for Scotland as a whole.

Source: Regional Employment Patterns in Scotland: Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2016 (Last updated: May 2017)


Useful Links

Age page

Business and Enterprise Page

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Regional Employment Patterns in Scotland: Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2016 (May 2017) Summary publication of results from the Annual Population Survey, presenting analysis on the labour market, education and training. The main publication contains data on age, disability, ethnicity and gender, with further equalities analysis found in the Supplementary Local Authority Tables.

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Age Evidence Review (2013) A comprehensive review of available evidence in relation to age equality.



Annual Population Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (University of Strathclyde) An annual report published by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, on entrepreneurship within Scotland and the UK.

Small Business Survey reports (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) A collection of UK small business survey reports. The surveys for 2012 and 2014 contain a breakdown for Scotland by age



Business and Enterprise