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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

Sources: Small Business Survey 2012 and 2014
Note: The survey questions on Age were not included in the Small Business Survey 2015 and 2016.

  • 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: Annual Population Survey (January to December)


Useful Links

Age page

Business and Enterprise Page

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Information in this section will be updated with relevant publications and outputs into the needs and experiences of people with characteristics protected by equality legislation for the policy area Business and Enterprise.

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

Small Business Survey Scotland Reports

Statistics from the Annual Population Survey for year to December 2016

Businesses in Scotland 2017



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.

UK Small Business Survey Reports

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde



Business and Enterprise