About GDP

Background information and guidance on the Scottish Government's quarterly gross domestic product (GDP).

A major and innovative technical development has been our work identifying 'clusters' of aligned industries within the Scottish economy. Through undertaking network analyses on the Scottish Input-Output tables we have identified 18 clusters (or groups) of inter-related industries which, between them, account for 83% of the Scottish economy. As far as we are aware, this is the first time any government statisticians have produced this kind of analysis.

Why undertake network analysis on Scottish industries?

The UN System of National Accounts sets out a methodology for GDP which allows it to be estimated in a comparable way across the world. This methodology specifies a standard hierarchy of industries which groups together parts of the economy that make the same types of goods or services. However, these industries aren’t necessarily affected by the same factors, meaning that the standard hierarchy can average out underlying trends which affect Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

By undertaking network analysis on Scottish industries we have been able to identify the distinct chains and groups of industries which drive the Scottish economy. Our hope is that, by mapping the unique relationship between industries in Scotland, we can better understand overall trends in Scottish GDP.


  • Interactive cluster viewer - this dashboard shows which industries are in each cluster, how strongly connected industries are within each cluster whether an industry has strong ties to another cluster.
  • Summary of the clusters of industries - this summary paper outlines the 18 clusters we identified and explains why certain industries have been grouped together. It also gives information on how each cluster contributes to overall GDP 

Technical information

We have published a Methodology guide  explaining how we prepared the data and undertook the network analysis the and R code which we created for this analysis


This is an ongoing piece of work. We are currently seeking feedback from GDP users to make sure that our clusters of industries are robust and meaningful, before we look at how these clusters can be used to better explain patterns in GDP.

Please contact gdp_stats@gov.scot if you have any comments on the clusters generated, how you might like this analysis to be improved or developed, or any other comments on this work.


If you have any questions about this site, please contact the National Accounts Unit as follows:

Phone: Sandy Stewart - Statistician (Head of Unit) - 0131 244 2825

Email: economic.statistics@gov.scot


National Accounts Unit
Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
Room 4WR
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

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