Export Statistics Scotland: methodology

Information about the methodology used to produce the estimates of Scotland's exports in the Export Statistics Scotland publication.

Global Connections Survey: sample

To maximise the chances of getting useful data, we identify businesses that are likely to be exporters using a range of sources. These include previous GCS data, ONS' Monthly Business Survey, ONS' International Trade In Services survey, and HMRC’s exporters list. If a business has been identified as an exporter, we include them in the sample.  

We also include all businesses with 100 or more employees. 

The GCS is a voluntary survey, which means that not all of the businesses we invite to take part will complete the survey. To improve the response rate, if a business has taken part in the GCS in the past 6 years, then we will include them in the sample and invite them to take part again. In GCS 2020 and 2021, we also included businesses that have recently responded to the export question in in the Business Insights and Conditions Survey.  

In GCS 2020 and 2021, we increased representation of businesses in growth sectors. The growth sectors were identified in Scotland’s Economic Strategy (2015) as sectors where Scotland performs well compared to other countries. More information is available in Growth Sector Statistics. We included relevant companies from the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. We also increased representation in Renewables and FinTech. To increase the sample size, we also targeted SIC codes that were underrepresented.


If you have any enquiries relating to these statistics then please contact the Trade Statistics team at:

Email: exports.statistics@gov.scot

Trade Statistics
5th Floor Atlantic Quay 5
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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