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Business in England shifted to rural areas

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Staff Writer | September 23, 2016
Business in England
Britain   Place of living have no influence on innovation

There are more registered businesses (single-site or headquarters) per head of England population in rural areas than in urban areas.

The more "rural" an area is, the higher the number of registered businesses per head of population.

However, the average turnover per person employed is greater in urban areas, especially urban conurbations, and lower in rural areas, especially those in a sparse setting.

‘Agriculture, forestry & fishing’ accounts for 4.1 percent of the local units of registered businesses in England, but they are dominant industries in rural hamlets and rural villages.

In rural hamlets & isolated dwellings in a sparse setting, more than half the registered businesses are in these industries.

‘Agriculture, forestry & fishing’ accounts for 15.6 percent of the local units of registered businesses in rural areas overall (32 percent in rural areas in a sparse setting).

Other dominant sectors in rural areas are: ‘Professional, scientific & technical services’ (14.6 percent of businesses), ‘Wholesale & retail trade, repair of motor vehicles’ (13.6 percent) and ‘Construction’ (11.2 percent).

In urban areas 28.6 percent of people employed in the local units of registered businesses are employed in those businesses with 250 or more employees overall, and in rural areas the proportion is 15.1 percent.

In regard to smaller businesses, in urban areas 18.7 percent of people employed in local units of registered businesses are employed in those with up to 9 employees overall, whilst in rural areas the proportion is 29.0 percent.

Broader innovation activities were undertaken by around 47 percent of rural businesses and 49 percent of urban businesses surveyed between 2010 and 2012.

This suggests that being situated in a rural or urban settlement had little effect on the innovation practices of businesses surveyed.

The percentage of broader innovators was lower in rural settlements in a sparse setting compared to those not in a sparse setting. The opposite was true for urban areas. Sample sizes for settlements in a sparse setting were, however, small.

In 2008/12 (average results over a 5 year period) people living in the most rural areas travelled 50 percent further per year than those in England as a whole and 63 percent further than those living in urban areas.

In 2008/12 a greater percentage of total distance travelled was made using a car in the most rural areas (59 percent) than in urban areas (48 percent).

In 2012 11 percent of households in rural areas had no access to a car or van compared with 28 percent in urban areas.

In 2012 49 percent of households in the most rural areas had a regular bus service close by compared with 96 percent of urban households.


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