The Scottish economy

Scotland’s population is around 5.5 million people, with a workforce of under 3 million. The average full time monthly salary before tax is £2,400 or around $3,000. The population is mainly spread across seven cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee and Stirling. Edinburgh, the capital, is the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, and ranked second for quality of life in a recent survey of 47 cities.

5.5 million Population

There are 5.5 million people in Scotland.

70% Increase

In research and development projects, on the previous year.

50% Further education

Over half the population undertakes further education

Businesses in Scotland

There are around 346,900 private sector enterprises currently operating in Scotland. An estimated 99% of these companies are small or medium-sized enterprises, providing 1.2 million jobs.

Scotland’s main sectors ordered by value added to the economy are:

  • Energy
  • Financial and business services
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Digital
  • Food and drink
  • Creative industries
  • Tourism
  • Life and chemical sciences
  • Forestry
  • Textiles

Read more about Scotland's key sectors

Foreign direct investment

Scotland is the most attractive location in the UK outside of London for foreign direct investment, according to the latest EY FDI Attractiveness Survey.

The survey also found that Scotland secured 24% of all research and development projects coming to the UK, representing a 70% increase on the previous year.

Digital projects showed a 56% increase and manufacturing projects rose by 25%.

Read our EY Attractiveness Survey highlights


Scotland’s GDP is estimated at £178.6 billion, or £32,800 per person, growing 1.3% year on year.

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Ey survey

Scotland remains the UK's most attractive location for foreign direct investment outside of London.

Our people and skills

Companies that invest in Scotland have access to an exceptionally educated, skilled and talented workforce.

Financial and tax incentives

We can provide the financial support you need to make your project come alive.

If you have any questions or want to talk with one of our advisers, we’re always ready to help.