Tech nation report highlights UK Tech Growth


The UK’s digital tech sector has grown twice as fast as the rest of the UK economy, according to the latest Tech Nation report.

The analysis, based on a mixture of official, open and web data, concludes that turnover of UK digital tech companies grew by 4.5 per cent between 2016-17 compared to the 1.7 per cent increase in UK GDP over the same period. The number of digital tech jobs expanded at five times the rate of the rest of the economy.

The digital tech sector is worth nearly £184bn to UK economy, up from £170bn in 2016. 

The report also underlines the international outlook of the UK's tech organisations by highlighting that:

  • A third of London’s businesses have foreign customers, surpassing the 30 percent of Silicon Valley companies that have overseas customers, according to data from Startup Genome
  • London is the second most connected tech ecosystem globally, behind only Silicon Valley - 25 per cent of the world’s entrepreneurs report a significant relationship with two or more others based in London
  • The UK is third in the world for total capital invested in digital tech companies, behind the US and China
  • London startups have the fourth most international workforce in the world. Only Singapore, Berlin and Chicago have a higher proportion of overseas workers.

The report also reveals the rise of ‘digital suburbs’ and tech towns across the UK where the digital tech sector is growing in urban areas not usually associated with startups and tech businesses. These clusters are attracting more digital tech businesses, which is important for local economies given that the digital tech sector is growing 2.6 times faster than the UK economy.

Diversity however remains a challenge, particularly with female representation falling below the representative figure for the UK population as a whole. Employees in the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities (BAME) category accounted for 15 per cent of digital tech workers, which is higher than the average across all sectors.