About the data
Devon’s business sectoral composition is dominated by the agricultural industry with over 7,800 firms categorised as Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing, 98.5% of which are micro and employ less than 10 people. Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing is 3.7 times larger in Devon than it is nationally and despite major falls in the last fifteen years, the tradition of family farming continues in the South West.
Retail, Construction and Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities are the next largest sectors by business volume with between 4-5,000 businesses each. Given that 89% of Devon businesses are micro; the same proportion as the national average, turnover by firm is low, and most firms that turnover more than £1m are within Manufacturing, Retail, Construction and Health, reinforcing the dependence the Devon economy has on these sectors. High volumes of Retail and Agricultural businesses reinforces the issues Devon has with low productivity. Growth in either the number of businesses or the turnover in other targeted sectors such as IT is important for the economy creating revenues that lead to productive employment and investment.