1. Main facts and figures
- in 2018, 15.1% of workers in the UK were self-employed
- 20.4% of workers in the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group were self-employed, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
- 11.2% of Black workers were self-employed, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
The ethnic categories used in this data
In most cases, the figures shown on this page are for aggregated ethnic groups.
Separate figures are shown for different Asian ethnic groups:
- Pakistani and Bangladeshi (combined)
- Asian Other
This reflects the different employment related outcomes between different Asian ethnic groups.
It is also consistent with other official labour market statistics published by Nomis.
Separate figures are also shown for different White ethnic groups:
- White British
- White Other
2. By ethnicity over time
Summary of Self-employment By ethnicity over time Summary
The APS is made up of 12 months of survey data. It combines data from four successive quarters of the Labour Force Survey with rolling year data from the English, Welsh and Scottish Local Labour Force Surveys. The achieved sample size is approximately 320,000 respondents.
Interviews are carried out either on a face-to-face basis, with the help of laptops or on the telephone.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy. All APS and LFS analysis performed are weighted using 2018 population estimates
For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Values based on fewer than 3 responses have been withheld from results for all groups. This is to protect respondents’ confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to draw any reliable conclusions.
Additionally, if there are values based on fewer than 26 responses these will be mentioned in the download file to highlight that these estimates may not be reliable, and should therefore be used with caution.
Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal place. Due to rounding, some totals may not add up to 100%.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Purpose of data source
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest ongoing household survey in the UK and covers a range of topics, including:
- personal characteristics
- labour market status
- work characteristics
The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.
The published statistics also allow the government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between censuses.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, denominator, numerator and confidence interval figure