The Market Research Society (MRS) has published its annual Research Live Industry Report 2020 which includes the latest MRS League Tables.  Based on 2018 financial data analysed during 2019, the league tables reveal the best-performing research agencies and businesses based on UK turnover and international work managed and invoiced from the UK.

The report  shows the top 100 individual agencies generated a collective turnover of £3.627 billion during 2018, with year-on-year growth at 3.9 per cent – slower than in 2017 but higher than in 2016.  Within the top 100 agencies, 57 recorded growth and the top 10 agencies accounted for 56.5 per cent of total turnover – continuing a trend from the past four years that growth is becoming more dependent on a smaller group of agencies.  As a whole, according to the MRS Industry Survey 2018, the UK research supply industry grew by 0.7 per cent to £5.078 billion in 2018.

Download the Research Live Industry Report 2020 here.

Once again, the UK is the largest supplier of market research and insight in Europe, accounting for over 40 per cent of total output.  It also remains the second largest market in the world behind the United States, where the industry is only three times larger than the UK’s despite its GDP and population being five times higher.  

The UK industry is more internationally focused than the US, with a higher number of substantial medium-sized businesses in the UK and many agencies in the US focused solely on the domestic market.

Retaining its long-term status as a hub for management of international projects, the UK recorded the world’s highest expenditure on market research and insight, spending £77 per capita in 2018, with the USA trailing at £48, and France and Germany at £29 and £25 respectively.

The new Research Live Industry Report 2020 also features highlights from the MRS Industry Survey 2019, originally published in August 2019 and based on its annual survey of full-service MRS Company Partners, as well as their report on the Gender Pay Gap in the Market Research Sector 2020. 

The gender pay gap report shows that 49.3 per cent of employees in the research sector are female, more than two per cent higher than the average for the UK’s workforce, while the industry’s gender pay gap is 19.5 per cent in favour of males which broadly mirrors the national average. 

Jane Frost CBE, CEO of MRS, comments: “The UK research sector has proved highly resilient to the increased risk and disruption of the past year that has hit many other industries.  It remains the largest research sector in the world per capita and the report reflects the continued significance of face-to-face research skills, brains, innovation and creativity to the success of agencies.”

Download the report here.

Get the latest MRS news

Our newsletters cover the latest MRS events, policy updates and research news.