By country

Voluntary organisations are not distributed evenly throughout the UK, with over 80% in England

  • England has the highest number of charities of any of the four countries (133,505), representing over 80% of all UK charities. This broadly follows the population patterns for the UK.
  • Scotland has the highest number of organisations per 1,000 people with 3.6.
  • Wales has the lowest number of organisations per 1,000 people, with 2.3.
Distribution of voluntary organisations across the UK, 2015/16
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Half of all English charities are based in the three regions of the south

  • 50% (66,915) of all English voluntary organisations are in London, the South East and South West.
  • Each region outside the south has fewer charities per 1,000 people than each region in the south.
  • The North East has 1.7, the fewest, while the South West has 3.2.
  • The ranking of regions, from highest to lowest number of organisations, has not changed since 2014/15.
Distribution of voluntary organisations across regions in England, 2015/16
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By size

London has the highest proportion of larger voluntary organisations for any English region

  • Different sized voluntary organisations are broadly evenly distributed amongst the different English regions.
  • London contains the highest percentage of larger voluntary organisations, with 7% of its voluntary organisations having an annual income of more than £1m compared to 2-3% for other regions.
  • 68% of organisations with income over £100m are based in London, with none in either the North East or Yorkshire and Humberside.
  • In four of the regions – the South West, East of England, East Midlands and West Midlands – 50% or more of organisations have an annual income of less than £10,000.
Proportion of charities by size and region in England, 2015/16 (%)
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Income and assets

Almost half the sector’s income and over two-thirds of its assets are in London

  • Almost half (48%) of the total income of all English voluntary organisations and over two-thirds (69%) of the assets they hold are in London.
  • This is only partially explained by the large number of voluntary organisations in London. However, while London has a similar number of organisation as the South East (24,498 compared to 24,894) it has more than three times its income and eight times the value of its assets.
  • Much of the income of London voluntary organisations will, however, be distributed across other regions due to the large number of major charities that have their headquarters in London but operate at a national and regional level.
Sector income and assets across regions, 2015/16 (£bn)
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By government funding

Most regions in England have seen percentage decreases in government funding

  • The majority of regions (two-thirds) in England saw percentage decreases in government funding in 2015/16.
  • This is different to 2014/15, when most regions experienced small percentage increases.
  • The East Midlands has seen the biggest decrease (32%) and the North East the biggest increase (12%).
Change in income from government by region in England, 2014/15 to 2015/16 (% change)
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UK Civil Society Almanac 2018 / The Voluntary Sector /Sector overview

Published: 11-04-2018

https://data.ncvo.org.uk/a/almanac18/geography-2015-16/