House of Commons Library

Pub Statistics

Published Wednesday, July 31, 2019

This paper provides national and regional figures for the number of public houses and bars in the UK, as well as employment data.

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In 2017, there were 48,350 public houses in the UK. 22,650 of these pubs were independent, 14,700 are owned by Pub Companies, and 11,000 are owned by breweries.

UK pub numbers 1990 to 2017

The number of pubs has been decreasing steadily for several decades. From 2000 to 2017, pub numbers have declined by 12,450, or 20%. More recently, 2011 to 2017 saw pub numbers fall by 12%.

Change in pub numbers by region and country

There has been a decline in the number of pubs in all the regions and countries of the UK. In Northern Ireland, pub numbers have fallen by 35% from 2001-2018. The smallest decline was in the South West, where numbers fell by 18%.

Pubs per head

Pubs per hear, UK regionsIn 2018, there were 59 pubs per 100,000 people in the UK. Regionally, there was some variation. London has 40 pubs for every 100,000 people, whilst the South West has 76 pubs per 100,000 people.



Employment in UK pubs and bars

The decline of pub numbers has not led to a decline in overall employment numbers in pubs. There was an increase in employment in pubs by 1% from 2001 to 2018. The data also shows employment in small pubs (employing fewer than 10 people) has fallen by 41%.


Data for public houses by local authority is available in the public houses and bars by local authority spreadsheet accompanying this Briefing Paper. The data is from the ONS via Economies of Ale.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8591

Author: Niamh Foley

Topics: Companies, Leisure, Small businesses

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