About

Overview In 2021, United Kingdom was the number 6 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 13 in total exports, the number 7 in total imports, the number 29 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 11 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) .

Exports The top exports of United Kingdom are Cars ($30.2B), Gold ($29.7B), Gas Turbines ($21.9B), Crude Petroleum ($19.6B), and Packaged Medicaments ($17.9B), exporting mostly to United States ($56.1B), Germany ($39.5B), Netherlands ($34.6B), Ireland ($28.4B), and Switzerland ($25.7B).

In 2021, United Kingdom was the world's biggest exporter of Hard Liquor ($7.74B), Antiques ($556M), Collector's Items ($394M), Scrap Nickel ($116M), and Scrap Lead ($94.6M)

Imports The top imports of United Kingdom are Gold ($53.9B), Cars ($33.6B), Petroleum Gas ($26.8B), Crude Petroleum ($23.4B), and Packaged Medicaments ($15.2B), importing mostly from China ($86.2B), Germany ($76.3B), United States ($55.5B), Netherlands ($43.1B), and Norway ($33.5B).

In 2021, United Kingdom was the world's biggest importer of Silver ($6.33B), Preserved Meat ($815M), Fermented Milk Products ($536M), Tissue ($424M), and Fairground Amusements ($220M)

Location United Kingdom borders Ireland by land and by sea.

Latest Trends

November, 2023

Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Flow
Color
Depth
Top Export (2021)Cars$30.2B
Top Destination (2021)United States$56.1B

In 2021, United Kingdom exported a total of $420B, making it the number 13 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of United Kingdom have changed by $31B from $389B in 2016 to $420B in 2021.

The most recent exports are led by Cars ($30.2B), Gold ($29.7B), Gas Turbines ($21.9B), Crude Petroleum ($19.6B), and Packaged Medicaments ($17.9B). The most common destination for the exports of United Kingdom are United States ($56.1B), Germany ($39.5B), Netherlands ($34.6B), Ireland ($28.4B), and Switzerland ($25.7B).

Explore Visualizations

Exports (2021)
[Click to Select a Product]

Destinations (2021)
[Click to Select a Country]

Market Growth

Flow
View
Fastest Growing Export Markets (2020 - 2021)
Switzerland$12.6B (+ 96.4%)
Netherlands$9.49B (+ 37.8%)
Belgium$5.22B (+ 39.9%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2020 - 2021)
Norway$19.5B (+ 140%)
China$12.3B (+ 16.7%)
United States$7.54B (+ 15.7%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2020 - 2021)

Service Trade

Service Trade

United Kingdom Exports Services (2019)$329B
United Kingdom Imports Services (2019)$246B

In 2019, United Kingdom exported $329B worth of services. The top services exported by United Kingdom in 2019 were Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services ($128B), Financial services ($62.4B), Personal travel ($44.2B), Royalties and license fees ($21.3B), and Air transport ($19.3B).

The top services imported by United Kingdom in 2019 were Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services ($84.9B), Personal travel ($65.2B), Air transport ($22.2B), Financial services ($19B), and Royalties and license fees ($16B).

Service Exports (2019)

Service Imports (2019)

Economic Complexity

Overview

Economic Complexity (Trade)1.43Rank 11 of 131
Economic Complexity (Technology)1.09Rank 14 of 96
Economic Complexity (Research)2.31Rank 2 of 140

Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

United Kingdom has a high level of specialization in Prints (14.9), Antiques (13.4), Collector's Items (11), Hard Liquor (10.9), and Sculptures (10.5). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between United Kingdom observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for United Kingdom according to the relatedness index, were Typewriters (0.41), Phosphides (0.38), Special Pharmaceuticals (0.37), Machinery Having Individual Functions (0.36), and Enzymes (0.36). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that United Kingdom is not specialized in.

Product Space

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

This network shows the products most related to the production structure of United Kingdom. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that United Kingdom exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier

Filter
Depth

The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower greenhouse emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking

Methodology
Scale

During the last 20 years United Kingdom's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively less complex, moving from the ⁩⁨5th to the 11th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

Explore Rankings

ECI (Trade) Ranking by Country

Have questions, comments, or concerns?
Send us an e-mail: [email protected]
Follow @OECtoday on
Created, Designed, and Developed by:
In collaboration with