Economic output and productivity

Bradford is a big economy worth £11.6bn and is the tenth largest city economy in England. It is the third largest economy in the Yorkshire and Humber region after Leeds and Sheffield.

Growth in the district’s Gross Domestic Product between 2014 and 2019 was 15.9% compared to UK of growth 18.9%.

Key messages

  • Bradford is a big economy worth £11.6bn and is the tenth largest city economy in England.
  • Bradford’s economy has grown by 16% over the five years to 2019.
  • Bradford is home to over 16,000 businesses employing around 250,000 people across the UK with a combined turnover of over £30 billion.
  • The district has a number of large headquarters including the grocery giant Morrisons, Yorkshire Water, Hallmark Cards, Arris and Yorkshire Building Society.
  • It has been identified as the best place in Britain to start a business, as ranked by Barclays Bank SME Growth Factors Index and we were listed as one of the top 20 cities for business growth by the Sunday Times in 2020.
  • Sector strengths include advanced engineering, chemicals, automotive components and food manufacture alongside financial services and digital technologies. 
  • Bradford has 1,200 manufacturing businesses employing 24,000 people – 12 per cent of all employment compared to just 8% nationally and the 5th highest of any city in the UK after London, Birmingham, Derby and Leeds.
  • Our thriving digital sector already includes 800 businesses employing 3,500 people.

Related documents and data

Centre for Cities supports the growth of economies in cities by producing rigorous, evidence-based research within five main drivers of economic growth. Compare the economic performance of 64 of the UK's largest cities and towns (including York).

The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) collects and publishes official statistics on employment programmes, household income, benefits, pensions and other areas the department is responsible for.

NOMIS is a service provided by the Office for National Statistics to provide free access to the most detailed and up-to-date UK labour market statistics.

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