How many charities are there?

There are about 166,000 charities in the UK, with a total annual turnover of just under £48bn.


  • 132,000 in England
  • 7,000 in Wales
  • 19,000 in Scotland
  • 4,000 in Northern Ireland.

There are also around 20,000 organisations that have charitable status, but aren’t normally thought of as charities, such as churches or public schools, which we haven’t included in these figures.

Just like with businesses, there are a smaller number of very big charities, and lots of smaller ones. Around half of all charities have an income of less than £10,000 a year. Over 80% of all charities have an income of less than £100,000.

Over the last ten years, about 5,000 new charities have been registered every year. But a similar number close down or merge each year.

Charities and the economy

Charities are a major part of the economy. Charities in the UK spend over £40bn a year, and employ 827,000 people.

Charities contribute over £12bn a year to the UK economy – the same as  the agricultural sector.¹

[1] According to the NCVO civil society almanac, charities had a total annual income of nearly £44bn, spent £42bn and hold assets worth £105bn.