About the Directory of Micro Data Sources

This directory contains UK data sources that include information on micro entrepreneurs, microbusinesses or self-employment.

The unit of analysis differs across the various data sources. These can be individuals/households or businesses.

  • Individual and household surveys usually contain information on people’s employment status and thus allow identifying self-employed people, with or without employees, and home-based self-employed workers. Generally, these datasets lack information on the business self-employed workers run.
  • Business surveys, in contrast, usually contain information on the business but less information on the persons who run/own the business and their household context.

What data source you want to use depends on your research aims and questions. It is also advisable to consider the quality of sources before starting your analysis. See understanding data quality

For each dataset, general information on the dataset including survey design, quality information and data access are provided. In addition a set of key variables are provided that will help you identify which data source is useful for your research.

Three sets of variables are provided:

  • variables to identify microbusinesses
  • variables to identify microbusiness owners including the self-employed
  • variables that allow identifying home-based businesses.

The listed variables indicate whether this information is captured in the respective dataset. ‘Yes’ indicates that the respective variable is incorporated in the dataset and ‘no’ means it is not.

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