Total income of registered charities at record high of £73.1bn

According to the Charity Commission's latest update, 167,109 charities appeared on its register at 31 December last year

The total income of charities on the Charity Commission’s register reached a record high of £73.1bn in 2016, figures from the regulator show.

The commission issues regular updates on the charities on its register. The latest instalment shows that, at 31 December, there were 167,109 charities that reported in their annual returns gross income totalling £73.1bn.

This is more than £3bn higher than at the same time a year before, when there were about 2,000 fewer charities on the register.

The commission notes that the total income figure is likely to include an element of double counting, when resources have been transferred between charities and counted in both, so the figure is not a reliable indicator of the sector’s total income in England and Wales.

But the figures do indicate a significant rise in income among charities in England and Wales in recent years.

Annual gross income was £51.7bn in 2009 and £29.5bn in 2002, although the regulator said that a change in methodology meant that any of its figures from 2008 or before were not directly comparable.

The number of charities on the register at 31 December – 167,109 – was the highest since 2008, when it was 168,354.

The number of charities with annual incomes of more than £10m grew to 1,191 at the end of 2016, up from 1,152 at the same stage a year before. There were 307 such charities in 1999, the data shows.

According to the commission’s data, £10m-plus charities are accounting for an ever-increasing proportion of total income.

They accounted for £45.5bn of income in 2016, which was 62.2 per cent of the total, up from 61.7 per cent in the previous year.

The figure has risen steadily since 2000, when it was 41.8 per cent.

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