About 190,000 companies in the European Union were classified as high-growth companies in 2017, with a total 16.4 million employees, shows data released on Tuesday by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).They represent over one tenth (11.3 per cent) of the total number of active companies with at least ten employees in the EU business economy, up by 2.1 percentage points compared to 2014 (9.2 per cent).
In 2017, the distribution of high growth companies varied considerably among EU member states. The lowest percentage of high growth companies among all active companies with at least ten employees was registered in Cyprus (2.7 per cent, 2016 data), Romania (2.9 per cent), Greece (6.7 per cent), Estonia (7.2 per cent) and Austria (7.8 per cent) and the highest in Ireland (16.5 per cent), Spain (15 per cent), Portugal (14.2 per cent), the Netherlands (13.9 per cent), Malta (13.7 per cent) and Sweden (13.6 per cent).
In 2017, 242,379 employees worked at high-growth companies in Romania.
Most high-growth companies in the EU operated in the service sector in 2017. The highest percentage of high growth companies were in the sector "Information and communications" (17 per cent of the companies active in this sector) "Activities of administrative and support services" (15.3 per cent), "Transport and storage" (14 per cent) and "Professional, scientific and technical activities" (12.7 per cent).