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Facts & Figures

There 44 bottles of Scotch Whisky exported every second to markets all over the world! Find out more about the amazing stats behind the industry.
  • 44 bottles (70cl @40% ABV) of Scotch Whisky are shipped from Scotland to around 180 markets around the world each second, totalling over 1.3bn every year
  • Laid end to end those bottles would stretch about 377,000kms - that's 98% of the distance to the moon!
  • In 2021, Scotch Whisky exports were worth £4.5bn
  • In 2021, Scotch Whisky accounted for 75% of Scottish food and drink exports, 22% of all UK food and drink exports, and 1.4% of all UK goods exports
  • The Scotch Whisky industry provides £5.5bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy
  • More than 11,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry in Scotland and over 42,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry
  • 7,000 of these jobs in rural areas of Scotland providing vital employment and investment to communities across the Highlands and Islands
  • Around 90% of barley requirements of the industry are sourced in Scotland
  • In 2019, there were 2.2 million visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries, making the industry the third most popular tourist attraction in Scotland
  • Some 22 million casks lie maturing in warehouses in Scotland waiting to be discovered - that is around 12bn 70cl bottles
  • To be called Scotch Whisky, the spirit must mature in oak casks in Scotland for at least 3 years
  • There are currently 138 operating Scotch Whisky distilleries across Scotland

All figures relate to Jan-Dec 2021 unless stated.

news & commentary

12 February 2021

'Lost decade of growth' as tariffs and Covid hit Scotch Whisky exports hard

Scotch Whisky export figures for 2020 have now been released, with the industry experiencing a ‘lost decade of growth’ as tariffs and Covid hit exports hard.

11 February 2020

Scotch Whisky exports surge amidst backdrop of tariff uncertainty

Scotch Whisky exports grew by 4.4% to more than £4.9bn in 2019, with 1.3bn bottles exported to 180 markets.

12 February 2019

Scotch Whisky Exports on the up in 2018

Latest figures reveal a strong year for Scotch Whisky exports in 2018 with global growth in both value and volume.

19 October 2018

Scotch Whisky exports show growth in first half of 2018

Scotch Whisky exports increased in the first half of 2018 to £1.97 billion, a 10.8% rise in the value of exports against the same period last year.

23 May 2018

Scotch Whisky Exports Analysis 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has released an analysis of the industry's 2017 export performance that indicates the UK trade deficit would be almost 3% worse without Scotland's national drink.

09 February 2018

2017 Export Figures

Scotch Whisky has enjoyed a record-breaking year for exports in 2017. According to official HMRC data, last year Scotch grew in both volume and value (by 1.6% and 8.9% respectively) to a total of £4.36bn - the equivalent of 1.23bn bottles exported globally.


01 September 2019

Scotch Whisky Exports Analysis 2018

An analysis of exports data for Scotch Whisky in 2018.

26 October 2018

Distilleries to Visit

A comprehensive guide providing full details of our members' distilleries and visitor centres that are open to the public. This publication provides full information on opening times, special tours and visitor centre facilities.

23 May 2018

Scotch Whisky Exports Analysis 2017

SWA Analysis of 2017 export figures for Scotch Whisky