Open-source software generates £43.15 billion ($59 billion) annually to the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has an estimated £46.5 billion of “potential value” to UK businesses in 2020.

This data is part of a report that marks the third and final chapter in OpenUK’s investigation into the impact of open-source software on the UK economy, as described in the State of Open: The UK 2021 paper. OpenUK encourages the adoption of open source software in the energy sector ahead of the UN climate change conference COP26 2021, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to the latest report, the UK is the leading contributor to open-source software in Europe and the fifth largest contributor in the world. 89% of companies use open source technology.

“If 260,000 contributors could lead to an economic impact of open-source software between £60.9bn (€65bn or $77.8bn) and £84.15bn (€95bn or $113.7bn) in Europe, then 126,000 contributors in the UK in 2019 can lead to an impact between £29.52bn and £43.15bn, on the condition that individual contribution did not change from year to year,” the report states.

The study also found that companies with less than £1 million sales were the top recruiters for roles related to open source work. 40% plan to hire back-end developers, development managers and full-stack developers by 2022. Companies with more than £50 million are more likely to hire cloud engineers, development engineers and back and developers.