Friday 25 February 2011

GDP in the EU27 and the United Kingdom

New data on regional gross domestic product (GDP) was published by Eurostat yesterday. It is for the year of 2008 and covers the 27 Member States. When you look at the data for NUTS 2 level the results are very interesting. When you account for purchasing power standards and index the EU average at 100, the highest figure is Inner London, at 343. The lowest figure is for the Bulgarian region of Severozapaden - officially the poorest region in the EU by this measure.

Here's how it looks on the map...

Clearly, the eastern and southern parts of the EU territory are 'poorest' by this measure and there are some major concentrations of low values in the accession states - particularly in Bulgaria and Romania. Of the 64 regions with a GDP of below 75% of the EU average, here's where they are:

"Among the 64 regions below the 75% level, fifteen were in Poland, seven each in the Czech Republic and Romania, six each in Bulgaria and Hungary, four each in Italy and Portugal, three each in Greece, France (all overseas departments) and Slovakia, two in the United Kingdom, one in Spain, as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania."

Within the UK, there is significant variation, from 71 in West Wales and the Valleys to 343 in Inner London, though it is worth pointing out that GDP data is affected by commuting patterns, particularly in areas of high in-commuting like Inner London. Nonetheless, here's how it looks on the chart...

As you'd expect, this new data has led to various news stories, including this one by the BBC. The data on GDP are never as up to date as we'd like, but it is interesting looking across the regions of the EU and particularly so when we map it.