Friday, March 07, 2008

The Richest Regions in Europe

Eurostat looks at the regions of Europe every year and calculates the GDP per inhabitant of the region based on a Purchasing Power Standard, and then expresses this as a % of the average for the EU 27 nations.

The average for the EU-27 is set at 100. The richest region turns out to be Inner London, with a value of 302.7. The next richest region in the EU is Luxembourg with a value of 264.3. The Eastern European regions came up below average as expected, with North East Romania the poorest with a score of 24.2.

The surprising thing for me was how many regions in the UK are below the EU average, especially as the EU-27 average is depressed by the accession of the eastern europeans countries. Here's the list:

Tees Valley and Durham 85.9
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear 105.1
Cumbria 90.2
Cheshire 132.8
Greater Manchester 110.0
Lancashire 97.2
Merseyside 84.8
East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire 97.6
North Yorkshire 105.8
South Yorkshire 92.7
West Yorkshire 110.1
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire 109.1
Leicestershire, Rutland and Northants 118.6
Lincolnshire 86.5
Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warks 108.9
Shropshire and Staffordshire 92.6
West Midlands 112.4
East Anglia 107.9
Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire 136.1
Essex 99.3
Inner London 302.7
Outer London 108.5
Berkshire, Bucks and Oxfordshire 168.0
Surrey, East and West Sussex 123.7
Hampshire and Isle of Wight 120.2
Kent 101.0
Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area 133.9
Dorset and Somerset 102.8
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 77.4
Devon 92.5
West Wales and The Valleys 79.0
East Wales 115.2
Eastern Scotland 116.1
South Western Scotland 107.1
Northern Ireland 97.0

For instance Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with a score of 77.4 is poorer than the Algarve (Portugal) which has a score of 79.6. Outside Inner London there are only pockets of success - Berkshire, Bucks and Oxfordshire with a score of 168.0, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire with a score of 136.1, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area with a score of 133.9 and Cheshire with a score of 132.8. And Scotland is clearly far from the basket-case that the English like to pretend it is.

We really need to be asking ourselves why places like Cornwall, Devon, Cumbria, Merseyside, Tees Valley and Durham are doing so badly. Durham is an old mining and shipbuilding area that still hasn't found any other industry to replace them. Cumbria, Durham and Merseyside are represented by Labour MPs and they can and should be pressing the Labour government for help as agressively as possible. Cities like Bristol and Manchester have shown how well an effective local Labour government combined with Labour MPs can build up the area's economy. Instead of Frank Field wasting his time writing fanciful pamphlets on how MPs should be selected by primaries (and pray who would pay for these primaries?), he should be concentrating on lobbying business to invest in his area. Perhaps poor performance in these areas is an indication that the MP's haven't been cheerleading for their areas as much as they should, and should be de-selected and someone more effective put in?

Cornwall and Devon are agricultural and tourist areas and have suffered from UK tourists deciding to holiday in the Mediterranean instead. Devon and Cornwall also dominated by the LibDems, which suggests people there have opted out of UK politics in that the LibDems will never be part of any government, and will thus never have the clout to drive investment and regeneration towards their area.

All the areas scoring below 100 are entitled to EU Objective 2 help. (Objective 2 regions are not in as dire need as Objection 1 regions. All Objective 1 regions are in Eastern Europe).

To look at the full EU regional list click here.

4 comments:

hughes views said...

Interesting figures, I think I sort of knew that Cornwall was the poorest UK area even though it's a bit counter-intuitive for visiting summer holiday makers. Go there in the winter and it's much more obviously a depressed, remote post-industrial region. I was surprised to see Devon so low though. You’re right about the impact a dynamic MP can make; you only need to see all that’s currently happening in Gloucester (a depressed City in the midst of an affluent county) to see the truth of that...

Anonymous said...

You do talk bollox sometimes snowy.

"Cities like Bristol and Manchester have shown how well an effective local Labour government combined with Labour MPs can build up the area's economy."

You obviously dont know much about Bristol. It has has had one of the worst councils in the UK for over a decade now (and is Labour). It has the worst state schools in the UK. Bristol's wealth is due to mass in-migration of service industry due to the M4 corridor, good universities, and good national connectivity. It is DESPITE its Labour council and absentee Labour MPs.

"Devon and Cornwall also dominated by the LibDems, which suggests people there have opted out of UK politics in that the LibDems will never be part of any government, and will thus never have the clout to drive investment and regeneration towards their area."

Gee, are you suggesting that this Govt only pays any attention to the lobbying of Labour MPs, as opposed to paying attention according to merit and need? Bit of a damning indictment isnt it?

Anonymous said...

Wassup Snowy, refusing to approve my harmless post on how you were wrong here? Got something to hide?

snowflake5 said...

Anonymous - nothing at all to hide - I simply don't have time to log in and check for comments as frequently as you do! Once logged in I publish everything except pornographic content.

I note you post anonymously - nothing wrong with that, I'm happy to allow anonymous comments - but pots/kettles etc come to mind when anonymous commentators start asking others what they have something to hide!!! LOL

Re your point about Labour MPs lobbying the Labour government - this is one of the benefits of being part of the governing party - the ability for the MP to walk into the Prime Minister's office and ask for help. When there is a Tory govt, Tory MPs do the same. When contituencies vote Labour or Tory they know that at some point in time their MP will be part of the governing party and will be able to lobby especially effectively for them. People who vote LibDem have opted out of this system as the LibDems will NEVER form a government.