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High Pay Centre briefing: regional economies across the EU

The UK's poorest regions are falling behind the rest of Europe

New research published today based on data from the European Union shows that the UK's poorest regions have fallen further behind the rest of Europe over the past decade.

The High Pay Centre think tank's analysis of the EU data found that the number of UK regions with GDP per capita below 75% of the EU average increased from three in 2008 to seven in 2017 (the most recent figures).

The seven regions - Southern Scotland; West Wales and the Valleys; Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; Lincolnshire; Tees Valley and Durham; South Yorkshire; and Outer London - East and North East - are all poorer than anywhere else in North West Europe (defined as the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Finland).

The number of regions below 90% of the EU average has also risen from 18 to 23 since 2008.  The findings are particularly significant, because the EU uses the 75% and 90% thresholds for allocating funding to poorer regions, meaning that the UK could be eligible for increased funding if it remained in the EU.

For more information, download the full report.

Download report

Posted on 10 December 2019

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