UPDATE – This briefing paper does not provide the latest data up to 2018, which is available in the Office for National Statistics’ publication Regional economic activity. Up-to-date economic data for UK regions and countries are available in the Library briefing paper, Regional and National Economic Indicators. 

This briefing paper provides an overview of annual statistics on the economies of the UK’s regions and countries as well as local areas. There is analysis of recent economic growth rates, for 2016 as well as since 2010, and 1998. In addition to overall growth rates, figures for economic output per head are included (including in two maps at the back of the briefing) to provide very rough comparisons of living standards by local areas.

Key statistics

Economic output here is measured using Gross Value Added (GVA), which is very similar to GDP. Regional growth figures are adjusted for inflation. Some key figures:

  • In 2016, London’s GVA of £408 billion accounted for 23% of the UK total (£1,748 billion), with the South East contributing a further 15%.
  • London saw the highest annual growth in 2016 of 3.0%, compared with the UK figure of 1.6%. The lowest rate of growth was seen in the North East which contracted by 1.0%.

Regional growth comparisons 2016

  • Cumulative economic growth from 2010 to 2016 was highest in London at 22%. The second highest rate of growth was in the West Midlands at 15%. The weakest growth recorded was in Yorkshire & the Humber at 7% and the North East at 4%. The UK grew by 12%. The chart below shows figures for all regions and countries.

Regional growth comparisons 2010-2016

  • Almost all areas have experienced slower growth since the financial crisis and recession of 2008/09. The chart below compares average annual economic growth in the regions and countries of the UK during the pre-recession period of 1999-2007 with the post-recession period of 2010-2016.

  • The only region where recent annual average growth is higher than that of the pre-recession period is the West Midlands. London had the highest average growth rates in both periods. Some regions and countries have seen a particularly notable weakening in their growth performance: the three northern regions of England (the North East, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber) and Northern Ireland.

Regional growth comparison

  • In 2016, London had the highest GVA per head, 76% above the UK average and more than double that of 7 of the remaining 11 regions and countries of the UK.
  • The top 5 local areas with the highest GVA per head are in (mostly central) London. This at least in part reflects the large numbers of commuters who work there.
  • Between 2010 and 2016, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames (+45%), followed by Warwickshire (+38%) had the biggest increases in GVA per head. The areas which saw the smallest increases in GVA per head were Great Manchester South East and Liverpool (both with a 1% increase). The overall change in UK GVA per head over this time was +19%. These figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Local growth data

A spreadsheet containing information on 2016 GVA per head and how its changed since 2010 for the local area of your choice (along with the region/country it is in and the UK) is also available from the accompanying Excel file below.

Related posts