A statistical portrait of the EU across the regional spectrum

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The FINANCIAL — The European Union (EU) places considerable emphasis on regional policies. The regional yearbook, published every year by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, provides an overview of European regional statistics covering a wide range of fields. It is thus a helpful tool to understand the regional diversity that exists within the EU and also shows that considering national figures does not always reveal the full and sometimes complex picture of what is happening across the EU.

The publication contains statistics for the 272 NUTS level 2 regions and, for some indicators, the 1 315 NUTS level 3 regions of the 28 Member States of the EU as well as, when available, the regions in EFTA and candidate countries. This 2015 edition contains a new chapter on EU regional policies and the local dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy. Three special focus chapters are also presented: gender differences at regional level, statistics by degree of urbanisation for quality of life and information relating to life in European cities. In addition to the regional yearbook, Eurostat offers two interactive applications on its website for visualising and analysing sub-national data:

Regional Statistics Illustrated and the Statistical Atlas.

On the occasion of the 13th European week of Regions and Cities and to illustrate the diversity of the regional data available in Eurostat, this News Release presents a small selection of the indicators that can be found in the Eurostat regional yearbook 2015.

Largest gender gap for employment rate of persons aged 25-34 in Czech regions

Only in six EU regions was the employment rate of women aged 25-34 higher than that of men: in Região Autónoma da Madeira in Portugal (68.2% for women vs. 62.4% for men, or a difference of 5.8 percentage point), in Friesland (1.7 pp) and Groningen (1.5 pp) in the Netherlands, in Principado de Asturias (0.8 pp) and Illes Balears (0.3 pp) in Spain, as well as in Cyprus (0.5 pp).

In all other EU regions, the employment rate of women aged 25-34 was lower than that of men. In 116 regions, the employment rate of women aged 25-34 was up to 10 percentage points below the employment rate of men aged 25-34, in 128 others it was between 10 pp and 20 pp, while in 27 it was above 20 pp. The five EU regions recording the largest gap between the employment rates of women and men aged 25-34 were Severozápad (with a 33.2 pp gap), Střední Morava (30.0 pp), Jihozápad (28.8 pp) and Severovýchod (28.0 pp), all in the Czech Republic, as well as the Greek region of Dytiki Makedonia (28.0 pp).

Highest weight of the industry in central EU regions

A relatively high contribution of industrial activities to regional gross value added was largely concentrated in a cluster of regions — shown by the dark blue shade at the centre of the map — that spread over southern Germany, the whole of the Czech Republic (apart from the capital region), up into Poland, and down through regions of Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Slovenia. The majority of regions in Bulgaria and Romania also had a very high share of industrial gross value added. Aside from these two clusters, a relatively high share of regional gross value added (above 30%) was generated by industrial activities in peripheral regions of other Member States. Among the 10 EU regions recording the highest share of industry in the total gross value added of their economy, seven were located in Germany and one each in Poland, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

By contrast, the contribution of industry to total gross value added was relatively low in capital regions (where services are usually the main wealth creator) and a number of regions that may be characterised as tourist destinations, especially prevalent around the Mediterranean coast. There were no regions in Denmark and France, as well as in Cyprus, Latvia and Luxembourg where industry represented more than 30% of the total gross value added.

Overall in the EU, 24% of the NUTS 3 regions had a share of industry in gross value added above 30%, and 33% between 20% and 30%.

Province Brabant Wallon, EU region with the highest R&D intensity

In 2012, the EU regions with the highest intensity in Research & Development (R&D) were Province Brabant Wallon in Belgium (R&D expenditure accounted for 7.8% of GDP), Braunschweig (7.3%) and Stuttgart (6.2%) both in Germany. Among the thirteen EU regions with a share of R&D expenditure above 4% of GDP, six were located in Germany, two in the United Kingdom and one each in Belgium, Denmark, France, Austria and Sweden. Overall in the EU, 35 regions had R&D intensity above 3% of GDP.

On the opposite end of the scale, Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta in Spain, Sud-Est in Romania, Ionia Nisia in Greece and Severen tsentralen in Bulgaria (all around 0.1%) were the EU regions recording the lowest R&D intensity. Among the 10 EU regions with a share of R&D expenditure below 0.2% of GDP, three were located in Bulgaria, two each in Greece, Spain and Romania and one in Poland.

Largest regional disparities in R&D intensity in Belgium and Germany

The Member States with the largest regional disparities for R&D expenditure expressed as percentage of GDP were Belgium (7.8% for the region with the highest R&D intensity vs. 0.4% for the region with the lowest, or a difference of 7.4 percentage point) and Germany (with a 6.6 pp difference), followed at a distance by France (4.5 pp), the United Kingdom (4.4 pp), Denmark (3.8 pp), Finland (3.6 pp), Sweden (3.5 pp) and Austria (3.4 pp).

 

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