Friday, May 10, 2019

European Productivity

A new interactive map showing the levels of productivity across Europe reveals the economic fault-lines in the European Union. The map not only displays the sharp divergence between Eastern and Western Europe but also how lots of regions in Western Europe are also being left behind economically by the more economically successful regions.

The Big European Sort is a choropleth map of regional productivity, measured by the economic output of each worker. On the map the deepest blue colored regions are the areas with the highest productivity per worker and the deepest red colored regions have the lowest productivity.

The map reveals an obvious chasm in productivity between countries from the former Eastern Bloc and countries in Western Europe. However even some regions in the west of the European Union are struggling with productivity. While the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Sweden manage to sustain productivity across all regions other countries in the west appear to have some productive cities and regions which are leaving less successful regions behind.

A good example of this is the UK. In the UK London stands out as an area of high productivity, with a number of regions with high productivity surrounding it. However many regions of the UK are being left behind economically and have much lower levels of productivity. One useful feature of the map is that if you click on a region you can view a comparison showing which other region in Europe it most closely resembles. If you click on South Lanarkshire for example, you can see it most resembles Greece, and clicking on Northumberland reveals that this UK region has a similar level of productivity to Cyprus.

The poor productivity levels of many UK regions is just one of the many reasons that the country is likely to struggle economically if it ever succeeds in leaving the European Union. Other areas which stand out on the map are Portugal and Southern Italy for their low levels of productivity, and Ireland -with all of its regions showing very high levels of productivity.

No comments: