The 2017 Eurostat figures show seven poorest British regions, up from three in 2008
Since the financial crash of 2008, Britain’s regions have not kept pace with the rest of Europe, according to estimates showing the number of places among the poorest in the EU more than tripled.
In 2008, the number of struggling regions, defined as areas with a GDP per capita of 75 percent or less of the EU average, stood at three – Southern Scotland, Western Wales, and Cornwall and the Scilly Islands.
The number of regions in this group has more than doubled to seven in the most latest figures available from Eurostat for 2017, adding to the list Lincolnshire, Tees Valley and Durham, South Yorkshire and outer London (east and north-east).
GDP per capita is calculated by dividing the national income of a country, or GDP, by the total population.
Britain’s GDP per capita, which took seven years to recover to the level it was in 2008, has steadily risen since 2015, and has only left the UK 30th in the global rankings of the World Bank.
The situation in Southern Scotland has increased, rising from 63% to 65% of the EU average. Yet Cornwall and West Wales have fallen further behind, while London’s east and north-east have dropped from 83% to 72% of the EU average per capita GDP.
The High Pay Center, which released the figures, said that the seven UK regions in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the rest of northwest Europe were poorer than any other region.
Luke Hildyard, director of the centre, said: “We are often told that policies such as higher investment in public services, stronger trade union rights and worker representation on boards will be bad for the economy, but they are commonplace in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of north-west Europe.”
Luke Hildyard added that: “Our findings suggest that there is nowhere in those countries suffering as badly as large swathes of Britain.”


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