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Metropolitan economies grew stronger in eastern Europe

Infographic | 29-05-2016
Metropolitan economies grew stronger in eastern Europe

Cities are the engines of the economy. Metropolitan regions contain 59% of the EU population, but they hold 62% of its jobs and represent 67% of GDP (European Commission, 2014). The concentration of people, capital and business opportunities means that cities are more productive than other places. It is therefore not surprising that cities figure prominently in the EU strategy for jobs and growth. The Urban Agenda for the EU, in particular, aims to include cities in the coordinated growth strategies of Member States and the European Commission. It aims to ensure maximum utilisation of the growth potential of cities.

Many of Europe’s largest cities are also its most affluent. The megacities of Paris and London rank among those with the highest GDP per capita ratios of the EU, such as Munich, Stockholm and Frankfurt. Moreover, cities differ in growth rate; just as real engines, they are running at different speeds. Again, size not necessarily matters – although Paris and London appear to perform above average – as much as geographical location. In the 2000–2010 period, a north–south divide could be seen, with northern cities generally outperforming those in the south. The most significant growth, however, occurred in central and eastern European cities, particularly in Poland. Some of this difference can be attributed to a lower starting point, but also to the EU’s Cohesion Policy, under which especially new recipients are eligible to receive high European subsidies.

Source data

This infographic is based on data provided by the OECD Metropolitan Explorer (version January 2014). More information about the OECD Metropolitan Explorer can be found here: http://measuringurban.oecd.org/#

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