Ritchie on inequality

The poorest regions in Northern Europe are in the UK. And he points us to this as proof:

The poorest region of Britain, according to Eurostat, is west Wales, with a GDP per capita expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS) of 64 in 2011. Latvia, also in northern Europe, has a GDP of 60 (PPS) in 2011. Looking at France, which is deemed as being in northern Europe by Inequality Briefing, Guyane, one of its overseas regions, has a GDP of 53 (PPS) in 2011.

The poster implies that the nine of the poorest areas in northern Europe are all in the UK, from west Wales (which is number 1) to East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire (number 10). Again, this is not entirely accurate if you look at the geographical area that is northern Europe, but is accurate when looking at the countries it deems as being in northern Europe: East Yorkshire has a PPS of 80, bigger than the whole of Estonia, which has PPS of 69.

Hmm, OK. We’d be really fucked without The City then, wouldn’t we? Better not close it down, eh?

9 thoughts on “Ritchie on inequality”

  1. I presume that if you lower the ‘capita’ in Eastern Europe by allowing them to all relocate to Lincolnshire, for example then the per capita differential will increase further?

  2. West Wales is poor because it is miles from anywhere, there is no industry to speak of, the farmland is crap, and the weather too shite for proper tourism. It’s hard to know what to do about that, but my pal is a plumber down there and I bet he’s materially wealthier than people who insist on paying chateau-like prices for a crumby flat in London.

  3. They’ve done a bait-and-switch on purchasing power adjustments. Incomes in one region of the UK are higher than in Latvia; but if you adjust that income based on the average prices of the whole UK then it comes out worse.

    If you use the PPS for west Wales, rather than the one for the UK as a whole, you’ll probably get a different result.

    Also, in so far as west Wales is both poor and expensive, it’s central government’s fault for imposing a minimum wage and a regulatory burden which are both too high for the local economy.

  4. The people of West Wales don’t help themselves much either. They protested the arrival of the German army at Castlemartin in the sixties, only to mourn their departure in the 1990s as a sad loss in terms of social relations but also a lot of jobs – mostly indirect – went with them. They protested the building of the four refineries in the area in the 1960s, then the expansion projects, and complained bitterly when they were closed down or sold off because of the associated job losses. They protested the construction of the South Hook LNG import terminal, despite the economic boost it brought. They protested the closure of the Pembroke Power Station at the same time they protested against the conversion to Orimulsion which would have kept it open (it since got demolished and rebuilt as a gas powered station). The good folk of south Pembrokeshire seem to be able to complain about industry closing at the same time they complain about industry opening.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset


    “…but my pal is a plumber down there [West Wales] and I bet he’s materially wealthier than people who insist on paying chateau-like prices for a crumby flat in London.”

    I’ve just been away for a reunion and an old Army friend told an interesting tale about his 2 kids. Their daughter lives in London and is just about move in to a small 3 bedroom terraced house that cost £850k, needless to say they are stretched to the limit and their mortgage is multiple times salary. Quality of life for next few years, zero as everything goes in to paying the mortgage.

    Their son is just about to move in to a similar house in the North West and it cost 1/10th the price and his salary is not 1/10th of their son-in-law. Expected quality of life, not bad especially as they aren’t far from the Lake District.

  6. So areas with low population density, little industry and poor agriculture use are considered poor when compared to the rest of the country…..shocking conclusion, grant money well spent I see.

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