Prague, Czech Republic – Both the Czech and Slovak capital cities rank, once more, among the EU’s top 10 richest regions, according to Eurostat data released yesterday.
As the 7th richest region in the EU, Prague secures the same spot as last year, with a regional GDP per capita representing 187% of the EU average (5 percentage points higher than the previous year). The economic powerhouse and business center of the whole country, Prague alone accounts for more than 25% of the total Czech GDP.
Losing two places compared to last year and surpassed by its Czech counterpart, Bratislava now ranks as the 8th richest EU region, with a GDP per capita accounting for 179% of European average (5 percentage points lower year-on-year).
The data is based on 2017 figures, the latest available, and presented in terms of purchasing power standards (PPS).
Taking into account the whole country, however, the GDP per capita in PPS of both the Czech Republic (89% of EU average, +1 pp compared to last year) and Slovakia (76%, – 1 pp) remain below the European average. The same observation goes for Poland (70%) and Hungary (68%), where Budapest alone accounts for more than a third of Hungary’s total GDP.
Regional wealth differences in the European Union
The EU remains crippled by significant regional wealth differences, mostly between East and West: in 2017, regional GDP per capita ranked from 31% to 626% of the EU average. The top richest regions in the EU are, by far, Inner London West in the U.K. (626% of the EU average), followed by Luxembourg (253%), Southern Ireland (220%), the Hamburg region in Germany (202%), Brussels (196%) and the Eastern & Midland region of Ireland (189%).
In total, 21 European regions had a GDP per capita 50% or more above the EU average, including five of them in Germany alone.
At the other end of the scope, the 5 poorest regions in the EU are made up of four provinces in Bulgaria and the French overseas territory of Mayotte (regional GDP per capita below 40% of the European average). Among the twenty poorest regions in Europe, four of them were located in Hungary and three of them in Poland.
The richest EU countries as a whole in terms of purchasing power per capita are Luxembourg (254% of EU average), Ireland (181%), Denmark, the Netherlands (both 128%), Austria (127%), Germany (124%), Sweden (121%) and Belgium (116%).
Germany, the U.K. and France alone account for more than half of the total GDP of the European Union, in absolute terms. Combined, the wealth of Central European countries barely represent more than 5% of the EU’s gross domestic product, with Poland (3% of the EU GDP) taking the lead as the largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe, followed by the Czech Republic (1.2%), Hungary (0.8%) and Slovakia (0.6%).