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Huge diversity in GDP per capita throughout the EU

Based on first preliminary estimates for 2011 just released by Eurostat, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) varied from 45% to 274% of the EU27 average across the Member States.

Vast differences in GDP per head within the EU

The highest level of GDP per capita in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg with a level of more than two and a half times the EU27 average. The Netherlands were just above 30% of the average, while Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Austria were between 25% and 30% above. Finland, Belgium and Germany were between 15% and 20% above the average, while France and the United Kingdom were between 5% and 10% above. In Italy and Spain, GDP per capita was around the EU27 average.

Cyprus was around 10% below the EU27 average, while Slovenia, Malta, Greece, the Czech Republic and Portugal were between 15% and 25% lower, and Slovakia was around 25% below. Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania were between 30% and 40% lower than the average, while Latvia was around 40% below, Romania around 50% below and Bulgaria 55% below.

These figures for GDP per capita, expressed in PPS, are published by Eurostat, the statistical Office of the European Union. They cover the 27 EU Member States, three EFTA countries, one acceding state, four candidate countries and two potential candidate countries.

Given such huge income inequalities between member states, with vast differences between the core and periphery countries, it is hard to see how a common fiscal policy is ever going to work within the EU. The one-size-fits-all monetary policy is obviously not working and may yet lead to the break-up of the eurozone.

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Posted in European Union, GDP, GDP per head, Monetary Union

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