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Statistics Explained, your guide to European statistics. Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up an encyclopedia of European statistics for everyone, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users.
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Regional accounts serve as the basis for the allocation of expenditure under the EU’s cohesion policy. Every region of the EU is covered: however, most structural funds are directed to NUTS 2 regions where GDP per capita is less than 75 % of the EU-28 average. The allocation of cohesion funds is currently based on a decision referring to average GDP per capita during the three-year period from 2007 to 2009; more information is provided in an article on regional policies and Europe 2020.
Main statistical findings
GDP at market prices in the EU-28 was valued at EUR 13.5 trillion in 2013, which equated to an average level of approximately 26.6 thousand PPS per capita.
Regional GDP per capita
Map 1 shows GDP per capita in 2013 for NUTS level 2 regions, with the value for each region expressed as a percentage of the EU-28 average (set to equal 100 %). As such, it portrays relatively ‘rich’ regions (shown in green) where GDP per capita was above the EU average and relatively ‘poor’ regions (shown in red). The map reveals a clear east–west divide. However, this pattern is less pronounced than it was almost a decade before — when the EU underwent its largest expansion with the accession of 10 new Member States — as a result of two principal factors:
- a gradual process of economic convergence, resulting from relatively rapid growth among less developed regions;
- the financial and economic crisis, which had a considerable impact on the economic performance of most EU Member States.