Back Regional disparities in households’ primary income


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In 2017, the primary income per inhabitant in the European Union (EU) was €18 800. Across EU NUTS 2 regions, it ranged from €37 900 per inhabitant in Luxemburg to €2 500 in Severozapaden (Bulgaria). These values represent a range between 13% - 202% of the EU average, indicating significant regional disparities.

Although disparities are smaller when adjusting for differences in price level across countries (26% - 156%), the figures in this article are expressed in euros.

Two of the top-five EU regions in terms of primary income per inhabitant, following Luxembourg, were located in Germany (Oberbayern and Stuttgart, with a primary income of €37 000 and €32 500 per inhabitant respectively). Other regions that featured in the top-five included the Hovedstaden region in Denmark (€34 600 per inhabitant) and Stockholm in Sweden (€33 400 per inhabitant).

By contrast, in the bottom five, Severozapaden was also joined by other Bulgarian regions including Severoiztochen (with a primary income per inhabitant of €3 100), Yuzhen tsentralen and Severen tsentralen (both €3 300 per inhabitant) and Yugoiztochen (€3 400 per inhabitant). Outside of Bulgaria, the Nord-Est region of Romania was also in the bottom five (with a primary income per inhabitant of €3 400).


Data source: nama_10r_2hhinc



In 2017, 49 regions across 11 countries had a primary income per inhabitant in excess of €26 000: Denmark (all regions), more than half of the regions of Germany (22 out of 38) and Austria (5 out of 9), around half of the regions of Belgium (5 out of 11), a third of regions of the Netherlands (4 out of 12) and Ireland (1 out of 3), 2 regions from Finland (out of 5) and Sweden (out of 8), 1 region in both France (out of 27) and Italy (out of 21) as well as Luxembourg (single region).

At the other end of the scale, 50 regions had a primary income per inhabitant below €9 000. These were regions from 10 countries: all regions of Bulgaria, Hungary (except Budapest), Poland (except Warsaw), Romania (except Bucharest) and Slovakia (except Bratislava), around half of the Greek regions, one region in France, Croatia and Lithuania as well as Latvia (single region).



  • Net primary income is defined as the income generated by the production process or by a closely related process (compensation of employees, net operating surplus and mixed income and net property income). Net primary income is allocated to the place of residency of the household.
  • Malta: data not available
  • The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.


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