Scotland slips down economic ranking of UK regions

Picture: John DevlinPicture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin
New businesses in Scotland are adding fewer jobs to the economy than in any other part of the UK, according to new research that shows other regions moving ahead in economic prosperity rankings.

The UK Prosperity Map ­produced by Barclays Wealth and Investments puts Scotland in ninth ahead of Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber and North East, down two places on the previous year and far behind the UK’s most prosperous areas, London and the South-east.

A range of indicators are used to measure prosperity, including the number of millionaires living in each area, average earnings, business growth rates, house prices and GDP per capita.

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According to the study, average earnings are the third highest in the UK, rising by 2.5 per cent over the year to £27,032, but Scotland lags behind in other indicators.

Picture: John DevlinPicture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin

House prices rose by 2 per cent over the year, and growth in consumer spending was also below average, rising by 9 per cent over the year ­compared with 14 per cent nationally.

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And opposition parties seized on figures showing the “birth-to-death ratio” of jobs created by new companies to jobs lost through company closures was the lowest in the UK, prompting calls for reform of business rates.

John Godfrey, director for Scotland at Barclays Wealth and Investments, said the ratio “appears to indicate reduced start-up activity”.

Picture: John DevlinPicture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin

Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart said: “This is merely the latest indicator which shows Scotland’s economy suffering under the SNP. The Nationalists have run an anti-business government, made Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK and presided over a chaotic business rates regime.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said high earnings and stable house price growth contributed to Scotland being one of the wealthiest parts of the UK.

“In the last quarter, our economy grew nearly four times faster than the UK – the highest rate of quarterly growth since the end of 2014 – and the number of people in employment is at a record high,” the spokeswoman said.

“Furthermore, Scotland continues to be one of the top performing parts of the UK when it comes to inward investment, attracting more FDI projects than any part of the UK outside London for the past five years.”


1. London

2. South East

3. Eastern England

4. Northern Ireland

5. East Midlands

6. South West

7. West Midlands

8. North West

9. Scotland

10. Wales

11. Yorkshire & The Humber

12. North East