A panoramic photograph of Malham Cove in North Yorkshire.

Measuring regional inequality: part deux.

Tom Forth, .

I've written about why dispersion of GVA/resident by NUTS2 region is my favourite measure of regional inequality.

I've shared the code I use to calculate it and the raw data it creates.

I've built an online tool so that you can explore the data for 2018.

But I know that a lot of people will want to read some takes. Given that it's taken me years to get this far, and I'm not even claiming I've figured it out yet, I can't really call them hot. So here are some tepid takes.

Dispersion of GDP tells us about the regional inequality of economic strength. It does not tell us about the regional inequality of living standards. I have done that analysis too and it seems to show that,

My next plan is to improve my code and my understanding of this data. And at the same time to explore regional inequality in East Europe. Because the countries of East Europe are smaller than the West it is probably sensible to consider the block as a whole (working with regional inequality for small countries is dangerous). But before I do that, I think I'd best speak to some Polish, Czechs, Slovakians, Bulgarians, Romanians, and all the rest. I don't want to do anything too stupid.

Regional inequality (dispersion of GVA/resident by NUTS2 region). The UK is bad and if you clip these caption out and share this graph with a hot take about how the UK is the most regionally unequal big economy in Europe without explaining why UK*, which uses the NUTS1 region for London, is a much better measure then you are actually quite a bad person. Don't do that. You're better than that.

Last of all. You'll notice I've included the regional inequality of North England. It's very low. North England's economy is much more regionally than even the most equal national economies of Europe. North England has a similar population to The Netherlands and very little of the same economic strength. North England's economy is almost universally, in every region, the same strenght as the poorest regions of The Netherlands. We should aiming for much better, even if it increases our regional inequality. Let's be more Swedish and Dutch, and less poor.

Next blog post I'll be taking aim at the often mathematically-challenged claim that "there is more inequality within places than between them". It's usually meaningless, and the UK would do a lot better at levelling up if people stopped saying it.

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