EU27 regions under the magnifying glass

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EurostatIn which EU region can you find the highest share of the labour force employed in high-tech sectors? Which region has the highest total number of nights spent in hotels? And which region has the lowest rate of road deaths?

The answers to these questions and many more are found in the 2008 edition of the Eurostat regional yearbook which is published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. The publication gives an overview of the most recent economic, social and demographic developments in the 271 regions of the 27 Member States of the European Union as well as in regions in the three candidate countries (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey) and the four EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

The Eurostat regional yearbook 2008 includes chapters on population, urban statistics, GDP, household accounts, structural business statistics, labour market, transport, tourism, science, technology & innovation, health and agriculture. The publication also contains two new subjects; labour costs and sectoral productivity. The latter was written by the European Commission Directorate-General for Regional Policy.

To illustrate the diversity of data found in the Eurostat regional yearbook, this article presents three indicators from different statistical fields.

Employment in high-tech sectors highest in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire

Science, technology and innovation are at the heart of EU policies. An indication of progress in these fields is given by the number of people employed in high-tech sectors.

In 2006, 4.4% of the EU27 labour force was employed in high-tech sectors. Three quarters of those employed in high-tech sectors worked in high-tech knowledge-intensive services and a quarter in high-tech manufacturing.

The share of employment in high-tech sectors was more than 6% in 29 EU27 regions: nine of these regions were found in Germany, five in the United Kingdom, three in Hungary, two each in Belgium and Finland and one region each in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Austria and Sweden as well as Malta. The highest share of employment was found in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire (11.5%) in the United Kingdom, followed by Stockholm (9.3%) in Sweden, Île de France (8.9%) in France and the two German regions Dresden (8.7%) and Oberbayern (8.5%).

The share of employment in high-tech sectors was less than 2% in 23 EU27 regions: Six of these regions were found in Romania, five in Greece, four each in Spain and Poland, and two each in Bulgaria and Portugal. The lowest shares of employment were found in Thessalia in Greece and in Centro in Portugal (both 1.0%), followed by the two Romanian regions Sud-Vest Oltenia and Sud-Est and the Greek region Peloponnisos (all 1.1%).

Highest number of hotel nights spent in Île de France and four Spanish regions

Tourism is an important economic factor in the European Union, but its contribution to growth and employment varies widely across the EU regions. The total number of nights spent in hotels and campsites is an important indicator of tourism activities, covering both the length of the stay as well as the number of visitors. It also correlates closely with other expenditure made by these visitors at the destination.

In 2006, Spain, France and Italy dominated European tourism and accounted for 18 of the 20 EU27 regions with the largest number of nights spent in hotels and campsites. Île de France in France was in the lead with 63.1 million nights, followed by four Spanish regions: Cataluña (56.2 million), Illes Balears (52.2), Andalucia (47.9) and Canarias (47.3), two Italian regions: Veneto (44.4) and Emilia-Romagna (34.9) and the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (34.4) in France. Tirol (28.2) in Austria and Oberbayern (22.2) in Germany were the only regions among the top 20 that are not from one of these three leading tourism Member States.

Lowest road fatality rate found in regions of Hamburg and Vienna

In 2006, about 43 000 people lost their lives in road accidents within the EU27, which is more than 20 times the combined total of fatalities in rail and air transport. However, the total road death toll has been reduced by nearly a quarter between 2000 and 2006, despite a significant growth in EU road traffic volumes. A positive trend can be seen across all Member States, but there are significant variations between the European regions in terms of the relative risk of fatal road accidents.

In 2006, the number of deaths in road traffic accidents was around 87 per million inhabitants in the EU27. The rate was above 150 deaths per million inhabitants in 34 EU27 regions. These regions were found in Greece and Poland (8 regions each), Spain (4), Italy (3), Belgium and Hungary (2 each), one region each in the Czech Republic, France, Romania and Portugal, as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The highest rate of road accidents in the EU27 was registered in Sterea Ellada (308 deaths per million inhabitants) in Greece, followed by the province of Luxembourg (290) in Belgium and Peloponnisos (232) in Greece.

The number of deaths in road traffic accidents was below 50 per million inhabitants in 33 EU27 regions. Eleven of these regions were found in the United Kingdom, six in Germany, five in the Netherlands, three in Spain, two in Sweden, one each in Belgium, France, Austria, Portugal and Finland, as well as Malta. The lowest rate of road accidents was found in Hamburg (16 deaths per million inhabitants) in Germany, Vienna (20) in Austria, Berlin (22) and Bremen (24) both in Germany, as well as in Malta (25).

A PDF-version of the full 575-page Eurostat regional yearbook is available for download on the following link http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-CD-07-001/EN/KS-CD-07-001-EN.PDF.

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