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UK: the disbalanced economy

London generates 22% of UK GDP despite accounting for only 12.5% of the UK population. According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research, it makes a net contribution to the Exchequer of an astonishing £34bn.

Inner London's GDP per head was 328% of the European Union average in 2010, compared with 70% in west Wales - the biggest gap in any EU state, said the European Commission's statistics agency Eurostat. Among the next eight largest UK cities, only one other, Bristol, has a GDP that is above the national average.

In 2013 it was estimated that in property terms London's top 10 boroughs were worth more than all of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined. London's housing stock is worth as much as Brazil's annual GDP, estate agents Savills reported in January 2015.

A cul-de-sac comprising a score of 1930s semi-detached homes in Ilford or Hounslow might easily be worth £10m.


Compare this with Germany, where the political capital Berlin is balanced by a financial hub in Frankfurt and powerful industrial and media centres in Munich and Hamburg. New York's global status doesn't diminish Washington's political clout, Los Angeles' entertainment output or San Francisco's position at the vanguard of the technology industry.

Not that all Londoners are enjoying this prosperity.

A 2013 report by the New Policy Institute suggested that 28% of people in London were in poverty, seven percentage points higher than the remainder of England. Two of the city's boroughs are among England's top 10 most deprived. If the capital is a place where wealth is concentrated it is also one where inequality is highly visible and inescapable.

Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-248d9ac7-9784-4769-936a-8d3b435857a8

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