OECD Regional Outlook 2016
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OECD Regional Outlook 2016

Productive Regions for Inclusive Societies

Regions and cities are where the effects of policies to promote economic growth and social inclusion are felt in day-to-day life. The OECD Regional Outlook 2016 examines the widening productivity gap across regions within countries, and the implications of these trends for the well-being of people living in different places. It discusses how structural policies, public investment and multi-level governance reforms can help boost productivity and address inclusion. Drawing on a survey of OECD countries, the Outlook  highlights country practices in regional, urban, and rural development policy that guide public investment. The Special Focus Part II on rural areas looks at different types of rural area and their productivity performance trends, and suggests that countries move towards a “Rural Policy 3.0”. The Policy Forum on Regions and Cities: Implementing Global Agendas includes chapters by many leading global organisations on how regions and cities can be instrumental in achieving the targets of agreements such as the Paris Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals.  Individual country profiles provide an overview of regional, urban and rural development policies as well as performance in terms of productivity and well-being among different regions.

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Estonia is a unitary country with a population of 1.3 million. Subnational governments are responsible for 24.1% of government expenditure, ranking Estonia the 11th most centralised country in the OECD with regards to public spending. It is the least decentralised country in the OECD with regards to taxation, as subnational tax revenue is only 1.6% of general tax revenue. Estonia is only moderately urbanised, with 43% of its population living in predominantly urban regions. Over the last decade, the share of the population in predominantly urban areas has increased at the fastest pace in the OECD. Estonia’s predominantly urban regions are producing 61% of Estonia’s GDP.

 
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