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OECD Regional Outlook 2016

Productive Regions for Inclusive Societies

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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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France

France is a unitary country with a population of 66.5 million. Subnational governments are responsible for only 20.5% of public expenditures, ranking France the 13th least decentralised country in the OECD with regards to public spending. The country is in the lower half of OECD countries in terms of urbanisation, as only 35% of its population are living in predominantly urban areas. With 35 885 municipalities, France alone accounts for 27% of the OECD’s total number of municipalities. Half of France’s municipalities have a population of 435 inhabitants or below, the 2nd lowest median size of municipalities in the OECD. Inter-municipal organisations, which in the future will have larger scale, help compensate for the large number of municipalities.

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