OECD Regions at a Glance 2009

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Well over one-third of the total economic output of OECD countries was generated by just 10% of OECD regions in 2005. This means the performance of regional economies and the effectiveness of regional policy matter more than ever. OECD Regions at a Glance is the one-stop guide for understanding regional competitiveness and performance, providing comparative statistical information at the sub-national level, graphs and maps. It identifies new ways that regions can increase their capacity to exploit local factors, mobilise resources and link with other regions. Measuring such factors as education levels, employment opportunities and intensity of knowledge-based activities, this publication offers a statistical snapshot of how life is lived – and can be improved – from region to region in the OECD area.

This third edition provides the latest comparable data and trends across regions in OECD countries, including a special focus on the spatial dimension for innovation. It relies on the OECD Regional database, the most comprehensive set of statistics at the sub-national level on demography, economic and labour market performance, education, healthcare, environmental outputs and knowledge-based activities comparable among the OECD countries. This publication provides a dynamic link (StatLink) for each graph and map, which directs the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel®.

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Overall regional performance

Regional performance is a result of both national and common factors (e.g. national policies and the business cycle) and regional factors (e.g. demographic trends and regional policies). If all regions in a country grow faster than the regions in other OECD countries, this faster growth can be ascribed to that country’s good performances (national factors) or to factors influencing the performance of all regions within that country (a common factor such as the business cycle). On the other hand, if a region exhibits faster growth than all other OECD regions, including those in the same country, that growth can be ascribed to the region’s good performance (regional factors). In sum, overall movements in a region’s share of GDP are ascribed to regional and national factors. 

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