Statistics in focus
Industry, trade and services
Author: Ulf JOHANSSON
Regional specialisation in theEU's business economy
This publication presents an analysis ofregional specialisation and businessconcentration within the EU's businesseconomy based on structural businessstatistics (SBS) available with a detailedsectoral breakdown. It includes a section with aspecial focus on chemicals manufacturing.
Specialisation and concentration
There are considerable disparities betweenEuropean regions as regards the importance ofdifferent activities within the business economy,and in many cases, particularly within industrialactivities, this has widened through the recentexpansion of the EU from 15 to 27 Member States.Conversely, while some activities are characterisedby a relatively even distribution across mostregions, the variation in regional specialisation ishigh in many activities, with often a few regionswith a particularly high degree of specialisation.The share of a particular activity within thebusiness economy gives an idea of which regionsare the most or least specialised in a certainactivity, regardless of whether the region or theactivity considered are large or small. Figure 1shows that there is a wide range in the contributionof manufacturing to non-financial businesseconomy employment, in contrast to constructionand distributive trades. Mining and quarrying,hotels and restaurants, and transport andcommunications are characterised by the fact thatthese activities contribute a similar share to non-financial business economy employment in manyregions, with a few regions being strong outlierswith a high specialisation in these activities.
Figure 1: Degree of regional specialisation in activities (NACE sections) within the EU-27 andNorway, % of non-financial business economy employment, 2005 (1)
Minimum and maximum share (horizontal line), inter-quartile range (box) with half of all regions in the box and aquarter of all regions on each side of it, median share (vertical line in box)
010203040506070DistributionManufacturingReal estate, renting & bus. ActivitiesConstructionTransport & communicationsHotels & restaurantsElec. gas & water supplyMining & quarryingSlaskie (PL22)Zapadne Slovensko (SK02)Severozapaden (BG11)Andalucía (ES61)Kentriki Makedonia (GR12)Ionia Nisia (GR22)land (FI20)Inner London (UKI1)
(1) NACE Sections C to I and K; Czech Republic and Norway, 2004; Bulgaria based on preaccession regions; Malta, not available.