Metropolitan West Midlands remains the UK’s poorest sub-region in latest gross disposable household income estimates

Office for National StatisticsThe 2008 Regional Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) (pdf, 113kb) estimates are released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Indexed GDHI per head (where UK=100) for the West Midlands in 2008 was 90, stable in comparison to the revised 2007 index value of 90.

GDHI per head in the West Midlands rose from £12,800 in 2007 to £13,300 in 2008, an increase of 3.8 per cent, in line with the increase seen in England and the UK.

Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) per head is preferred to Gross Value Added (GVA) per head as a measure of economic welfare.

In the 2008 data, the West Midlands in regards to GDHI per head was ranked seventh amongst the nine English regions. London is the strongest performer at £19,000 and the North East is the least strong at £12,500.

In total, regional GDHI for the West Midlands region in 2008 was £72.2bn, an increase of £3.0bn on the revised figures for 2007.

The latest NUTS2 data for 2008 shows GDHI per head in Shropshire and Staffordshire grew 4.2 per cent to £13,800. In Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire it grew by 3.3 per cent to £15,300.

The West Midlands (metropolitan) produced growth of 3.9 per cent to £12,100 with an indexed GDHI per head of 81 (UK=100). It ranked 37th of the 37 NUTS2 areas in the UK, with no signs of progress in closing the gap with the next lowest area, Tees Valley & Durham (indexed GDHI per head of 83).

West Midlands (metropolitan) has seen a steady decline in indexed GDHI per head since the beginning of the data series in 1995, when it stood at 87, although in 2008 it was unchanged on the preceding year.

At the NUTS3 geographical level, Solihull was the strongest performer in 2008 with GDHI per head 9 per cent greater than the UK average. However, it has slipped to 14th place when ranked amongst the 133 NUTS3 areas in the UK (Solihull was ranked 11th in 2006).

Stoke-on-Trent had the lowest GDHI per head in the West Midlands, 22 per cent below the UK average. Nevertheless, Stoke-on-Trent recorded the highest annual growth in GDHI per head in the region, increasing 4.6 per cent on 2007.

Despite the latest year of GDHI data covering the first three quarters of the recent recession, in the West Midlands annual growth of total regional GDHI in 2008  (at 4.4 per cent) was higher than in 2007 (at 2.7 per cent).

The greater growth in 2008 can be partly attributed to shifts in the contributions of the individual components of GDHI to the total GDHI.

In particular, ‘social benefit’ paid to households—which includes child benefits, incapacity benefits and unemployment benefits—is estimated to have increased by 8.7 per cent in the West Midlands in 2008.

Conversely, the degree of growth in deductions from household income in the form of ‘total taxes’  was much lower than in preceding years, and is estimated to have increased by 2.2 per cent in 2008.

You can view interactive maps illustrating the sub-regional NUTS3 and regional NUTS1 data.

More information and data is contained in the West Midlands regional GDHI briefing (pdf, 113kb) produced by the ONS Regional Statisticians.

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