Six new metro mayors’ economies worth just 57% of London’s

Relative economic outputs (coloured circles) and populations (black circles) of six metro mayor city regions, as well as Greater London

Today, people in six metropolitan areas with a total population of 9.53m are voting for  new metro mayors, more than Greater London’s 8.67m. But despite the elections covering many of provincial England’s biggest and richest cities, their combined economies generate just 57% of London’s.

Data from the Office for National Statistics on the six combined authority areas shows that in 2015 the six generated 12.9% of the UK’s gross value added (GVA) economic output, compared with 22.7% produced by Greater London. Greater Manchester, with a slightly bigger economy than the West Midlands despite a slightly smaller population, is the largest – with an economy smaller than one-sixth of London’s.

The map shows the economic output of each city region in colour, with its proportion of the UK’s population as a black circle. (It’s the area of each circle that indicates figures, not its radius.) So if the two circles for a city region are the same size, the area’s economy per person is equivalent to the national average, which is roughly the case with the West of England (aka Greater Bristol or, for older readers, Avon minus North Somerset) and Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

If the coloured circle is smaller, the area punches below the national average economically, true of all the other combined authority areas. And then there’s Greater London, producing nearly 23% of GVA with 13% of the population. London is greater than the rest by a long chalk.

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