OECD Regions at a Glance: measures of national and regional competitiveness


24/03/2009 - There is wide economic disparity between regions within OECD countries, with some leading national economies and others falling behind. As governments work to grow their economies, they should examine the role that boosting all regions can play in this effort.


Regions at a Glance provides comparable data and trends across regions in OECD countries on a wide range of social and economic topics ranging from GDP to education levels and from patent applications to ageing populations, illustrated with graphs and maps.


Policy makers can find at-a-glance data to see how their countries and regions stack up, and identify ways to improve them.  This third edition of OECD Regions at a Glance will inform ministers meeting on “Investing for Growth: Building Innovative Regions” on 31 March at the OECD in Paris. 

The 2009 Regions at a Glance focuses on regional innovation – critical for improving the economic competitiveness of individual regions and long-term national growth. For example, Sweden and Finland spent more on research and development than other OECD countries in 2005, with most of the resources concentrated in a small number of regions. Equally, 45% of all patent applications across OECD countries were made in only 10% of regions.


Regions which are lagging behind could increase their capacity for innovation by investing more in human capital, including more job skills training and increasing  university enrollment.  This applies particularly to countries with wide  interregional gaps in higher education rates such as the Czech Republic, the U.S. and Portugal.


Urban regions tend to have higher income levels than rural areas, but not necessarily higher growth rates. As young people are attracted to the education and job opportunities of the city, the ratio between elderly people and those of working age is higher in rural areas than in urban ones, raising concerns about the financial self-sufficiency of rural regions.


For the first time, all the statistics contained in Regions a Glance 2009 can be displayed and analyzed through interactive maps provided by the web-tool OECD eXplorer.


How to Obtain this Publication


Readers can access the full version of OECD Regions at a Glance - 2009 Edition choosing from the following options:

• Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online edition via SourceOECD, our online library.
• Non-subscribers can purchase the PDF e-book, WEB e-book and/or paper copy via our Online Bookshop.
• Government officials can go to OLISnet's Publication Locator.
• Access by password for accredited journalists.

For further information, please contact Monica Brezzi by phone at + 33 1 45 24 91 58 or e-mail





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