Our prosperity basket of indicators considers the economic wealth of an area and its ability to provide jobs.
This basket includes GVA (gross value added) measures, average workplace earnings, employment in knowledge-driven sectors, the number of large and small businesses in an area, and foreign investment.
The prosperity map of Scotland shows two geographic hot-spots: one in the north around Aberdeenshire, including the city of Aberdeen; the other in a corridor in central Scotland, stretching west to east from Renfrewshire to Midlothian, including Glasgow, Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Edinburgh (see map 1). The three cities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are the three highest ranking places. Traditional economic centres like these dominate on this basket of measures, reflecting a wider pattern across the UK where cities and larger towns are the domain of prosperity.
Map 1 - How areas of Scotland perform against the Vibrant Economy Index prosperity indicators
The connectivity of strong performers in Scotland with other prosperous cities in England and indeed internationally plays an important role in supporting an economy that creates wealth and provides employment opportunities. Given that prosperity invariably extends across a wider city region or metropolitan sub-region, enhancing connectivity within Scotland will be an important factor in driving future economic growth.
At the other end of the scale, the least prosperous areas are the more rural and peripheral areas in both the Highlands and Islands and the border areas in the south.
These findings underline the importance of strong, sustainable and productive economic growth in driving prosperity and highlight the need for enhancing connectivity between places within Scotland. However, the challenge of vibrancy is that focusing purely on prosperity and economic growth is not enough. Creating truly vibrant economies requires consideration of other factors too.