When analysing overall sustainable growth across Yorkshire and the Humber, the largest proportion of local authority areas (nine out of 21) ranks on or around the national average.
The strongest performer in the region is Harrogate, which ranks in the top 20% nationally. A further four places – York, Leeds, Sheffield and Richmondshire – rank in the top 40% nationally. Six areas rank in the bottom 20% nationally.
Our Sustainable growth index seeks to define and measure the components that create successful places. The measures included extend beyond the traditional economic measures of success to include components related to: prosperity; dynamism and opportunity; inclusion and equality; health, wellbeing and happiness; resilience and sustainability; and community, trust and belonging.
The basket of prosperity indicators assess if the economy is producing wealth and creating jobs. Against this basket, regional growth is driven by the cities, with Leeds ranking in the top 20% nationally, and Sheffield, Bradford, Hull and Wakefield all ranking in the top 40% nationally.
When it comes to dynamism and opportunity, which measures if there are the entrepreneurialism and skill sets to drive future growth, York performs more strongly, ranking first in the region and in the top 20% nationally. Sheffield, Leeds and Harrogate also perform in the top 20% on this basket of measures. Ten areas rank in the bottom 40% on this basket, and four of these are in the bottom 20% nationally.
In terms of the more socially-orientated baskets, performance on inclusion and equality is relatively weak, with 13 of the 21 areas ranking in the bottom 40% nationally. Of these, eight are in the bottom 20%. Harrogate is the only area to rank in the top 20% on this basket.
Performance is stronger in relation to health, wellbeing and happiness. Richmondshire, Harrogate, Hambleton and Craven all rank in the top 20% nationally, and a further two areas rank in the top 40%. However, 10 areas rank in the bottom 40%, five of which are in the bottom 20%.
Performance on resilience and sustainability is evenly spread across the region. Leeds has the highest score overall, ranking in the top 20 nationally (at 11), followed by Bradford, East Riding of Yorkshire, Sheffield and York, which are all in the top 20% nationally. At the other end of the spectrum, six areas rank in the bottom 20%. In between there are five areas that rank in the top 40% and four areas that rank around the national average.
On community, trust and belonging – with indicators including voter turnout, crime, loneliness and community and cultural assets – performance is more polarised. Only two areas rank on or around the national average. Nine areas rank above this and below that all 10 rank in the bottom 20%. Two places – Richmondshire and Craven – rank in the top 20%
Rising in the ranks
Yorkshire and the Humber stands out as having a number of areas that have seen a significant increase in relative performance over time. Most notable is Sheffield, which has moved up more places in the index than any other area nationally, climbing 124 places between 2013 and 2018 This means its performance has shifted from the bottom 40% nationally to top 40%. Craven and Richmondshire also saw marked improvements in their rankings, moving up 65 places and 61 places respectively.
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