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Overview of vibrancy across Yorkshire and the Humber

When analysing overall vibrancy across Yorkshire and the Humber (See map 1), the largest proportion of local authority areas (9 out of 21) ranks on or around the national average.

The strongest performer in the region is York, which ranks in the top 20% nationally. A further four places – Harrogate, Leeds, Craven and Richmondshire – rank in the top 40% nationally. Six areas rank in the bottom 20% nationally. 

The Vibrant Economy Index assesses and ranks an area’s vibrancy by using six baskets of indicators, with each basket corresponding to one of the six components of sustainable and inclusive growth.

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 Bradford, Sheffield, 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. Nine areas rank in the bottom 40% on this basket, but only two of these are in the bottom 20% nationally.

Social insights

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%. Hambleton is the only area to rank in the top 20% on this basket.

Performance is stronger in relation to health, wellbeing and happiness. Richmondshire, Craven, Harrogate and Hambleton all rank in the top 20% nationally, and a further four areas rank in the top 40%. However, 11 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. East Riding of Yorkshire has the highest score overall, ranking in the top 20 nationally (at 16), followed by Leeds, Bradford and York, which are all in the top 20% nationally. At the other end of the spectrum, five areas rank in the bottom 20%. In between there are five areas that rank in the top 40% and five 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 10 below. Three places – Richmondshire, Kirklees and Craven – rank in the top 20%, while seven rank in the bottom 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 95 places between 2013 and 2017. This means its performance has shifted from the bottom 40% nationally to around the national average. Craven and Richmondshire also saw marked improvements in their rankings, moving up 65 places and 61 places respectively.

Also notable in the region is York, an area that scores consistently across the different baskets, making it one of the most consistent performers across the baskets of indicators nationally.

Find out more about how we built the Vibrant Economy Index

Thought leadership
Vibrant Economy Index: A new way to measure success Find out more about advancing the vibrant economy debate
Interactive map Vibrant Economy Index Discover how your area performs with our interactive map

Contact us

To find out more, or to discuss the Vibrant Economy Index report in more detail, please contact Rob Turner or Paul Dossett.