Poorer regions struggling to catch up, says OECD

According to the latest OECD report published today and titled OECD Regional Outlook 2014, poorer regions are struggling to catch up in advanced economies.

Half of the 34 OECD countries have seen the income gap between their best-off and worst-off regions widen since the 2008 crisis. In 10 OECD countries, over 40% of the national rise in unemployment since the crisis was concentrated in one region.

“The regional convergence engine has stalled since the crisis. National standards of well-being are not felt equally by people living in different regions,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Smarter public investment, especially in cities, and reforms of outdated local government structures would help to address this.”

A second report, How’s Life in Your Region, reveals big differences in overall well-being among 362 regions within OECD countries by examining areas ranging from air quality and life expectancy to per-capita income, employment and Internet access.