The UK Is The Poor Man of North West Europe

Poor man of North West Europe is £15,739 less wealthy per person.

Independence is the only way to unlock Scotland’s full economic potential – as new analysis reveals the UK has been the least wealthy country per person than all of our European neighbours for every year of the 21st century.

New analysis from the House of Commons Library shows the UK has had the lowest wealth per head of every country in north west Europe for every year of the 21st century.

It means the UK is behind all thirteen neighbouring countries, including Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Iceland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, France and Germany.

The analysis, using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), shows per person the UK is £5,062 less wealthy than the average of all countries in north west Europe, and £15,739 less wealthy than those independent countries with a population similar or smaller than Scotland.

The data also shows that the wealth gap between the UK and our European neighbours has grown worse over the past two decades.

The percentage deficit with the average of those countries has doubled from -7.6% in 2000 to -16.3% in 2021, and for those countries with a population similar or smaller than Scotland it has gone from -26.6% in 2000 to -50.7% in 2021.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Deputy Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said:

“It’s increasingly clear that independence is the only way to unlock Scotland’s full economic potential – so we can be as wealthy and successful as our European neighbours.

“The UK is the poor man of North West Europe – with the lowest wealth per head of any country for the whole of the 21st century, and a wealth gap with our European neighbours that has grown worse over the past two decades.

“The evidence shows that independent countries of Scotland’s size or smaller do better.

“The UK is now a whopping £15,739 per person less wealthy than those independent European countries similar in size or smaller than Scotland.

“Scotland is vulnerable under Westminster control.

“These figures cover Westminster governments of both colours and the long-term damage of Tory austerity cuts and a hard Brexit has already cost Scotland billions of pounds, and it will continue to harm our economy – leaving people poorer and worse off.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe is to become an independent country – with the full powers needed to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery and unleash Scotland’s economic potential.”