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Regional Profile of East of England - Economy, June 2013

Released: 19 June 2013 Download PDF

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Business expenditure on R & D as a % of GVA, 2011


Business expenditure on R & D as a % of GVA is highest in East of England
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. Expenditure on Research and Development by businesses, expressed as a percentage of gross value added (GVA)

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The East of England had the highest rate of business research and development expenditure of any English region or country of the UK.

In 2011, businesses in the region spent £3.6 billion on research and development, a 20% share of the total UK amount. The regional spend was equivalent to 3.2% of its gross value added (GVA).

In the East of England the employment rate was 74.8% in Q4 2012. It still had not recovered from the decline in employment rates that mostly took place in 2008 and 2009. The latest subregional data (January 2012 to December 2012) show that South Norfolk had the highest employment rate at 86.4% and Fenland in Cambridgeshire had the lowest at 61.0%.

The unemployment rate increased between Q4 2007 and Q4 2012 from 4.4% to 6.8%. Within the region, the rate ranged from 3.8% in Uttlesford in Essex to 10.4% in Fenland in Cambridgeshire for the year ending December 2012.

Productivity, as measured by GVA per hour worked, was 2.6% below the UK rate in 2011 and was the third highest of the English regions. The relative productivity level had declined since 2001 when it was 1.4% below the UK rate.

In 2011, the East of England was responsible for 8.7% of the UK’s GVA. The region’s total GVA was £113.7 billion. Between 2006 and 2011 the region had a lower increase in GVA than the London and South East regions (8.6% compared with 20.3% and 14.2% respectively).

In 9 of the 10 years between 2000 and 2010, the construction industry made a larger contribution to the region’s GVA than in any other region. In 2010 the industry sector generated 8.3% of the region’s GVA, compared with 6.4% on average for the UK.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

    The data section of this release (939 Kb Excel sheet)  provides more Economy data. All data are published by ONS.

    Gross value added (GVA) is a key measure of economic performance. The data used here are consistent with the workplace based series, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work, but are unsmoothed data for individual years.
    GVA interactive charts and maps allow users to select different regions and industries and see their relative significance over the period from 1997 to the latest available year.

    Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC2007) defines the industries.

    Labour Market
    Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity rates are seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) headline indicators.
    Regional employment and economic inactivity rates are data for all people aged 16 to 64.
    Regional unemployment rates are data for all people aged 16 and over.
    Subregional employment data are from the Annual Population Survey (APS).
    Subregional unemployment data are from the Model-Based Estimates of ILO Unemployment for LAD/UAs, which uses APS and other data sources to calculate annual data every quarter.
    Regional labour market statistics provides access to the latest key labour market figures.
    Nomis provides access to the most detailed and up-to-date UK labour market statistics from official sources.
    Labour market indicators are defined in the Glossary.
    Interpreting labour market statistics.
    Investigate how unemployment rates have changed over time at regional level.

    The Productivity handbook looks at measuring productivity at a regional level.
    Labour productivity provides access to the latest regional data.
    The Subregional productivity April 2013 article provides data at a subregional level.

    Research and Development
    The Expenditure on research and development 2011 statistical bulletin includes definitions of research and development.

  2. Further analysis:

    170 Years of Industrial change across England and Wales - 2011 Census statistics provide a rich source of information about the number, distribution and characteristics of the population in England and Wales. 2011 Census Analysis products present specific analyses on a variety of topics, including ethnicity, families, health, labour market, language, migration, and national identity, and religion. In particular, many of the analyses focus on geographical variations, changes over time, and how the census differs to other data sources.

    Regional Economic Indicators, March 2013 article discusses a selection of economic indicators in order to gain an overview of the economic performance of UK regions and countries. In this release a particular focus has been applied to how the regions/countries have fared through the economic downturn that began in 2008.

    The Spatial Distribution of Industries article investigates the patterns of spatial concentration of industries across Great Britain. Data tools and maps are provided for users to explore the data.

    Characteristics of Individual Insolvencies including Bankruptcies, England and Wales, 2011 article explores individual insolvency by region, local authority, age, gender and insolvency type. It is designed to highlight the type of analysis that can be carried out using individual insolvency data and how to use the individual insolvency data visualisation tool. Data on individual insolvency is published by the Insolvency Service.

    The Supply Side of Tourism - The Geography of Tourism Employment report details various aspects of the supply side of tourism. It includes a national level analysis of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment in the defined set of tourism industries. It also includes an estimate of employment in tourism industries for the regions and nations of the UK. The set of tourism industries used is based on international recommendations.

  3. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:
  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Trends, No. 41, 2009 Edition - Portrait of the East of England (Pdf 1348Kb) - The Portrait of the East of England presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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