Per capita GDP by county increasingly evening out

GDP per capita in 2014 (green) and 2017 (blue).
GDP per capita in 2014 (green) and 2017 (blue). Source: Statistics Estonia

According to information released by Statistics Estonia, 64% of the gross value added of the Estonian GDP in 2017 was generated in Harju County. Differences between counties in terms of GDP per capita, meanwhile, are shrinking.

In 2017, Estonia's GDP reached €24 billion at current prices. Harju County's contribution amounted to €15 billion, €13 billion of which came from Tallinn. Harju County was followed by Tartu County and Ida-Viru County, the shares of which in Estonia's GDP stood at 11% and 6%, respectively. Hiiu and Põlva Counties, meanwhile, had the smallest shares in 2017 — both contributed less than 1% to the Estonian GDP.

Over 70% of Estonia's gross value added was generated in the service sector in 2017. The influence of the cities of Tallinn and Tartu in particular resulted in Harju and Tartu County having the largest share of services — at 76% and 70%, respectively. Contrary to the previous trend, the share of the service sector in value added declined slightly in all counties except Lääne County. Th most significant drops in the sector's share took place in Põlva, Järva and Jõgeva Counties.

Industry and construction, meanwhile, accounted for 28% of Estonia's gross value added in 2017. As the share of the service sector has declined, the share of industry and construction in the value added of multiple counties has increased slightly over the past year. The sector accounts for the largest share in value added in Ida-Viru County (51%), and for the smallest share in Harju (23%), Põlva (26%) and Tartu (27%) Counties. While the reason for the small share in Harju and Tartu Counties is a large service sector, Põlva County has a large agricultural sector.

Last year, the agricultural sector accounted for 3% of Estonia's gross value added. This sector had the largest share in Jõgeva County (18%), followed by Viljandi (16%) and Põlva (13%) Counties. While the share of the sector in counties' value added has generally demonstrated a downward trend, it saw some increase in 2017 following a weak 2016. This was most notable in counties where the sector has a larger share in value added.

In 2017, GDP per capita totalled €17,943, up €1,464 on year. GDP per capita was highest in Harju County — 144% of the Estonian average. Harju County was followed by Tartu and Pärnu Counties, where GDP per capita amounted to 92% and 69% of the Estonian average, respectively. The lowest GDP per capita was recorded in Põlva County — 42% of the Estonian average.

In recent years, however, the GDP per capita of many counties has been approaching the Estonian average. This is most notable in Lääne, Saare and Valga Counties. The gap between Harju County and the Estonian average has also narrowed meanwhile, indicating that the per capita GDP of the rest of Estonia is catching up to that of Harju County.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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