Higher economic growth in big cities

Higher economic growth in big cities

Economic growth in Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague has been higher than GDP for a number of years now. In Rotterdam economic is growth lagging behind the three other big cities.

Above average growth

In 2003 all four metropolitan regions showed economic growth rates higher than the growth rate for the gross domestic product (GDP). Economic growth in Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague was above average in the period 1995–2003.

Big cities account for 30 percent of GDP

The four metropolitan regions generate 30 percent of Dutch GDP, while only 23 percent of the Dutch population live in these areas. The share of GDP generated in the capital Amsterdam is just over 11 percent.

The shares of the respective cities shift very slowly. The total share of the Dutch big cities in the Dutch economy rose from 29.4 to 30.3 percent between1995 and 2003. The share of Rotterdam fell (slightly) in this period.

Services in Utrecht and Amsterdam

The differences in economic growth between the regions are largely determined by differences in the economic structures of the cities.

Financial and business services grew by more than average in the period 1995–2000. These activities are strongly represented in Utrecht and Amsterdam. The economic performance in the metropolitan region of Amsterdam was tempered from 2001 by low and even negative growth in trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport and storage. The capital Amsterdam (including Schiphol Airport) was affected by the consequences of the terrorist attacks in the United States and the SARS epidemicin Asia.

Government in The Hague, manufacturing in Rotterdam

Government accounts for more than a quarter of the economy in The Hague. The average growth rate in the period 1995–2003 for government was 1.6 percent. In addition to transport, Rotterdam has a relatively large share in manufacturing.The average annual growth in value added in manufacturing was no more than 1 percent (1995–2003).

Shifts in economic structure

Compared with 1995 the Netherlands had become e even more of aservices-based economy in 2003. The share of service activities, both commercial and non-commercial, rose to 84 percent in the four metropolitan regions, compared with 73 percent for the country as a whole. The highest share forservices was in Amsterdam: 88 percent.

Edgar Angus and Paul Mangoenkarso