Fife’s economic inequality: Above average for productivity, below average for income

Fifers may not have the highest levels of income, but they are among the most productive, new research has revealed.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 4:12 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 4:12 pm

The Kingdom is 0.6% above average for productivity in the UK, and well ahead of many other regions.

But, when it comes to income, we are 11.2% below the UK average.

The findings were published by the Office for National Statistics as it explored economic inequality across the UK.

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Fife is below average for income, but above average for productivity

Its figures relate to 2018, and show that the areas where people have the highest income are not always those that contribute the most to the economy.

The regional difference takes in the north-south divide, and also underlines the impact the commuter market has on the data, with people earning higher ages working in a city but living in an area where income is lower.

The average household income for Fife and Clackmannanshire in 2018 was £18,751 - this includes wages and income from property and financial assets but does not include living costs such as rent or mortgages.

That figure was well below Aberdeen and Perth where households had an average of over £21,000, and the Scottish Borders on £20,243.

Edinburgh gave the highest return at £23,374.

But Fife’s average household income was better than a number of regions, including East Ayrshire (£17,316), Dumfries and Galloway (£18,482), and Angus and Dundee City on £18,103.

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The data also studied productivity - and Fife stood out.

Its productivity was measured at £35.2.

To put that into context, Edinburgh came in at £43.9, Perth and Stirling at £37.8, and Aberdeen at £37.6.

At the other end of the scale, Glasgow was down at £29.8.

The ONS said: “Looking at the relationship between productivity and income in different parts of the UK can tell us about the economic characteristics of that region.

Some parts of the country may have higher levels of non-wage incomes that can lead to higher household incomes relative to productivity in those regions.

“We would generally expect household incomes to be higher where productivity is higher. However, it is possible for the two to diverge, such as in the case of the commuter effect.”

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