The most competitive places in the country are located on the coast, especially Lisbon, Porto and Aveiro.
Lisbon Metropolitan Area is by far the most competitive sub-region in Portugal, according to data released this Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE) and covering the year 2018.
“The results for 2018 show that the sub-regions with a higher competitiveness index are concentrated on the coast of the continent,” writes the statistics office, noting that the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (113.50) stands out for having a significantly “higher” index than the other sub-regions with above-average values. This is the case of the Metropolitan Area of Porto (105.98) and Aveiro (105.03).
Contrary to what happened between 2015 and 2017, when it was above the national average, Alentejo Litoral fell in 2018 to 97.03 in the competitiveness index and no longer ranked fourth. This was occupied by the sub-region of Cávado whose competitiveness rose to 97.92. Still in the sub-regions with greater competitiveness are the Alto Minho, the Ave, the West, the Region of Leiria and the Algarve.
By contrast, “in general, the continental interior and the autonomous regions had a lower competitiveness index compared to the continental coast.” This is the case of the Azores, Alto Alentejo and Beira Baixa.
This competitiveness index takes into account several indicators, such as GDP per inhabitant, apparent labour productivity, the technological intensity of industry and services, R&D expenditure (research and development) as a percentage of GDP, among others.
It is in competitiveness that the areas of the country show a greater disparity compared to other dimensions of regional development, also estimated by INE as a cohesion index and the environmental quality index.
Uniting the three indices, which result in the synthetic regional development index, Lisbon remains at the top, followed by Porto and Cávado, Aveiro and Alto Minho. Alentejo Litoral is far from the top for having worse performances in environmental quality and cohesion.