LONDON—Greece and Ireland were the European Union's big losers in terms of income generated in 2010, although the U.K. was also surprisingly badly hit in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Relative to the European Union average, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland all saw significant increases in gross domestic product per person, which over the long term should closely correspond to average incomes.
But according to figures released Tuesday by the EU's official statistics agency Eurostat, the big winner was Luxembourg. At the end of 2010, its GDP per capita was 283% of the EU average, up from 268% at the end of 2009.
Ireland had been Luxembourg's closest challenger in 2009, placing a distant second with a GDP per capita of 131% of the EU average. In 2010, it slipped to 125%, and is likely to fall further this year.
Like Ireland, Greece is in the throes of a fiscal crisis and an austerity program and real wages have fallen sharply. Its per capita income fell to 89% of the EU average at the end of 2010, from 95% at the end of 2009.
Based on first preliminary estimates for 20101, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards2 (PPS) varied from 43% to 283% of the EU27 average across the Member States.
In Spain, Italy and Cyprus, GDP per capita was around the EU27 average, while in France it was around 5% above the average. Germany, Belgium, Finland and the United Kingdom were between 10% and 20% above the average, while Denmark, Ireland, Austria and Sweden were all around 25% above the average. The Netherlands was about one third above the average, while the highest level of GDP per capita in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg3.
Greece, Slovenia, Malta, Portugal and the Czech Republic were between 10% and 20% lower than the EU27 average, while Slovakia was around 25% below. Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia were between 35% and 50% lower, while Romania and Bulgaria were around 55% below the EU27 average.
These figures for GDP per capita, expressed in PPS, are published by Eurostat, the statistical Office of the European Union. They cover the 27 EU Member States, three EFTA countries, four candidate countries and three Western Balkan countries.