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Prosperity on the Rise in Wales as Unemployment Falls


Wales has maintained its prosperity index ranking this year, staying in tenth place nationally, according the third edition of the annual UK Prosperity Map from Barclays Wealth & Investments. This is in spite of overall prosperity declining year-on-year, from 0.23 to 0.20.

Against a backdrop of fluctuating economic conditions and Brexit negotiations, the 2017 UK Prosperity Map shows that, while most areas of the country are more prosperous overall than last year, in many cases cities are outpacing their wider region.


The UK Prosperity Map uses factors including numbers of millionaires, average earnings, business growth rates, house prices, and GDP per capita to generate a unique ‘Prosperity Index Score’ for each UK region and city.

Growth in GDP and drop in unemployment supports prosperity across the region

Wales has seen one of the highest increases in GDP per capita in the UK, up 2.8% from last year to £18,002. In addition, the region had the most positive change in unemployment in the UK, which was down 1.4% year-on-year, bringing total unemployment in Wales down to 4.6%. Wales now ranks fifth in the UK for wealth, with an average household wealth of £214,200.

House prices remaining steady

House prices were up 4% since last year, keeping Wales at seventh-highest in the UK for property value. The average house price is £145,086, just above the North West at £144,695 and below the East Midlands, which has an average property value of £170,509.

Boost to millionaire numbers

Wales gained 1,000 new millionaires year-on-year, up to 12,500 – an 8.7% increase. This represents a 2.0% share of millionaires in the UK, the same as Northern Ireland and just above the North East’s 1.9% share. The region with the highest share of millionaires is London, at 26.4%, while the East Midlands had the largest change in number of millionaires with an 11.1% increase.

Eileen Cronin, Regional Director, Wales, Barclays Wealth & Investments, said:

“Prosperity in Wales is remaining broadly steady despite the economic fluctuations of the last twelve months. Seeing such a steep increase in GDP per capita is a good sign for future growth.

“With unemployment decreasing and household expenditure slightly up from last year, there are other positive signs. The newly agreed Cardiff & Swansea City deals, electrification of the railway line to Cardiff and removal of bridge tolls in 2018 should  mean further accessibility to the region – and bring growth.”