August 7, 2020

Madrid, one of the European capitals that contributes least to the national economy


European capitals have experienced rapid growth in recent years, both in their economic activity and in their reception of population, which makes them one of the most dynamic agents at Community level. But some more than others. A study conducted by the prestigious Economic Research Institute (IW) of Cologne, in Germany, puts Madrid at the bottom of the European ranking, just ahead of Lisbon, Rome and Athens.

Capitals are increasingly important for the economy of the member states of the European Union. Not only are they attracting more and more inhabitants, but they have also become centers of economic dynamism. But when comparing the development of European capitals between 2011 and 2016, in terms of population and economic growth, it is appreciated that Madrid is being left out, along with other Mediterranean capitals, of this enhancing effect. During this period, for example, the population increased more intensely in the Swedish capital, Stockholm (8.6%), Vienna (8.1%) and London (7.8%). Berlin is, with a population increase of 7.4%, on par with Rome and in fourth place. Lisbon, with -0.4%, and Athens, with -5.3% even lost inhabitants. Madrid won only 0.47%, so it barely registered an increase.

Those cities where more inhabitants arrive are also those that attend to a revitalization of their economies and become pillars of the national GDP data, as would be the case of London, whose economic production grew between 2011 and 2016 by 35.4%, while the national average was 26.3%. They are followed by Berlin (20.1%), Copenhagen (19.9%) and Stockholm (18.8%). To the tail they return to be Lisbon (0.7%), Rome (- 0.9%) and Athens (-17.3%), very close to which it returns to place Madrid with 6.35%.

IW researcher Matthias Diermeier directly relates the influx of new population with the economic dynamism of the capitals and points out that "we see it in the strong economic growth in Berlin, which has to be put into perspective with the fact that Berlin has also experienced a influx higher than average. The economic development per capita is still lower than the average compared to the rest of Germany. " That is why the IW has added to the study the observation of what it has called "capital effect", which describes the loss of per capita economic production that a country would suffer without its capital. As a result, the gross domestic product per capita in Bulgaria, excluding Sofia, would decrease by 26%. It is the most marked case. In Greece, the effect is 19.8%, which gives an idea of ​​the importance of the capital despite the negative growth data. In France we would be talking about 15.1% and in the Czech Republic 14.7%. If the Spanish economy had to do without the Madrid economy it would not be a pleasant blow, but the GDP would lose only 5.91%, which speaks of a limited effect compared to the rest, a situation very similar to that of Amsterdam and Vienna.

Some data that they differ from those that the Community of Madrid gives off. According to President Ángel Garrido, CAM is the main attraction of Spain for foreign investors. Until last September Madrid captured 29,830 million euros, 85% of what foreigners invested in Spain.

The most striking cases, however, are those of Rome and Berlin, where the country would gain in productivity if their capitals were erased from the economic map, with a discharge of 1.51% and 0.16% respectively.


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