Gross Value Added (GVA) represents the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy. ONS GVA is one of the most important indicators of regional economic performance and it is regularly used to demonstrate the economic activity of commercial and non-commercial organisations.

GVA is a measure of how much a sub-national or local economy produces over a given time period.

Key Messages:

  • County Durham has historically suffered from a lower wage economy compared to national averages,
  • Productivity in the county continues to rise at a similar rate to regional and national productivity growth, while still being constrained by the relatively large number of persons of working age in the county on state benefits and low earnings (compared nationally),
  • The total value of the North East economy (2019) was £55.3bn and County Durham contributed 16.2% of this total (£9bn),
  • The total value of the County Durham economy grew by 3.2% (from £8.7bn to £9bn) between 2018 and 2019,
  • GVA per Head of Population in County Durham increased by 6.6% between 2018/19 rising to £16,925, the second lowest in the region and represented 81.7% of the regional average,
  • GVA per Hour Worked in the county was £28.96 in 2019 and was 4.3% lower than the regional average of £30.26,
  • GVA per Filled Job in the county was £45,602, an increase of 0.8% from 2018 and was 4% lower than the regional average of £47,504.

Note: Post Brexit the UK adopted new area definitions for sub-national areas.  These new areas, called UK International Territorial Levels (ITLs) have replaced the former Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) definitions.  However in the North East the boundaries have remained the same.

Overall GVA

Total GVA in County Durham in 2019 was £9 million, representing 16.2% of the total North East GVA and the second highest proportion out of the seven North East ITL3 areas (Tyneside was higher at £20,194 million).  However, this is an increase from 2018 of 3.2%.  The Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees ITL3 area had the highest increase in GVA of 4.4% with Sunderland experiencing the smallest increase of 0.6% from 2018.

GVA per Head of Population

GVA per head of population is a useful way of comparing areas of different size and is an important indicator for both domestic and European policy purposes. Total GVA estimates in millions of pounds (£m) are divided by the total resident population of an area (including the economically inactive) to give GVA per head in pounds (£).

In 2019, County Durham had a GVA of £16,925 per head, the second lowest in the region and an increase of 6.6% from 2018.  Regionally, Sunderland has the highest GVA per Head at £25,431, with Northumberland having the lowest at £16,005 per head.  County Durham GVA per Head has increased by 34.5% since 2004.

GVA per Head in County Durham is currently 56% of the England value and 81.7% of the North East Value.

GVA per Worked Hour

In 2019, GVA per Hour Worked in County Durham was £28.96, the third lowest in the regional ITL3 areas and this is an increase of 0.6% from 2018.  Regionally, Sunderland had the highest GVA per Hour Worked at £36.33, with Northumberland having the lowest at £27.06.  County Durham GVA per Hour Worked has increased by 28.1% since 2004.

GVA per Worked Hour in County Durham is currently 81.1% of the England value and 95.7% of the North East value.

GVA per Filled Job

In 2019, GVA per Filled Job in County Durham was £45,602, the thrid lowest in the region and this is an increase of 0.8% from 2018.  Regionally, Sunderland has the highest GVA per Filled Job at £56,843, with Northumberland having the lowest at £41,757.  County Durham GVA per Filled Job has increased by 31.1% since 2004.

GVA per Filled Job in County Durham is currently 79.2% of the England value and 96% of the North East Value.

GVA by Industry

In 2019 the Production sector contributed 28.9%, (£2,591m), of the county’s GVA and was the highest proportion out of all sectors; this was an increase of 12.6% since 2009.  The second highest contributor was the Real Estate sector which provided 13.1% of GVA, (£1,179m); this was an increase of 15.2% since 2009, with Public Administration and Defence providing 9.1% of the county’s GVA, (£818m); this was an increase of 26.6% since 2009.

Sectors categorised as service industries contributed nearly two thirds of the county’s GVA in 2019 (64.1%)

Three sectors did show a fall in their proportion of total GVA between 2009 and 2019 as shown in the table below.  However, the Financial and Insurance sector’s proportion fell by nearly a third during this period falling from £242m to £173m, a fall of 28.5%.

Links to Data