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.

Factsheet: Gross Value Added Balanced Approach Factsheet (PDF; 347Kb)

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 (2018) is £54.6bn and County Durham contributes 16.2% of this total (£8.83bn),
  • The total value of the County Durham economy grew by 2.9% (from £8.58bn to £8.83bn) between 2017 and 2018,
  • GVA per Head of Population in County Durham increased by 2.3% between 2017/18 rising to £16,763, the second lowest in the region and now represents 81.6% of the regional average,
  • GVA per Hour Worked in the county is £29.67 and is 2% lower than the regional average of £30.29,
  • GVA per Filled Job in the county is £45,874, an increase of 0.4% from 2017 and is 3.3% lower than the regional average of £47,458.

Overall GVA

Total GVA in County Durham in 2018 was £8,834 million, representing 16.2% of the total North East GVA and the second highest proportion out of the seven North East NUTS3 areas (Tyneside was higher at £19,014 million).  However, this is an increase from 2017 of 2.9%.  The Sunderland NUTS3 area had the highest increase in GVA of 7.5% with Northumberland experiencing a decrease of 1.3% from 2017.

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 2018, County Durham had a GVA of £16,763 per head, the second lowest in the region and an increase of 2.3% from 2017.  Regionally, Sunderland has the highest GVA per Head at £26,978, with Northumberland having the lowest at £15,564 per head.  County Durham GVA per Head has increased by 34% since 2004.

GVA per Head in County Durham is currently 57.1% of the England value and 81.6% of the North East Value.

GVA per Worked Hour

In 2018, GVA per Hour Worked in County Durham was £29.67, the fourth highest in the regional NUTS3 areas and this is an increase of 2.2% from 2017.  Regionally, Sunderland had the highest GVA per Hour Worked at £38.11, with Northumberland having the lowest at £26.83.  County Durham GVA per Hour Worked has increased by 40% since 2004.

GVA per Worked Hour in County Durham is currently 83.4% of the England value and 98% of the North East value.

GVA per Filled Job

In 2018, GVA per Filled Job in County Durham was £45,874, the fourth lowest in the region and this is an increase of 0.4% from 2017.  Regionally, Sunderland has the highest GVA per Filled Job at £60,088, with Northumberland having the lowest at £40,939.  County Durham GVA per Filled Job has increased by 30.8% since 2004.

GVA per Filled Job in County Durham is currently 80.1% of the England value and 96.7% of the North East Value.

GVA by Industry

In 2018 the Production sector contributed 31.1%, (£2,743m), of the county’s GVA and was the highest proportion out of all sectors; this was an increase of 20.6% since 2009.  The second highest contributor was the Real Estate sector which provided 13.7% of GVA, (£1,210m); this was an increase of 19.9% since 2009, with Public Administration and Defense providing 9.4% of the county’s GVA, (£834m); this was an increase of 24.3% since 2009.

Sectors categorised as service industries contributed nearly two thirds of the county’s GVA in 2018 (62.7%)

Four sectors did show a fall in their proportion of total GVA between 2009 and 2018 as shown in the table below.  However, the Financial and Insurance sector’s proportion more than halved during this period falling from £253m to £111m, a fall of 56.1%.

Links to Data