City factsheet


How is the Birmingham economy performing, and what are the key policy issues facing the city?

Birmingham map

This factsheet shows how Birmingham compares to the five most similar European cities in size and industrial structure. These are: Lyon (France), Lille (France), Budapest (Hungary), Athens (Greece)
and Marseille (France).

Comparing cities in this way helps us to understand more about how well UK cities are competing on an international scale because it groups cities with similar industrial structures, rather than on their resulting economic performance. The factsheet also compares the relative strengths and weaknesses of Birmingham to its European counterparts on variables such as skills, employment and productivity.

City group characteristics

Birmingham is part of a group of large cities with a fairly even spread of industrial sectors.


Industrial structure


  • Manufacturing, mining and utilities 2011
  • Business services 2011
  • Public services 2011
  • Other private services 2011
  • Other sectors 2011

Industrial Structure chart

Overall economic performance

In its group, Birmingham has a comparable GVA to its size, but its GVA per worker (a measure of productivity) is relatively low, and is ranked 263 out of the full 330 cities. It also has a relatively low-skilled population.

Note: For more about this data please see the indicator index.

Explore the full dataset

This option will take you to the main data tool and allows you to create bar charts, scatter plots and tables for the full dataset of 330 European cities, or any selection of cities you choose.

Go to the European Cities Data Tool