City factsheet


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

Bristol map

This factsheet shows how Bristol compares to the five most similar European cities in size and industrial structure. These are: Rotterdam (Netherlands) Essen (Germany) Düsseldorf (Germany) Dortmund (Germany) Dresden (Germany).

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 Bristol to its European counterparts on variables such as skills, employment and productivity.

City group characteristics

This group of large cities has a relatively small manufacturing base but a large business services base. The public sector is also slightly smaller than seen in many UK cities.


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

Bristol is an average performer within its group. However in many cases it ranks within the top 100 of all the European cities studied. It has a particularly highly skilled population relative to its group, and performs well on jobs and GVA too.

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