City factsheet


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

Reading map

This factsheet compares Reading to the five most similar European cities in size and industrial structure. These are: Antwerp (Belgium), Malmö (Sweden), Geneva (Switzerland), Aix-en-Provence (France), Basel (Switzerland)

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

City group characteristics

Reading is a medium sized city characterised by a large business services sector, small manufacturing sector, and comparatively small public services sector.


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

Reading performs well in its group and across the European cities analysed. It is the top performer in its group for proportion of high skilled people and employment. While it is in the lower half of the group for GVA per worker, it actually is at number 42 of 330.

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