In the depths of the crisis, one small area of the UK held out: Inner London was still the richest place in the EU.
Eurostat, the body that collates data about the European Union, has compiled stats on different economic measures to allow for a comparison of different regions.
The data showed some big disparities: there are 28 regions where the GDP per person (adjusted to iron out cost of living differences a measure called purchasing power parity (PPP) was at least twice the EU average. At the head was Inner London West, home to Chelsea and Kensington, with over six times the average.
Here is a map of Europe showing the richest regions. Note the geographical divide between the south east of the UK and other areas. Remember, what you can buy with your money is taken into account: this isn't a straight measure of wealth, although high incomes still matter.
To scroll past the map on mobile, swipe down on the right-hand side of the screen.
However Germany clearly led the way. From the report:
The 28 regions where GDP per inhabitant was at least double the EU‑28 average were principally located in Germany, 21 of the 28 regions.
Effects of the crisis keenly felt
To measure currencies on a common scale, Eurostat takes GDP per capita in native currency and adjusts it using PPP, creating an artificial currency called purchasing power standard (PPS). Between 2008 and 2011 GDP per capita fell from 25,000 PPS to 23,500 in 2009, before regaining the pre crisis peak in 2011 (25,100 PPS).
From the report:
The highest growth rates for GDP per inhabitant between 2008 and 2011, relative to the EU‑28 average, were recorded in the capital regions of Slovakia and Poland, as Bratislavský kraj and Mazowieckie posted increases of 18.9 and 17.3 percentage points.There were nine other regions where GDP per inhabitant grew by at least 10.0 percentage points more than the EU‑28 average: eight of these were located in Germany (the majority from the southern region of Bayern), while the remaining region was also from Poland, Dolnośląskie, which lies in the south-west of the country and has Wroclaw as its largest city.