Prosperity grows much faster in cities than in rural areas live

with videoEconomic inequality between regions is rising. Prosperity is growing rapidly, especially in a number of major cities, while the landscape is lagging behind.

The further out to the edge of the country, the lower the prosperity. This emerges from a study by Rabobank on regional economic development. The country has been divided into forty regions for this purpose. “What you see is that the so-called A2 axis, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven, is doing well,” says Otto Raspe, one of the authors of the report. »The growth is above average. The Wageningen region with Food Valley and Zwolle and Apeldoorn is also doing better than average. “

Inequality between the good and less performing regions is increasing. “The strong regions are getting an increasing share of the economic cake,” Raspe says. However, this does not mean that the regions that are lagging behind will become poorer. The pie is also growing so the regions are getting richer, but most of the wealth gain goes to the rich regions.


High-tech manufacturing industry

The fast-growing regions are benefiting from a few developments. “Knowledge, creativity and innovation are important for growth. And many of these innovative companies, such as fintech companies, are choosing Amsterdam and the Utrecht region. Eindhoven has again clearly chosen the high-tech manufacturing industry, “says Raspe.

It is no coincidence that companies establish themselves there. There are knowledge institutions like universities, many similar companies and a well-educated workforce. And the more companies that establish themselves, the more likely it is that similar companies will establish themselves there. “It’s the snowball effect.”


With its agricultural university, Wageningen proves that the attractiveness of a university can be significant. An entire cluster of food companies has now settled in Food Valley, one of the world’s leading research and development centers in the field of food.

No guarantee of growth

But the presence of a university is no guarantee of growth, warns Raspe. “The Arnhem-Nijmegen region, for example, is not doing very well in terms of growth. To become attractive, there must be good cooperation between the state, the university and the business community. They did very well in Eindhoven. But in Nijmegen and Groningen, for example, you see so much less. ”

The Twente region also benefited too little from the university present. “But they were also unlucky that many start-ups quickly moved to Amsterdam.” In Twente, they have now handled things better, “says Raspe. “It shows that the university is now becoming the focal point of regional development.”

In addition to the A2 axis, the rapid growth in the Apeldoorn and Zwolle regions is particularly striking. “These areas are a bit of an overflow area for Randstaden,” says Raspe. Incidentally, not all of Randstad performs above average. Rotterdam is growing along with the national average, while the Hague region is lagging behind. This is because the fast-growing activity is less there. Rotterdam, for example, is still heavily dependent on chemicals and logistics, two industries with relatively low growth.

Enough houses

The farther a region is away from the successful regions, the slower the growth. That in itself is not news. Twenty years ago, Limburg, for example, limped. also after Randstad. But that backlog is not a law. There are certainly opportunities for regions that are lagging behind. “It simply came to our notice then. Choose a clear niche. Limburg has a lot of chemistry. Focus on green chemistry or the materials industry. In Groningen, energy conversion provides opportunities, hydrogen for example ”, Raspe gives as examples.

To seize the opportunities, there must be good cooperation between governments, business and knowledge institutions. It must be made attractive for companies to establish themselves in the periphery. This also requires a good living and working climate. So enough houses, recreational opportunities and good cultural facilities for example, but also good accessibility and investment in training people.

Watch our news videos in the playlist below:

Leave a Comment