In 2021, Luxembourg and Ireland recorded the highest levels of GDP per capita expressed in purchasing power standards, while Croatia overtook Slovakia and ranked alongside Latvia, according to Eurostat's flash estimate.
Luxembourg’s GDP per capita was 177% above the EU average, while Ireland’s was 121% above.
The high GDP per capita in Luxembourg is partly due to the country’s large share of cross-border workers in total employment. While contributing to GDP, these workers are not taken into consideration as part of the resident population which is used to calculate GDP per capita, Eurostat said.
The high level of GDP per capita in Ireland can be partly explained by the presence of large multinational companies holding intellectual property. The associated contract manufacturing with these assets contributes to GDP, while a large part of the income earned from this production is returned to the companies’ ultimate owners abroad, Eurostat noted.
Luxembourg and Ireland were followed by Denmark (33% above), the Netherlands (32% above), Sweden (23% above) and Belgium (22% above). In contrast, Croatia (30% below the EU average), Slovakia (32% below), Greece (35% below) and Bulgaria (45% below) registered the lowest GDP per capita, Eurostat said.
Croatia had made an improvement since 2020, when its GDP per capita was 36% below the EU average, and caught up with Latvia, which was 29% below the EU average in 2021. France (4% above) and Malta (2% below) were closest to the EU average.
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