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Coastal regions and the ‘blue economy’ in the EU

Sep 11, 2015 | News

(11 September 2015) – Eurostat presents recent data on both the geographical and sectoral aspects of the maritime economy of the European Union.

The maritime economy is now often referred to as the ‘blue economy’. It covers all marketable activities linked to the sea.

The regions most impacted by the maritime economy are of course the EU’s coastal regions which include 446 regions (out of a total of 1 342 NUTS 3 regions).

In 2011, 40.8% of the EU population lived in coastal regions which covered 40.0% of the EU27 territory. Around 12% of the municipalities are considered to be coastal according to the corresponding definition.

Eurostat’s analysis shows that the coastal regions in Europe have some comparative advantages in terms of GDP, employment, performance in tourism and such unique economic activities as fishery, extraction of salt and maritime manufacturing.

GDP differences can be substantial in certain EU Member States – in Ireland (coastal: €36 435 per inhabitant vs non-coastal: €21 642), Finland (coastal: €38 271 vs non-coastal: €29 420) and Belgium (coastal: €34 477 vs non-coastal: €28 058) for example.

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