Cities Outlook 2019

Date of the report

January 2019

Author of the report

Centre for Cities

Purpose of the report

Now in its twelth year, Cities Outlook provides the authoritative economic index of the 63 largest cities and towns in the UK. As a decade of austerity comes to end, this year’s edition of Cities Outlook looks at how city spending power has changed. Key findings include:
  • Per head, cities saw a cut in spending of £386 compared to £172 elsewhere in Britain.
  • The largest cuts were felt in the north of England, on average seeing 20% reductions in their budgets.
  • Cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Sheffield lag the national average on productivity and a range of other indicators, when they should be leading it.
  • Birmingham would need 124,521 of its residents to find jobs to match the UK average employment rate.
  • Coventry is the fastest growing city by population.
  • Coventry is the second highest city in terms of published patent applications.
  • Cities experienced an increase in demand for services like social care, more than half of cities spend most of their budgets on social care – in 2009/10, only four cities were in that position.

What SWM likes

This excellent report highlights the impact that cities have on the UK economy despite their small proportion of the UK landmass, and the impact that austerity has had on them. It backs the need for real devolution and for cities to be given the power and flexibility to make key local decisions.