Strong City Economy

Edinburgh enjoys the UK's strongest city economy and transport mix outside London, alongside excellent communications networks, property investment opportunities, a rich creative environment and an excellent quality of life.

The Financial Times fDi Magazine named Edinburgh "1st for FDI Strategy" and "Best Mid-sized City for Business Friendliness" in the Global Cities of the Future Awards (2016/17) whilst The European magazine awarded Edinburgh FDI city of the Year in the Business and Finance Awards 2015 for investment potential and innovation.

Edinburgh also features highly (4th) for overall investment intensity in the JLL Investment Intensity Index; Global Top 30 (2017).

Gross value added (GVA) per capita in major UK cities 2014 (source: Office for National Statistics)
  • In 2015, the population of Edinburgh was estimated at 498,800, an increase of 22,200 on the figure from 2011 which stood at 476,600.
  • The city has the second highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per resident in major UK cities, with the average being £34,500 per resident.
  • The employment rate for the city stands at 73.5% for Q1 of 2016, which is higher than the rate for Scotland as a whole, which stands at 72.6%.
  • The city has the lowest percentage of total working age residents claiming Jobseeker's Allowance of major UK cities at 1.4% in 2015.
  • Edinburgh is second only to London in median gross annual earnings per resident in Major UK cities with £24,200.

Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing and most productive cities in the UK. Edinburgh's current population which has grown 9% in the last 10 years is around 9% of the total Scottish population.

The transport links are very good. We use the tram out to the airport and we’re within walking distance of the station, where we catch the train to Newcastle, London and further afield...and the quality of life for those of us who live here – compared to working out of London – is great.

Stephen Pearson, Senior Adviser to the Chief Executive, Virgin Money


It is the most prosperous city outside London, but offers significantly lower labour and property costs than London and the south-east. Unemployment in the city has been consistently low, and the economic activity rate is higher than Scotland as a whole.


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City of Edinburgh Council


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