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).

Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing and most productive cities in the UK. Edinburgh's current population which has grown 12.2% in the last 10 years makes up around 9.4% of the total Scottish population. It is the most prosperous city outside London, but offers significantly lower labour and property costs than the south-east. Unemployment in the city has been consistently low, and the economic activity rate is higher than Scotland as a whole.

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

Edinburgh's economy

  • Edinburgh’s population (2016) increased to over half a million for the first time in its history, estimated at 507,000, a 12.2% increase from 2006.
  • The city has the second highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per resident in major UK cities, with the average being £37,000 per resident (2015).
  • The employment rate for the city stood at 72.8% in 2016/17, which is higher than the average rate for major UK cities, which stood at 68.1% during the same period.
  • Between 2010 to 2015 , Edinburgh had the 3rd highest New Business survival rate in UK cities.
  • Edinburgh is second only to London in median gross annual earnings per resident in Major UK cities with £29,456 (2016).
  • In 2015, Edinburgh had the highest average gross disposable income per resident across major UK cities.

Discover more about Scotland's capital city in Edinburgh by Numbers, produced for investors, entrepreneurs and anyone else with an interest in Edinburgh. It includes sections on people, environment, work, social economy, tourism, travel and connectivity, and property and includes new and more detailed information on the city's localities.


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City of Edinburgh Council


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