Regional economic growth, 2013

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The Dutch economy contracted 0.7 % in 2013. Temperatures were extremely low during the winter period of 2013. More natural gas was extracted, which had a strong upward effect on GDP. If the sector mineral extraction is not taken into account, the GDP decline would have been 1.0 % instead of 0.7 %.

Dutch economy

In 2013, the Dutch economy experienced a period of cautious recovery. Unlike in 2012, there were quarters showing economic growth, although, over the entire year, GDP shrank 0.7 percent relative to 2012. Obviously, growth figures varied considerably at the regional level in 2013. Due to the revision of national accounts, figures prior to 2011 cannot be compared to those released in 2012 and later years. One of the most important conclusions is that - in the past three years - the economy declined most dramatically in Drenthe. The gap between Drenthe - the province with the lowest GDP per capita - and the other Dutch provinces indeed widened.

Province of Groningen benefits from mineral extraction

The winter of 2013 was extremely cold, resulting in a larger volume of natural gas being extracted. This had a strong upward effect on GDP. If the sector mineral extraction is not taken into account, the GDP decline would have been 1.0 % instead of 0.7 %. The effect is much more noticeable in the northern provinces: including mineral extraction, the economy grew 4.6 % in the province of Groningen, but contracted 1.1 % excluding mineral extraction. To prevent the figures from being distorted by natural gas extraction, provincial developments are solely presented excluding mineral extraction.

Economic contraction across all Dutch provinces in 2013

If the sector mineral extraction is not taken into account, all provinces showed economic contraction in 2013, ranging from 1.4 % in Overijssel to 0.5 and 0.6 % respectively in Zeeland and Flevoland. In the period 2011-2013, Drenthe suffered most from the recession. In 2013, Drenthe's economy was more than 3 % below the level recorded in 2010, followed at a distance by the provinces of South Holland and Groningen. During this period, the provinces of Zeeland, North Holland, North Brabant and Gelderland showed marginal economic growth.
If the growth figures over recent years are compared to the GDP per capita, some remarkable facts emerge. Worst performer in the period 2011-2013 was Drenthe, also the province with the lowest GDP per capita. In recent years, economic developments in Friesland, the second poorest province, were the same as the nationwide average. Among the most prosperous provinces, North Brabant and North Holland performed well, thus retaining their position. Other prosperous provinces like Utrecht and South Holland underperformed relative to their previous position. With respect to prosperity, the provinces of Zeeland and Gelderland were in the middle range of the ranking, but in recent years their achievements were above average.


Relevant information

  • More data on regional accounts can be accessed in the Statistics Netherlands' databa StatLine.

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Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Regional economic growth, 2013 (indicator 2065, version 04,

) Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.