West Midlands climbs two places in prosperity rankings.

MEASURE RESULTS
Household wealth £179,000
GDP £20,826
Unemployment 5.5%
Household expenditure £454 per week
House prices £170,636
Exam achievement 54.8%
Hours worked 33.5
Earnings £25,746
Business births/deaths 1.55
Insolvency rates 18.4 per 10,000 population
Millonaire numbers 32,000

The West Midlands now ranks in seventh place, climbing two places. The region enjoyed the largest increase in average earnings in the UK, jumping 3.9% from last year to £25,746.

A buoyant housing market is contributing to prosperity, with the average house price at £170,636, the fifth highest in the UK. Prices have risen by 6% since last year, with only Eastern England seeing higher growth at 7%. Birmingham saw the biggest increase in house prices of the nine UK cities included in the research, at 8%.

GDP per capita has increased 1.6% to £20,826, though this is one of the smallest increases of any region in the UK – only Northern Ireland and East Midlands have experienced less growth.

Average household expenditure is one of the lowest, at just £454 a week – West Midlands is one of only three regions that’s seen weekly expenditure fall, with a decrease of 0.1%. Only the South West and North East also saw decreases, at 0.8% and 0.9% respectively.

Birmingham is booming when it comes to start-ups, with the highest business birth-to-death ratio of any in the UK at 1.81, outstripping London’s 1.78. At a regional level, London comes out top, but the West Midlands as a whole also ranks highly with a ratio of 1.55, possibly indicative of a ‘ripple effect’ from Birmingham at the region’s economic heart.

The number of millionaires in the West Midlands has increased by 10.3% since last year. There are now 32,000 millionaires in the region, 5.1% of all millionaires in the country and a 0.1% share increase on last year.