Algarve's GDP suffered a historic drop of -16,7% in 2020, double the national decline

What impact did the crisis have on the regional economy? How has the Algarve's contribution to the national GDP evolved? What was the regional performance compared to other NUTS II?

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Algarve was 8.706 million euros in 2020, which represented a historic drop of -16,7% compared to the previous year, practically double the decrease registered at national level (-8,4 .XNUMX%).

The data were released by the Algarve's Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR), which released another edition of “Números em Destaque”, this time dedicated to the 2020 Regional Accounts.

This bulletin follows the release, on 15 December, of the consolidated data for 2019 and the provisional 2020 of the Regional Accounts by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), presenting a synthetic analysis and the evolution of a set of indicators that reflect overall the macroeconomic panorama of the region.

CCDR Algarve stresses that, «as expected, the regional accounts reflect the very strong impact of the pandemic, with a decrease in the regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 16,7 percent, in homologous terms, and decreasing the relative weight of the GDP of the region. region in relation to the country from 4,8 to 4,4 percent, confirming the consequences of the external shock caused by the pandemic, which shook the world economy and, in different intensities, the countries and regions, with a special impact on the Algarve for having an economic base almost exclusively dependent on Tourism”.


For the real contraction of GDP in the Algarve, «the decrease in the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the sectors of commerce, transport and accommodation and restaurants contributed significantly restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic'.

In 2019, the Gross Domestic Product of the Algarve (GDP) reached 10.240 million euros. The definitive data now published reflect an upward revision of real GDP growth in six of the seven NUTS II, including the Algarve, which presented a year-on-year rate of change of 3,2%, above the 2,7% recorded in the country.

2020 was marked by the strong impact of the pandemic outbreak, which was expressed at different scales, with particular intensity in the regions most dependent on tourist flows. «The consequences in terms of growth and employment were felt immediately, reflecting on the income and living conditions of families. The Algarve region, which usually presents a more intense response to economic cycles, reacting more negatively than the country in times of downturn, was strongly shaken», explains the CCDR.

This evolution contrasts with six years of economic growth, from 2014 to 2019, in which an increase of more than 5% was observed in two consecutive periods.

The Algarve was even the Portuguese NUTS II with the biggest contraction in GDP, similarly to what had already occurred in 2009 and 2011, although, then, the maximum variation was much lower (-6,5%). In the universe of Portuguese regions there has been no record of a contraction of this magnitude since 1996.


The Algarve's contribution to the national GDP, which has increased steadily in recent years, reaching 4,78% in 2019, dropped to 4,35% in 2020.

GDP per capita decreased to 19,9 thousand euros, 15% below the previous year. If, in 2019, the region's GDP per capita was equivalent to 112% of the national average, in 2020 that proportion dropped to 102%, a value equal to that registered in 2009 and in 2014. Despite this, the Algarve maintained its second highest GDP per capita. high in the country.