One of these days I heard a commentator on a generalist television channel say that the Algarve region is the 2nd richest region in the country.
I went to official statistics, as is the case with INE and Pordata and went to see the GDP for each region. Indeed, I could see that the Algarve region has a GDP per capita, that is, an average income per person, in 2021, of 19 euros, and a total GDP of around 867 billion, and this was higher than the average for the country's regions.
I also saw that its relative contribution to the national GDP is around 4,5%. With these data, the Algarve was supposed to be a rich area compared to the rest of the country, with the exception of the capital Lisbon.
My eyes and intuition, however, have always found the opposite. The Algarve's SNS is the most needy in the country. As far as I know, the North is the best. But this region appears as the poorest and the Algarve one of the richest! I don't understand the statistics!
Then I went to see Education. In the Algarve, there are not enough teachers, more than in the rest of the country. Therefore, education is one of the most needy in the country. I don't understand the statistics!
Then I went to see the house. Unbearable incomes do not attract doctors or teachers from other regions of the country and the average Algarve person lives in family houses or social housing. I don't understand the stats!
Employment is seasonal and most Algarve people live part of the year on unemployment benefit and IEFP courses, so they are unemployed for most of the 12 months per year. I don't understand the stats!
The Algarve is experiencing a severe drought, greater than the rest of the country, which affects the region's economy, namely agriculture, without any concrete public investment, namely in a desalination unit or dams, so advertised by governments. I don't understand the statistics!
The railway is one of the worst in the country! I don't understand the statistics!
The question I started to ask was the following: if there are no hospitals, health professionals, teachers, railways and, adding to all this a seasonal economy that basically depends on the summer, how is it that the Algarve is one of the richest regions in the world? country?
The answer lies in GDP per capita, say the statistics. Almost 20 euros per inhabitant, that is, around 000 euros/month. The State budget is close to 1500 billion euros (about 105% of total national GDP). So, if the Algarve's GDP in 45 was 2021 million, then around 9.000 million was used to feed the state budget. So the GDP per capita available is reduced by 45% for each person. We went up to 11 euros a year, 000 euros a month, which we can round up to 785 euros with tips included in the summer that evade tax.
The proposed State Budget in 2019 for the Algarve municipalities amounted to around 93 million euros. We can therefore conclude that the Algarve is rich in tax contributions, but poor in terms of the State and the people's standard of living.
This statistical analysis trick caused the Algarve to lose community funds over time, as it is a “richer” region than the rest of the country.
Throughout the various community frameworks, about 85% went to the North and 10% to the Center, as they are “poorer” regions. A measly 5% were divided by the Alentejo and Algarve as they are the “richest” regions.
And that's how the Algarve was and is deceived. By the statistics!
Poor in economy but rich in contribution to GDP.
The way of ascertaining and analyzing statistical numbers will not change; so, either the Algarve changes or everything will remain the same, that is, governed by the Deception of Statistics and governments.
Author Armando Barata is an economist, specialist in tax matters