Back in 1987 there was much jubilation in Italy when, for the first time, the size of the Italian economy overtook that of the UK. The Italians nicknamed it "il Sorpasso" ('the surpass'). Unfortunately for them it didn't last long and the UK economy has now been consistently larger since the mid 1990s. However today marks Ynys Môn's own "il sorpasso" moment as it finally overtakes Gwent Valleys to become officially the second poorest region in Wales, and the third poorest in the UK.
|The 'il sorpasso' moment: Ynys Môn no longer bottom of this table.|
Top five and bottom five GVA per head regions, 2009. Source: ONS
We know this from the latest regional GVA per head figures released by the Office for National Statistics this morning, and reproduced above. As it happens, it appears that our "il sorpasso" moment may have actually came and passed unnoticed in 2004 — historical GVA data revised in line with new EU standards which were also released by the ONS today show that Ynys Môn actually overtook Gwent Valleys back in 2004. The Telegraph has the full story.
Unlike Italy in 1987, these figures do not really provide much cause for celebration on Anglesey: being the third poorest region out of 133 sub-regions in the UK is not much of an improvement. But at least we are no longer last.