Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal region statistics
From Statistics Explained
- Data from January 2011. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
This article aims at presenting data in the framework of the European Union (EU) Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), using the sea basin approach. This approach takes into account the activities and sectors developed in each EU basin and in the coastal regions which border these sea areas.
Main statistical findings
Active population and unemployment
In 2009, 31.9 million people made up the active population (see also Data sources and availability, Active population and unemployment) resident in European regions with a Mediterranean coastline, accounting for 13.3 % of the EU's active population. Women made up approximately 41 % of the active population in these regions, approximately 4 percentage points less than the EU figure.
From 2008 to 2009 the active population in these Mediterranean regions increased by 0.1 % or 0.2 percentage points less than in the European Union as a whole. This was in contrast to the previous period: from 2007 to 2008 it had increased by 1.7 % in these regions and by 1.0 % in the European Union.
On average, the active population in these regions is at greater risk of unemployment. As illustrated in Figure 1, the average rate of unemployment in European regions on the Mediterranean coast is higher than for the European Union: in 2009 the unemployment rate was on average 12.9 % for these regions and 8.9 % for the European Union. Moreover, since 2008 the gap has widened. However, trends in unemployment vary significantly in different countries and regions.
In these regions women are at even greater risk of unemployment, with an average unemployment rate of 14.6 % for women in 2009.
In 2008, 0.9 million members of the active population were resident in European regions with a Black Sea coastline, or 0.4 % of the European Union's active population. Women made up around 42 % of the active population in these regions, a figure which is 3 percentage points lower than the EU average.
As Figure 2 illustrates, the unemployment rate is higher on average than for the European Union. However, from 2007 to 2008 the average unemployment rate fell sharply, drawing much closer to the EU level: in 2008 the average unemployment rate was 7.3 % in these regions and 7.0 % in the European Union. The same applies to the unemployment rate for women. However, in that period there was significant variability in these rates between the Bulgarian coastal regions, with an average unemployment rate of 5.0 %, and the Romanian coastal regions, with a figure of 10.0 %.
Some of the economic activities in the coastal regions and the jobs generated by these activities have a more or less direct link with the sea areas or with the activities carried out in the sea basins which they border. This is particularly the case for port-related activities, for the marketing and processing of marine products and for tourism.
In 2007, 29.9 million persons were employed, (See also Data sources and availability, Active population and unemployment), in the European Union's regions with a Mediterranean coastline, accounting for 13.5% of employment in the European Union. As in the European Union as a whole, the services sector was the biggest employer in these regions; however, the percentage of employment in services to businesses and individuals was higher than in the European Union.
In general, proximity to the seaside therefore seems to benefit services to businesses and individuals, which include transport and tourism.
From 2006 to 2007, the number persons employed increased by 1.7 % in European regions with a Mediterranean coastline compared with more than 2 % in the EU as a whole. This represents a drop in momentum for employment along the Mediterranean coast. Indeed, for the first time since 2004, the increase of employment has been more pronounced in EU as a whole than in EU Mediterranean coastal regions.
In order to compare variations in medium-term and shorter-term employment in the coastal regions, a shift-share model was applied to the territories comprising regions which border the Mediterranean sea basin, over two periods: 2002-2007 and 2006-2007.
The principle of this model is to break down the changes in employment into three components:
- average change observed in the European Union;
- + a variation linked to the structure of employment in the territory;
- + a residual variation.
The structural variation takes into account the significance of the various sectors of activity in the territory. Specialisation of regions in that sea area in expanding or declining sectors will thus have a corresponding positive or negative effect. The component which is not explained by the structure of employment, here referred to as the residual effect, will in this model be attributed to a geographical effect specific to a regional dynamic.
Applying the model to the period 2002-2007 shows that, as a whole, European regions with a Mediterranean coastline have benefited from the expanding sectors, but above all they have a favourable employment dynamic. Indeed, as figure 3 shows; structural and residual effects are positive for the period 2002-2007.
Applying the model to the period 2006-2007 still shows a positive structural effect, but these regions no longer seem to have a surplus increase in the employment. Indeed the residual effect become negative; the dynamics of employment in these regions seems to be faltering.
However, there are significant disparities between the individual coastal regions.
In 2007, some 961 000 people were employed in the EU's Black Sea coastal regions, accounting for 0.4% of employment in the European Union. The structure of employment in the regions bordering the Black Sea is quite different from that of the European Union: on the whole, services account for a smaller share of employment, with the exception of services to businesses and individuals. Moreover, the agricultural sector is of much greater importance in these regions than in the European Union.
From 2006 to 2007, the employment fell by 3.5 % in the regions with a Black Sea coastline: this represents a reversal in the trend in these regions.
In order to compare variations in medium-term and shorter-term employment in these regions, a shiftshare model was applied (as for the Mediterranean coastal regions) to the regions which border the Black Sea basin, over two periods: 2002-2007 and 2006-2007.
For EU regions with a Black Sea coastline the shift-share model shows a negative structural effect for both periods, which is essentially due to the scale of the agricultural sector and the decline in employment in that sector. While the residual effect is positive on the whole between 2002 and 2007, this was no longer the case for these regions at the end.
Nevertheless, there are significant disparities between the respective coastal regions.
In 2007, the gross domestic product (GDP) of EU regions on the Mediterranean coast was 1 715 billion PPS (purchasing power standard), or 13.9 % of the European Union's GDP. On that date, average GDP per capita in these regions was 23 100 PPS (See also Data sources and availability, Production in PPS) per capita, lower than in the European Union (24 900 PPS per capita). Between 2004 and 2007, average GDP in these regions followed the same pattern as EU GDP; consequently it continued to lag behind.
The patterns shown by the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea are quite varied. However, from 2002 to 2007, in order to display the magnitude of the productivity gains and the trends in employment on the same chart, the regions have been plotted on two axes, one measuring the variation in GDP per capita and the other the variation in employment.
The joint analysis of employment and production data has been performed with the regional account data (ESA95). This analysis does not take into account the economic crisis period. It focuses on the structural economic change in the coastal regions before the crisis.
In 2007 the GDP of the Black Sea coastal regions was 20 billion PPS, or 0.2 % of EU GDP.
On average, per-capita GDP in these regions was estimated at 9 900 PPS per capita, much lower than the European Union average (24 900 PPS per capita). However, between 2004 and 2007, GDP per-capita GDP (in PPS) in these regions increased more rapidly than in the European Union and thus caught up to some degree.
As shown before, in order to display the magnitude of the productivity gains and the trends in employment on the same chart, the regions have been plotted on two axes, one measuring the variation in GDP per capita and the other the variation in employment.
As map 2 shows, the EU's Black Sea coastal regions are split in the Groups 1, 2 and 4. Thus, from 2002 to 2007, the variations in GDP per capita and in employment were higher than the EU average in the Bulgarian region of Burgas and in the Romanian region of Tulcea. During the same period, in the region of Constana (RO - see list of country codes) the growth in GDP per capita was higher than the EU average but the growth in employment was lower.
The sea, the beaches, bathing and other seaside recreational activities are all assets which help to develop this sector in the coastal regions bordering the European Union's southern sea basins.
In 2009, approximately 122 800 accommodation facilities (hotels, campsites and other tourist accommodation) were housed in the EU's Mediterranean coastal regions, including 38 200 hotels (or similar establishments), accounting for around 19.0 % of hotels in the European Union.
From 2008 to 2009, the total number of accommodation facilities in these regions increased by 3.6 %. This increase is essentially due to the increase in types of accommodation other than hotels: during this period the number of hotels increased by 0.7% and the number of other accommodation facilities increased by 5.0 %.
From 2008 to 2009, the density of tourism capacity, measured as the number of tourist beds per km², developed in quite a diverse way throughout the Mediterranean basin; nevertheless, the average figure is approximately 16 beds per km². As indicated in the map, density declined in Cyprus and Corsica but increased by more than 5.0% in the Barcelona and Salerno regions.
In 2009, European regions with a Black Sea coastline had around 2 100 tourist accommodation facilities, 77.0 % of which were hotels (or similar establishments). The number of beds per km² in these regions is on average approximately 10 beds per km² as opposed to an average of 16 beds per km² in the Mediterranean's coastal regions.
From 2008 to 2009 the number of tourist accommodation facilities throughout the Black Sea basin increased by 1.1 %. However, this trend varied according to accommodation type: the number of hotels increased by 3.7 % during this period and the other types of accommodation declined by almost 7.0 %. Over this period, the density of tourist capacity increased in Romania's coastal regions, particularly the Tulcea region. On the Bulgarian coast, the density increased only in the Burgas region; however, it declined in the other two coastal regions.
Handling of seaborne goods
By definition, maritime transport (see also Data sources and availability, Maritime transport data) is an activity at sea; it includes the transport of both goods and passengers. This sector does not exploit marine resources as such, but it does use this space.
In 2009, 948.5 million tonnes of goods were handled in the EU's Mediterranean ports and therefore passed through this basin. These represent 27.6 % of the goods handled by the European Union's ports. The gross weight of goods entering the Mediterranean ports is greater than the gross weight of goods exiting them. In fact, goods entering account for 67.0 % of goods handled in Mediterranean ports, while the corresponding figure for European ports as a whole is 62.0 %. Italian ports deal with approximately half of the goods handled in the EU's Mediterranean ports, and Spanish ports deal with 24.0 %. The main European ports in the Mediterranean are Marseille (FR), Algeciras (ES) and Valencia (ES).
From 2008 to 2009, the gross weight of goods handled by European ports in the Mediterranean fell dramatically by 10.6 %. During the same period, the gross weight of goods handled in the European Union as a whole fell more markedly by 12.4 % as a result of the economic crisis. However, the decline in activity in the Mediterranean's European ports varies somewhat. For example, activity was quite stable in Maltese ports (+0.1 %) but fell by 19.3 % in Slovenian ports and by 14.7 % in Cypriot ports.
Black Sea ports
In 2009, around 58 million tonnes of goods passed through the Black Sea to be handled in the EU ports in this basin, 62.0 % in Romanian ports and 38.0 % in Bulgarian ports. The main EU ports in the Black Sea basin are Constanta (RO) (50.0 %) and Burgas (BG) (23.0 %).
From 2008 to 2009, the gross weight of goods handled in these Black Sea ports fell sharply by 25.0 %, i.e. much more than the gross weight of goods handled in the European Union as a whole which fell by 12.4 %. During this period the gross weight fell by 18.0% in Bulgarian ports and 28.0 % in Romanian ports. This was in contrast to the previous period: from 2007 to 2008, this figure had increased by 4.3 %, while it fell by 0.5 % in the European Union ports as a whole. This trend has also affected the structure of goods entering/exiting the ports. For example, from 2008 to 2009, the drop in the gross weight of goods entering was particularly significant (-39.0 %). In 2008 the gross weight of goods entering the basin's EU ports accounted for 60.0 % of the total goods handled, and in 2009 this percentage fell to 49.0 %.
Short Sea Shipping (SSS)
In 2008, short sea shipping (see also Data sources and availability, Short sea shipping) of goods totalled 1 860.8 million tonnes for the European Union, including 592.1 million tonnes in the Mediterranean.
In 2008, in the Mediterranean, half of the goods "short shipped" were liquid bulk (including petroleum products), 16.0 % dry bulk and 17.0 % large containers.
From 2007 to 2008, short sea shipping fared better in the Mediterranean than in the European Union as a whole: it increased by 1.0 % in the Mediterranean but declined by 0.2 % for the European Union. However, the trend varies according to the type of goods. For example, during this period, liquid bulk goods decreased by 0.3% in the Mediterranean but the weight of the goods transported in large containers increased by 4.9 %.
In 2008, short sea shipping of goods was 131.4 million tonnes in the Black Sea, accounting for around 7.0 % of the total EU SSS.
In 2008, in the Black Sea, short sea shipping involved mainly liquid bulk (65.0 %) and dry bulk goods (21.0 %).
From 2007 to 2008, in the Black Sea, the weight of liquid bulk fell more markedly (-5.2 %) than in the European Union as a whole (-0.5 %). However, because of the increase in freight in large containers (+51.5 %) and dry bulk goods (+19.5 %) in this area, short sea shipping in the Black Sea grew by 1.3 % overall.
Passenger shipping in the Mediterranean
In 2009, 212.4 million passengers embarked or disembarked in a EU Mediterranean port, accounting for more than half (53.0 %) of EU passenger seaborne traffic. In this sea area the main ports where passengers embark and disembark are in Greece (42.0 %) and in Italy (43.0 %). The principal ports are Paloukia Salaminas (EL), Perama (EL), Regio Calábria (IT), Piraeus (EL) and Messina (IT). Those using this mode of transport generally make a crossing within the Mediterranean basin.
Between 2008 and 2009, the number of passengers in the EU Mediterranean ports decreased by 1.2 %, while in the same period the number of passengers in all European Union ports fell by 2.3 %. However, this trend is not consistent across all countries with Mediterranean coastlines. For example, the number of passengers in Italian ports increased by 2.4 % but the number in Spanish ports fell by 4.6 %.
Passengers beginning or ending a cruise are also included among users of maritime transport. In 2009, these cruise passengers accounted for approximately 3.0 % of passenger traffic in Europe's Mediterranean ports but their relative significance varied considerably, accounting for all passenger traffic in Cyprus and 13.0 % in Slovenia, but only 1.0 % in Greece and 0.4 % in Malta. However, in terms of volume, the breakdown of these passengers is different: in 2009, 60.0 % of cruise passengers departed or arrived in Italy, 27.0 % in Spain and 8.0 % in Greek ports. The main ports of departure and destination for cruises in the Mediterranean are: Barcelona (ES), Napoli (IT) and Genova (IT).
From 2008 to 2009, the number of cruise passengers in EU ports in the Mediterranean increased dramatically by 56.0 %, mainly due to the increase of cruise passengers in Italy (+150.0 %) and in French Mediterranean ports (+15.0 %). Nevertheless this trend is not consistent: the number of cruise passengers fell by 35.0 % in Cyprus and by 7.0 % in Greece.
Fishing is certainly one of the most prominent of the sectors which impact marine biological resources.
In the Mediterranean, fishing is essentially carried out by the vessels of the countries bordering this basin. On 1 January 2009, 38 500 vessels were registered as active in the EU fleet register (see also Data sources and availability, EU Fleet register) and were registered in a Mediterranean port, i.e. 45.0 % of vessels in the European Union's fishing fleet declared active on that date. Approximately 45.0 % of these vessels were registered in Greece and 35.0 % in Italy. The fact that a vessel is registered in a Mediterranean port does not automatically mean that it fishes exclusively in this basin. However, it may be assumed that this is the case for most of them, given the catches recorded by Member States and also the size of these vessels: 82.0 % of these vessels which are registered in the Mediterranean are less than 12 metres long and therefore have quite a limited range, so they are more appropriate for coastal fishing.
Between 1 January 2008 and 1 January 2009, the number of vessels registered in a Mediterranean port fell by 1.6 %. However, this trend varies from country to country. For example, the number of Cypriot vessels increased by 36.0% during this period but the corresponding figure fell for Malta (-18.0 %) and Spain (-9.9 %).
In 2008, European fisheries production (see also Data sources and availability, Catches of fishery products) in the Mediterranean totalled 438 100 tonnes for the EU Member States, of which 50.6 % for Italy, 24.0 % for Spain and 19.5 % for Greece. These catches were taken almost all by the Member States bordering this basin, with the exception of Portugal, whose quantities were negligible. The total catches are distributed across the Central (43.0 %), Western (39.0 %) and Eastern (18.0 %) Mediterranean fishery regions. Member States generally tend to fish off their own coast; therefore the majority of a country's catches are taken in the fishing areas adjacent to it.
The most commonly fished species in the Mediterranean are: anchovy (16.0 %), sardine (12.0 %), venus clam (6.0 %) and hake (6.0 %) as figure 8 shows.
At international level, the total volume of fishery products caught in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea was estimated by the FAO in 2007 to be approximately 1 581 000 tonnes, of which 37.0 % was caught by Turkey, 33.5 % by the European Union, 9.5 % by Algeria and 6.5 % by Tunisia.
Only two EU Member States, Bulgaria and Romania, fish in the Black Sea. These are also the only Member States which have direct access to this basin. On 1 January 2009, almost 3 000 vessels were registered in the EU fleet register as active in a Black Sea port, of which only 15.0 % in a Romanian port. The vessels registered in a port in this basin account for approximately 3.0 % of the EU fishing fleet declared as active on that date. Almost all (96.0 %) of the vessels in this fleet are less than 12 metres long.
Between 1 January 2008 and 1 January 2009, the number of vessels registered in a Black Sea port remained stable.
In 2008, EU fisheries production in the Black Sea totalled 8 100 tonnes of fishery products, 95.0 % of which was caught by Bulgaria.
The most commonly caught species in this basin are European sprat (56.0%) and sea snail (35.0 %) (see figure 9).
Data sources and availability
Mediterranean basin: the Mediterranean Sea area comprises all the marine waters bounded to the west by the Strait of Gibraltar and to the East by the Marmara Sea, Marmara Sea excluded.
142 EU coastal regions (NUTS3 see reference definition) border the Mediterranean Sea. These regions belong to: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus. These EU Mediterranean coastal regions include the Spanish region of Cadiz (partially bordering the Atlantic Ocean).
Black Sea basin: the Black Sea area comprises the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. 5 EU coastal regions (NUTS 3 see reference definition) border the Black Sea. These regions belong to Bulgaria and Romania.
EU-27: in tables and figures EU-27 includes coastal as well as non-coastal areas
EU fleet register: the Community Fishing Fleet Register, commonly called "Fleet Register", is an essential tool for the implementation and monitoring of the Common Fisheries Policy.
In accordance with Community legislation, the Fleet Register is a database where all fishing vessels flying the flag of a Member State, and registered in a community territory, must be registered.
Catches of fishery products: the data refer to all Catches of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic organisms by species and fishing area for EU (in live weight equivalent of the landings).
Maritime transport data: maritime transport is the carriage of goods and passengers by sea-going vessels, on voyages undertaken wholly or partly at sea. The data collected from National Statistical Authorities are port statistics: information on goods handled in ports, passengers embarked and disembarked and vessel traffic. The data collection is based on the terms of Directive (2009/42) of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea.
Short sea shipping (SSS): short sea shipping, as covered in this publication, deals with the transport of goods between ports in the EU-27, Croatia and Norway on one hand, and ports situated in geographical Europe, on the Mediterranean and Black Seas on the other, i.e. ports in EU-27 countries, candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), EEA countries (Iceland and Norway), Baltic (Russia), Mediterranean (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, West Bank / Gaza Strip, Syria, and Tunisia) and Black Sea (Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine). This definition is derived from Commission Communication COM (1999) 317 final of 29 June 1999 on the development of SSS in Europe (page 2). As a result, SSS includes "feeder services": a short sea network between ports in order for the freight to be consolidated or redistributed to or from a deep-sea service in one of these ports ("hub ports").
Mediterranean Sea for SSS:
- Spanish ports on the Mediterranean from Tarifa (excluded).
- French ports on the Mediterranean.
- All ports of Malta, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank / Gaza Strip, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Gibraltar.
- Ports of Morocco, Egypt and Israel on the Mediterranean.
- Ports of Turkey on the Mediterranean (including the ports on the Bosporus).
Black Sea for SSS: the Black Sea ports excluding the ports on the Bosporus.
Employment : the employment data used in this publication come from the branch account (ESA95). These data refer to total employment, i.e. both wage earners and self-employed.
In 2009, EU Mediterranean coastal regions (NUTS 3) housed 13.3 % of the active population of the EU and EU Mediterranean ports dealt with 28 % of the gross weight of goods handled in all EU ports. EU Black Sea coastal regions (NUTS 3) housed 0.4 % of the active population of the EU and EU Black Sea ports dealt with 1.7 % of the gross weight of the goods handled in all EU ports.
The Mediterranean and the Black Sea are two almost closed sea basins bordering the European Union's coasts. As these basins are situated at the crossroads of several continents, they are also business and trading areas for the Member States and particularly for the respective coastal states and their coastal regions.
This publication aims at presenting data in the framework of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), using the sea basin approach. This approach takes into account the activities and sectors developed in each EU basin and in the coastal regions which border these sea areas.
Further Eurostat information
- The Mediterranean and Black Sea basins - Statistics in Focus 14/2011
- European port activity in 2009 hit by the general economic crisis - Statistics in Focus 65/2010
- Portrait of EU coastal regions - Statistics in focus 38/2010
- Short Sea Shipping of goods - Statistics in Focus 26/2010
- Nearly half of the population of EU countries with a sea border is located in coastal regions09 - Statistics in Focus 47/2009
- Agricultural statistics - Main results 2008-09 - Pocketbook
- COM(2009) 42 of 6 May 2009 on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea- A new Animal Health Strategy for the European Union (2007-2013)
- COM(1999) 31 - Development of Short Sea Shipping in Europe: A dynamic alternative in a sustainable transport chain - Second two-yearly progress report
Source data for tables and graphs on this page (MS Excel)
- List of EU-22 coastal regions - NUTS3 codes and regions names
- Coastal region statistics
- Fishery statistics
- Labour markets at regional level
- Maritime ports freight and passenger statistics
- Maritime ports freight and passenger statistics
- Tourism statistics at regional level