The European Union has released the Eurostat Regional Yearbook 2008, ranking each region on the issues that matter most to Europeans: tourism, road fatality, and high-tech jobs. Some of the statistics are quite unexpected and may upend long-held beliefs on the competing cultures of Europe.
First of all, the region including Paris (Ile de France) had among the lowest road fatality in the EU in 2006. The region's 41 deaths per million inhabitants was less than half the union's average of 87 fatalities per million inhabitants. This might come as a slap in the face to Parisians who pride themselves on braving everyday the lane-less streets, small-dog obstacles, and the complete disregard for road-rules which have become Parisian trademarks rivaled only by the Eiffel Tower.
In all of Europe, Central Greece witnessed 308 road fatalities per million inhabitants for 2006, the highest, said the Regional Yearbook which was released late last week.
Hamburg is the safest region to drive, with only 16 casualties per million inhabitants, probably because they all drive Mercedes.
Hungry won third place in high-tech jobs, making it Europe's India. It had three regions with over 6% of employees in the high-tech trade, which falls above the EU average of 4.4%. Only Germany and the United Kingdom have more regions above this 6% threshold.
The UK reported three regions where high-tech jobs made up a staggering 11.5% of the labor force. One can only wonder who cleans their houses.
France, Spain, and Italy dominated tourism, together having the 18 most visited regions. Ile de France came first with 63.1 million hotel nights booked in 2006. Cataluña, which includes Barcelona, fell second with 56.2 million hotel nights booked.
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