CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE REGIONAL OVERVIEW



Why CEE? Read about key CEE markets in brief! Download our PDF leaflet on Central & Eastern Europe


A total of 10 countries joined the EU as of May 1, 2004, including 8 Central/Eastern European countries, Malta and Cyprus. Another two CEE countries - Bulgaria and Romania - joined the EU on January 1, 2007. Finally, Croatia joined as of 1 July, 2013

The table below provides a comparative overview of all 21 countries of the CEE region, of which 11 are EU members and 10 are not.

  COUNTRY
CAPITAL   AREA
POPUL.
UNEMPLOY.
GDP/CAPITA
GDP
GDP real growth rate (annual percent change)
      (sq. km) (mil.) (%, 2017) (PPP, USD 2018) (current p., USD billion, 2018) (2019) (est. 2020) (est. 2021)
AL Albania Tirana 28,748 2.9 13.8 13,836 15.1 2.2 -5 8
BY Belarus Minsk 207,600 9.5 5.7 19,345 60.0 1.2 -6 3.5
BA Bosnia & Herzegovina Sarajevo 51,197 3.5 20.5 14,962 20.2 2.7 -5 3.5
BG Bulgaria Sofia 110,910 7.2 6.2 22,305 65.1 3.4 -4 6
HR Croatia Zagreb 56,542 4.2 11.2 28,115 61.0 2.9 -9 4.9
CZ Czech Republic Prague 78,866 10.5 2.9 40,429 245.2 2.6 -6.5 7.5
EE Estonia Tallinn 45,226 1.3 5.8 36,358 30.7 4.3 -7.5 7.9
HU Hungary Budapest 93,030 9.9 4.2 31,579 157.9 4.9 -3.1 4.2
  Kosovo Pristina 10,887 1.8 30.3 10,869 7.9 4.0 -5 7.5
LV Latvia Riga 64,589 2.0 8.7 30,745 34.4 2.2 -8.6 8.3
LT Lithuania Vilnius 65,300 2.9 7.1 35,832 53.4 3.9 -8.1 8.2
MK Macedonia Skopje 25,333 2.1 27.3 14,009 3.7 3.6 3.6
MD Moldova Kishinev 33,851 2.9 4.1 12,565 11.4 3.6 -3 4.1
ME Montenegro Podgorica 14,026 0.6 16.1 21,301 5.5 3.6 -9 6.5
PL Poland Warsaw 312,679 38.0 4.9 31,756 585.7 4.1 -4.6 4.2
RO Romania Bucharest 237,500 19.9 4.9 29,061 239.6 4.1 -5 3.9
RU Russia Moscow 17,075,200 143.8 5.2 28,556 1,657.6 1.3 -5.5 3.5
YU Serbia Belgrade 77,474 7.1 13.5 17,617 50.6 4.2 -3 7.5
SK Slovakia Bratislava 48,845 5.4 8.1 32,617 105.9 2.3 -6.2 5.0
SI Slovenia Ljubljana 20,273 2.1 6.6 38,749 54.0 2.4 -8 5.4
UA Ukraine Kiev 603,700 45.3 9.5 9,249 130.8 3.2 -7.7 3.6

Highlighted countries are covered by EasyLink’s market research and international trade consultancy services.
Source: CIA - The World Factbook; World Bank; European Commission Forecasts; International Monetary Fund;


GDP real growth rate

The 2019 best performing economies were Hungary (4.9%), Estonia (4.3%) and Serbia (3.2%). For 2021, the IMF forecasts growth for all of the CEE countries, with Latvia and Lithuania heading the group.

GDP per capita (purchasing power parity)

In terms of GDP per capita, the Czech Republic (population 10 mil.) has overtaken Slovenia (population 2 million) as the region’s leader. The following graph shows GDP per capita in the 14 CEE countries covered by EasyLink’s market research and international trade consultancy services.



CEE GDP PPP comparison



Quality and cost of living: Prague – best place to live in Central & Eastern Europe

According to the 2019 PICSA index conducted by D&L Partners consulting, Prague ranked 13th among 113 cities worldwide in terms of quality of life. The ranking is based on a point-scoring index evaluating criteria such as income, education, housing or safety divided into three pillars. Prague has therefore overtaken cities like Seattle, Amsterdam, Berlin or Madrid. Another Czech city, Brno, placed 58th in the ranking and the capital city of Slovakia, Bratislava, placed 21st.

Of the top twenty cities, fifteen are in Europe, four in North America and one in Asia. At the top of the ranking stands Zurich with an overall score of 78.2 points in comparison to Prague, which obtained 66.8 points.

The survey covers 113 cities across five continents and differentiates cities from developed and emerging markets. The best performing city in the emerging market is St. Petersburg in overall 50th place, followed by Bucharest (53th) and Moscow (59th).


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