The Innse Gall economy is characterised by a large number of small enterprises and a small number of key private sector employers. The area enjoys distinct areas of comparative sectoral advantage which are principally based on natural resource, including renewable energy, and food and drink.
A range of economic challenges affect the islands, due to peripherality, insularity and sparseness of population.
The economy is reliant on a public sector facing significant budget challenges and is otherwise narrowly focused in specific areas of activity.
In 2009, the population of Innse Gall (Outer Hebrides) was 26,180. This represents a decrease of 1% since 2001, which compares to a 3.1% increase overall in the Highlands and Islands and a 2.5% increase in Scotland.
Unemployment in Innse Gall has been higher than in the Highlands and Islands.
The female dominated sector of public administration, education and health is the largest employment sector, accounting for over 40% of jobs in 2008. Agriculture and fishing and construction account for a higher proportion of employees than in the Highlands and Islands.
The majority of workers in Innse Gall were employed by companies with fewer than 50 employees in 2008. This demonstrates the dominance of employment within small businesses in Innse Gall.
Business start-ups in Innse Gall have been lower than in the Highlands and Islands overall. There were 3.1 new start-ups per 1,000 of the population in 2008 compared to 4.0 in the Highlands and Islands.
The educational attainment level in Innse Gall secondary schools was well above the Scottish average in 2008/09.
House prices have been rising fairly rapidly in recent years. In 2008, the median house price in Innse Gall was £82,000 compared to £117,750 in the Highlands and Islands and £114,500 in Scotland.
Further information on the economy of Innse Gall is available in our area profile report.