Alentejo is the largest Portuguese region with a territorial area equivalent to about 31.500 Km2, corresponding approximately to one third of the country territory. Traditionally the region has been considered a rural territory. Over the past decades, the region has undergone an average negative population growth rate, which makes of the region a low-density region. However, the region is boosting R&I and R&D initiatives on regional territory and new trends have emerged in the regional economy, especially in the sector of automotive and electronic component industry, making Alentejo an emerging region in Europe.

The following figures illustrate the analysis of regional R&I and R&D indicators in the Alentejo region, compared with other European regions. The high territorial area equivalent (about 31.500 Km2, corresponding approximately to one third of the country territory), contributes to a low density of population (711.950 inhabitants (2018, INE). Although the Alentejo region has been considered a rural territory, over the past years the region has shown the highest average acceleration of population density in Iberian Peninsula, showing positive results in attracting new residents.

Figure 1 - Population density, average acceleration
Figure 2 - Population density, inhabitant per square kilometre, average growth
Figure 3 - Population density, recent growth

Alentejo shows a high recent growth of GDP per capita. At a national level there is a positive highlight of the region, corresponding to one of the regions with the highest growth in this indicator, along with the Algarve. Similarly, at European level, the Alentejo is positioned as one of the regions with highest growth in this indicator, alongside several regions located to the east of Europe.

Figure 4 - GDP per capita, 2017
Figure 5 - GDP per capita, average acceleration
Figure 6 - GDP per capita, recent growth

The region strengthening of R&I and R&D initiatives has contributed to an increase of employment rate growth. Alentejo has shown one of the highest and accelerated increases of employment rate, both at national level and European level.

Figure 7 - Employment rate, 2018
Figure 8 - Employment rate, average acceleration