In 2016, according to the results of the regional development composite index, four out of the 25 Portuguese NUTS 3 level regions stood above the national average in terms of the overall regional development – the metropolitan areas of Lisboa and Porto, Região de Aveiro and Cávado.
The territorial image of the competitiveness index shows that the regions with more favourable performances are concentrated in the Portuguese mainland coast. Área Metropolitana de Lisboa was the leading region in the competitiveness index. Área Metropolitana do Porto, Região de Aveiro and Alentejo Litoral also stood above the national avarage. Within the three dimensions of regional development, the results for competitiveness revealed stronger territorial disparity across the NUTS level 3 regions.
As for cohesion, the results display a more balanced country than the one resulting from the competitiveness index, since in eight out of the 25 level 3 NUTS regions the cohesion index stood above the national average. In this dimension of regional development, the 2016 results suggested a more cohesive territory in the mainland centre and in the northern coastal regions, especially in Área Metropolitana de Lisboa, Cávado and Região de Coimbra.
Regarding the environmental quality index, the 2016 results highlight the inner mainland and the two autonomous regions. The national average was exceeded in 15 out of the 25 NUTS 3 regions and the territorial disparity was weaker than the one observed for the other components. Terras de Trás-os-Montes was, in 2016, the NUTS 3 region with the best performance in the environmental quality index.