At a time of great upheaval, uncertainty and division, instead of looking inward this year’s State of the North looks outward – to the country and across the developed world to show how the North fits into a bigger picture. We investigate how divided but interdependent we are as a country, comparing the UK to countries overseas.

We show how centralised governance has been an especially acute problem for the UK and discuss how it has exacerbated our regional divides.

Finally, we show how devolution could be a source of hope and real change. We highlight the pioneering northern mayors who have already shown what devolution can do, even with their limited powers. We conclude by setting out the ambition for the North in 2020.