GPs working in rural practices earn more on average than those in urban practices, according to a report by the NHS Information Centre.
An analysis of tax returns shows rural GPs have a higher average income before tax, gross earnings and expenses than urban GPs.
The report GP Earnings and Expenses Enquiry 2006/07 found that rural GPs have an income before tax of £115,309, while urban GPs have an income before tax of £105,970.
The data also shows that GPs in the South West strategic health authority have the lowest income before tax in England at £98,356 and the highest expenses-to-earnings ratio at 60 per cent.
Overall average figures combining both contractor and salaried GPs have also been published for the first time. The report shows that the average income before tax for combined GPs in the UK in 2006/07 was £100,676.
NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: ‘For the first time we have been able to provide figures for earnings and expenses by SHA and these figures show that contractor GPs in the South West appear to have the lowest income before tax in England.’