Frequently asked questions (FAQ) Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


What is Eurostat and what does it do?

Eurostat is the Statistical Office of the European Union. Its mission is to provide high quality statistics for Europe. By harmonising statistics from the European statistical system (ESS) to a single methodology, the statistics are made comparable. More information on Eurostat.

What is the role of European Regulations in statistics?

In taking into account the particular characteristics of each type of legislative act as described in Article 249 of the EC Treaty, it may be suggested that Regulations are the most appropriate tool for the production of Community Statistics. In fact, almost all the requirements of statistics need direct and immediate execution in Member States. They generally concern specifically identified statistical units in the Member States, the objective being clear and immediately applicable and all the elements to be surveyed being specified in the act together with methodology, timing and periodicity. As such, they are not in general dependant on national measures for harmonisation, national authorities, being concerned by the measures, simply have to apply them.

What is the role of Eurostat in the European Statistical System (ESS)?

As said in Article 4 of the Commission Decision of 21.04.1997 on the role of Eurostat as regards the production of Community statistics: "Within the Commission, Eurostat (..) is in charge of the implementation of the Community statistical programme" The ESS functions as a network in which Eurostat's role is to lead the way in the harmonization of statistics in close cooperation with the national statistical authorities. ESS work concentrates mainly on EU policy areas - but, with the extension of EU policies, harmonization has been extended to nearly all statistical fields.

Why should I register / How can I register on the web site ?

The registration works for all Eurostat products and services. This means that by registering you can activate the alert function and access the enhanced functionalities of the databases (eg customise the Data Navigation Tree). Here are the current procedures for registration:

Web site and Dissemination database:
Where?   On the home page: Sign in / Register

The database for Detailed International Trade in Goods Data has a separate registration and login.
Traditional international trade database access (browser Comext Easy):
Where?  Use the Comext Easy login function
Why?     To have access to more functionalities. To have access to a higher amount of data cells

I have forgotten my password, what can I do?

If you have forgotten your password you have to obtain a new one. To access this function please click on "Lost your Password?" which is situated on the sign in page. For EU LOGIN support click on the contact link.

Which URL should I use?

You can reach the Eurostat website with the following address:

Where can I find information on copyright and redissemination?

Please consult the Eurostat copyright page which includes information on legal notice; copyright, redissemination etc.

Can I put a link to Eurostat on my web site?

We do not refuse permission to webmasters who want to place links to Eurostat's homepage on their web pages. We would appreciate notification if you do so. The same applies to deep links (those pointing to a page other than the home page). You should remember that the deeper the link, the bigger the possibility that the page it refers to may one day disappear.

I would like to ask a question in my own language, who should I contact?

There are currently 28 languages covered by 32 support centres. Please go to the page of European Statistical User Support where you can find a list of the ESDS support centres. You can contact them via the links on this page.

I have a question that is not in the FAQs

Please send your questions, comments and suggestions to the European Statistical Data Support via the user form. Due to the large number of users of our web site, we are not able to make personal contact or follow up to each suggestion. Nevertheless your contributions are greatly appreciated. Every comment is taken into account and the most frequently asked questions will appear on the web site as soon as possible.

What is the meaning of the "flags" in my extracted table, as : (colon), "e" and "f" ?

A legend with the full list of flags and special values that can be found in the tables is available in the Statistics Database under Information. For more information on "flags" in Excel, see FAQ / Technical "How will the flags work when I import my extraction into Excel?"

How can I contact a specific person at Eurostat by telephone or e-mail?

Eurostat production units can only be contacted through the User Support Team in order to avoid repetitive work for the author services. Very often the same questions are asked by a series of users, therefore, the "User Support Team" is often in the position to quickly give the required answer.
The User Support Team can also be contacted by telephone (only in English) every working day from 09.00 to 12.00 and 14.00 to 17.00 under +352 4301 36789.

What is the difference between tables and data?

Main tables (Tables, Graphs and Maps interface - TGM) are predefined and cannot be changed. See the Help pages First Visit - Database and First Visit - Tools for further information.
Data consists of the Dissemination database and its navigation tree. This database consists of Key indicators and nine themes. You should go to these themes if you are looking for more detailed data and want to extract data tables with flexible axes and more options. For guidance on how to use the Data Explorer data extraction tool, 3 Demo Tours are available on Eurostat's Help page.

European Union and Euro area enlargement

When a country joins/quit the European Union or the Euro area this impacts on the European statistical aggregates. Guidelines have been prepared by Eurostat on how it deals with the relevant issues that this entails.

Does Eurostat's dissemination policy differentiate between users?

Eurostat's free dissemination policy has been put in place on the basis of an impartial distribution of its products and services to users. This means that everybody has - in accordance with the European Statistics Code of Practice  and its implementation - in principle the same access to its data. Potential exceptions because of other overriding reasons are clearly stated in Eurostat's 'Impartiality Protocol'.

Technical – Downloading data manually and processing with Excel

When I try to download data in the extraction/download tool, the file download is not shown, what can I do?

You should normally see the "File download" window when you download data, regardless of the format file you have chosen. But if you do not, your web browser may be blocking popup windows on web sites. The problems might arise from anti-virus OR the firewall. If it is not closed, it will stop the download as the data are coming from outside your PC. However, hopefully the popup blocking feature has a simple whitelist mechanism to allow certain sites to open popups. For more information, see your browser documentation. Hereafter 2 urls referring to browsers generally used and supported. If you use: IE with Windows or Mozilla Firefox.
If you encounter problems to download extractions in a format "for spreadsheets" or "for databases" when using Internet Explorer:
In Internet Explorer click Tools --> Internet Options --> click tab Security --> select "trusted sites" --> click button Sites… --> Add to the list of sites --> Click OK

How can I import data extractions from your database into Excel?

The data can be imported into Excel with a tab delimited file (TAB) by the following extraction tools:
Data explorer Data Explorer or Downloading the whole table Complete table (=bulk download)
Please consult our Demo Tour "Useful tools for your extraction" for further information.

How will the "flags" work when I import my extraction into Excel?

With  Data explorer Data Explorer you have the choice of downloading data with or without flags.
With Logo Complete table (=bulk download), the flags are always included.
If you download data with flags into Excel, each column of data will be split in two columns: one for the values and one for the flags. If the values do not have flags, the second column will contain empty cells.
As the flags are not in the same cell as the values, you can apply any calculation formula on the columns that contain the values, after having replaced all the ":" (=data not available) with
" ".
For general information on the flags, see FAQ / General "What is the meaning of the "flags"

When I make an extraction in csv format and open it in Excel, the data do not appear in columns, what can I do?

Excel might not accept comma (csv= comma separated value) as a separator. If you have problems extracting the data into the right format you should change the regional settings on your computer. Click on Start / Control panel / Regional and Language options. Click on 'Customize' and change the 'List separator' to , (a comma). The cell delimiter  "tab"  is on the other hand accepted by Excel independently from the regional settings.

Technical – Downloading data automatically

I would like to download entire datasets or even the whole database, is that possible?

You can download datasets or the whole database by using the bulk download feature. You can find more information on the bulk download in its manual.

I have problems when downloading data via bulk download with Chrome. What can I do?

When downloading data from the bulk download, the datasets are in gzip format.
However, a bug in Chrome stores the file double-gzipped. In order to see the data correctly you will have to unzip the file twice. More information can be found at this link.

I would like to use web services to download data, is it possible?

Further details are available in the online help about Web Services.

Technical – Other questions

What software should I use to download PDF files?

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the standard format for distribution of electronic documents. It is also the format of files available for download on the Eurostat web site. In order to view these files you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free. 

Statistics Explained and Publications

What is Statistics Explained?

Statistics Explained is a wiki-type system that presents European statistics in an easily understandable way. Articles on all statistical topics are completed by a glossary clarifying all statistical terms and by numerous links to further information and to the data base. It is a useful portal for occasional and regular users alike.

Do all Eurostat publications exist in paper and in electronic form? Are there any charges?

Eurostat publications are released on paper and PDF, on PDF only or on CD/DVD-ROM. There is always a PDF version of the titles released on paper, but sometimes they do not correspond exactly to the paper version. This is the case for what we call ‘combined products', publications composed of a paper book with a CD-ROM attached; in this case the PDF version corresponds only to the paper part of the publication. The PDF versions can be downloaded free of charge from the website. The paper and CD/DVD-ROMS should be ordered from the sales agents from the Publication Office. See How to order for details.

Where can I find information on the latest publications and those in the pipeline?

You can find information on the latest released publications per collection. On the Eurostat home page click on Publications and then select the collection. You can find information on publications in the pipeline under: Publications Release Calendar

I can not find the publication I am looking for.

A new search function can be found in the banner of every page of the website. You can produce a list of publications, listed by publication type, by entering either the full title or key words or by selecting a predicted suggestion.

What types of publications does Eurostat produce?

Eurostat publications are divided into themes and collections. The themes group publications related to a specific subject (e.g. agriculture or transport) while collections are types of publications designed for specific groups of users. More information can be found in the Publications page.

Which Eurostat publications can I find on the Eurostat website?

All of Eurostat's publications, since 2001, can be found on its website. There are also many from 2000 - 2001.
For the publications not found on this website please contact the EU Bookshop. Hard copy publications, which are no longer in stock, may be ordered as PDF files.

Main tables

Where can I find the most common methodology?

Metadata in ESMS (Euro SDMX Metadata Stucture) format is used for Eurostat data in all domains, collections and indicators that are disseminated on the web site. Methodological information is also available, in a more popular form, in Statistics Explained.

When are the Main tables updated?

The Main tables are updated twice a day - 11h and 23h - at the same time as the update of the Dissemination database.

Where can I find graphs ?

Graphs are available in the Main tables Tables, Graphs and Maps interface  which can be found under Database from the Data tab or, if you are using the Browse Statistics by Theme option, they can be found under Main Tables. They are also available under EU Policy Indicators. In the main table you click on the Graph tab.

EU Policy Indicators

Europe 2020 indicators

Europe 2020, a strategy for jobs and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, is based on five EU headline targets - employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy - which are currently measured by eight headline indicators.

What are the Sustainable development indicators?

The EU Sustainable development indicators are intended to monitor the implementation of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, initially adopted by the European Council in Gothenburg in 2001. The indicators are compiled by Eurostat and cover the domains of Economic development, Poverty and social exclusion, Ageing society, Public health, Climate change and energy, Production and consumption patterns, Management of natural resources, Transport, Good governance, and Global partnership. The indicators are available on the web site.
More information on sustainable development and the EU sustainable development strategy is available on the webpages of DG Enviroment and on the Summaries of EU Legislation webpages.

Employment and social policy and equality indicators

The Employment and Social Policy and Equality Indicators section provides various sets of data which track the following EU policies:

  • European Employment Strategy (EES) – Employment Guidelines
  • Social inclusion and social protection – Open Method of Coordination (OMC) on social inclusion and social protection
  • Education – Education and training programmes 2010 and 2020
  • Digital inclusion – i2010 – A European Information Society (EIS) for growth and employment

About Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) Indicators

The Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) focuses on the identification of emerging or persistent macroeconomic imbalances at an early stage. The MIP is a part of a surveillance framework that aims to identify potential macroeconomic risks early on, prevent the emergence of harmful macroeconomic imbalances and correct the imbalances that are already in place. It is a system for monitoring economic policies and detecting potential harms to the proper functioning of the economy of a Member State, of the Economic and Monetary Union, and of the European Union as a whole.

For more information see the document Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) – Frequently asked questions.

What are the Euro-indicators?

The Euro-Indicators are short-term indicators exclusively dedicated to infra-annual economic statistics and include monetary and financial indicators of the European Central Bank and business and consumer survey results from the European Commission's Economic and Financial Affairs DG. More information (including ESMS Methodology) is available in main tables and in the database (EUROIND).

The Eurostat data code

What is the Eurostat data code?

The Eurostat data code, which you find under most graphs and tables in Eurostat's publications, allows you to access, via the Home page of the Eurostat Web site, the most recent data to which the table or graph refers. To access the data, enter the code into the search field of the Eurostat Web site and click on SEARCH. Among the search results you will find the title of the corresponding table. By clicking on this title you will receive the product page of the main table. To view this table click on 'view table'. 

Data - Questions not related to specific themes

I can not find the statistics I am looking for.

We suggest that you explore the following pages:

  • First visit - Under Products you can find general information on Publications, Databases, Statistics Explained, etc.
  • Statistics Explained - using the search function or the statistical themes
  • Statistics by Theme - Containing many indicators (short-term, structural, theme-specific and others) on the EU-28 and the euro-zone, the Member States and their partners.
  • Statistics A-Z
  • Metadata in ESMS format (Euro SDMX Metadata Structure) is used for Eurostat metadata in all domains, collections and indicators that are disseminated on the web site.
  • A new search function can be found in the banner of every page of the new website. You can search by entering either key words or by selecting a predicted suggestion.

If you still have not found the data you are looking for, please contact European Statistical Data Support (ESDS).

What is a Theme?

Themes are broad statistical categories under which all data and publications are ranged. You can find links to the theme pages on the Statistics by Theme  page. Inside the themes, data can also be accessed by browsing 53 sub-themes. More information can be found in First visit /Content.

What Eurostat data is available?

All Eurostat databases and electronic publications are available free of charge via the website. More information under Content and Database on the Help pages.

How can I find out when the data in the database are updated?

To the right of each table by clicking on the "i" symbol. There you will find information on last update, oldest and most recent data as well as number of values in the table.

How often is data updated on the web site?

Data is updated every day at 11:00 and 23:00. International trade data are updated once a month, see FAQ Data - International trade.

What are the names of Eurostat databases?

The database is called the Dissemination database and is available free of charge on the web site. It can be explored via a navigation tree which is displayed and subdivided into several domains. In the past the name of the database was New Cronos database. You can also find the international trade database (detailed data) inside the navigation tree, presented by a browser referred to as Comext Easy. For more information on databases please have a look under First visit / Database.

Where can I find definitions of the statistical terminology?

You can find all definitions used by Eurostat in the Eurostat concepts and definitions database (CODED), available on the web site at Database /  Metadata / Concepts and Definitions.

Where can I get data graphs?

Graphs are available in the Main tables  Tables, Graphs and Maps  which can be found under Browse / Search Database from the Statistics tab or, if you are using the Statistics by Theme option, they can be found under Tables. They are also available under EU Policy Indicators. In the main table you click on the Graph tab.

Is it possible to have access to micro data on which the Eurostat databases are based?

Microdata are confidential data which contain information about individual statistical units. The current legal framework enables access to anonymised microdata available at Eurostat only for scientific purposes.

More information can be found on the page Access to microdata.

Data - General and regional statistics

Where can I find data on regions from Regio database?

Regional data is available on Eurostat's website at Statistics by Theme / General and regional statistics / Regions. It covers the main aspects of economic and social life in the European Union, classified to the first three levels of the Nomenclature of Statistical Territorial Units, NUTS.

Do you have any geographical databases?

Overview maps of the NUTS and Statistical Regions of Europe are available on the dedicated section for GISCO: Geographical Information and Maps.

For information on geographical (cartographic) databases, please contact Eurogeographics.

For any question on GISCO, please consult their Frequently asked question page.

I am looking for statistics on surface and land use, where can I find it?

There are four different kinds of data on surface and land use:

  • Total area and Land area, as a base for population density, is available in Regional Statistics by NUTS classification / Regional Demographic statistics /  Population and area (at national and regional level).
  • Data on all types of land cover can be found in Regional Statistics by NUTS classification / Regional Demographic statistics/  Regional environment statistics.
  • Detailed data on agricultural land use is available in Database / Agriculture / Farm structure. At regional level, this data can be found in Database / Regional statistics by NUTS classification /  Regional Agriculture Statistics / Structure of agricultural holdings.
  • A dedicated section Land cover/use statistics (LUCAS) is also available under the domain General and Regional Statistics

For definitions on Surface area,  Land use , etc please consult CODED, the Eurostat Concepts and Definitions Database. Methodology on land use is also available in the ESMS metadata.

Where can I find data on Local Administrative Unit level 2 (LAU2)?

Eurostat does not disseminate data on municipal level, Local Administrative Unit level 2 (LAU2). Many National Statistical Institutes have made municipal data available on their websites.  Lists of LAU2 and their links to NUTS level 3 regions are published on the dedicated section for NUTS - Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics

Data - Economy and finance

Where can I find information on ESA 2010?

The European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010) is the newest internationally compatible EU accounting framework for a systematic and detailed description of an economy. The ESA 2010 was published in the Official Journal on 26 June 2013. It will be implemented as from September 2014; from that date onwards the data transmission from Member States to Eurostat will follow ESA 2010 rules.

The ESA 2010 differs in scope as well as in concepts from its predecessor ESA 95 reflecting developments in measuring modern economies, advances in methodological research and the needs of users. The structure of the ESA 2010 is consistent with the worldwide guidelines on national accounting set out in the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA). In order to support the application manuals and handbooks will be published by Eurostat.

The dedicated ESA 2010 section of the Eurostat website aims to provide information on the ESA 2010 transition for different types of users. Complementing the legal basis as published in the Official Journal, content will be progressively expanded to present information on methodological changes, guidelines & manuals, training information, changes in the transmission programme, Member State's implementation strategy, the new SDMX data structure and ESA 2010 questionnaires as well as external links to relevant information on other websites.

Where can I find ESA95 methodology?

The consolidated European system of accounts ESA 95 (EN, FR, DE).
Major changes on national accounts data took place in 2005. More information can be found in the document Changes to National Accounts 2005.
ESA95 methodology for government deficit and debt are available in the respective Manual.

Where can I find national accounts data according to ESA 79 ?

Since September 2014, national accounts are compiled according to ESA 2010 rules and concepts. ESA 2010 has replaced (ESA 95), enforced in 1999. ESA 95 had replaced the previous ESA 79, on which data from 1994 and earlier are based. Data based on ESA 79 is no longer available in the Eurostat dissemination database as it has not been updated since 1999 and is therefore not anymore in line with the regular revisions that affect national accounts.
However, if you are interested in long coherent series you can go to the Economic and Financial Affairs DG web site where you can find this and a link to the AMECO database.

Is it possible to compare data from ESA 2010, ESA95 and ESA79?

The ESA 2010 differs in scope as well as in concepts from its predecessor ESA 95 reflecting developments in measuring modern economies, advances in methodological research and the needs of users.

ESA95 and ESA79 were also very different. In addition ESA79 data is of very limited comparability between Member States. Therefore it would not be correct to create long series by linking data from the three systems.


Where can I find the Euro Yield curve?

Eurostat publishes a wide range of Euro Yield curve data. It can be found in Eurostat's dissemination database among the Interest rates datasets. A Graphic tool of the Euro Yield curve is now managed by the European Central Bank. It can be accessed directly from the ECB website.

Where can I find data on Exchange rates?

Data on exchange rates is available on the Eurostat web site in a main table under Statistics / Economy and Finance / Exchange Rates. It can be printed as table and graphs.
It is also available in the database under Economy and finance / Exchange rates. The Euro exchange rates are stocked under Bilateral exchange rates / Euro/ECU exchange rates.
You can find additional information on exchange rates in the ESMS methodology.

How can I find data and information on taxes?

Tax statistics, such as taxes on production, imports, income and wealth (in millions of EUR and percentage of GDP), are available under Economy and finance / Government statistics / Annual Government Finance Statistics in the database and in main tables.
You can also find data in the following publications:
Taxation trends in the European Union - Data for the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway
Structures of the Taxation systems in the EU with data from 1995-2004. 
There is also information on taxes in various Statistics in Focus (theme Economy and finance).
For other information on taxes please consult the web site of DG Taxation and Customs Union .

Where can I find data on Foreign direct investments?

Data on Foreign direct investments is available on the Eurostat web site under Economy and finance / Balance of payments / Balance of payments - International transactions in main tables (these can be printed as tables and graphs) and in the database.
Here you will find data for flows, stocks - positions and income of FDI.
You can find additional information on FDI in the ESMS methodology

I have a National Accounts question that is not in the FAQs

A link to more specific National Accounts frequently asked questions can be found in the National Accounts dedicated section.

Price: General information - Data - Other

Price - General Information

What are the HICPs?

The Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs) are a set of European Union Consumer Price Indices calculated according to a harmonised approach and a single set of definitions. The HICP was launched in order to provide a comparable measure of consumer price inflation in the EU. It provides the only official measure of consumer price inflation in the euro-zone for the purposes of monetary policy. The European Central Bank's inflation target is based on the HICP for the euro-zone (MUICP). The HICP has to this extent replaced any other measure of consumer price inflation that may have been used at national level before entering Stage III of European and Monetary Union (EMU). For more general information see the HICP - Shortguide for users or, for more detailed information, the Compendium of HICP reference documents.

What does HICP mean?

HICP stands for Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices formally defined as the comparable index of consumer prices produced by each EU Member State in Council Regulation 2494/95

What does MUICP mean?

MUICP stands for Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices formally defined in Council Regulation 2494/95. This is the index covering the euro-zone at any time. Its country coverage changes in line with the changes of the euro-zone countries.

What does EICP mean?

EICP stands for European Index of Consumer Prices formally defined in Council Regulation 2494/95. This is the index covering the EU Member States at any time. Its country coverage changes in line with the addition of new EU Member States.

What does EEAICP mean?

EEAICP stands for ‘European Economic Area Index of Consumer Prices' and uses the data for the EU countries (EICP) plus Iceland and Norway. These two EEA countries produce HICPs using the same methodology and legislative framework as EU Member States.

What are the CPI's?

Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) are economic indicators constructed to measure the changes over time in the prices of goods and services acquired, used or paid for by households.

What are the main differences between national CPIs and HICPs?

In many countries national CPIs were set up to serve different purposes, for example as ‘cost of living indices' or ‘compensation indices', and some of the underlying concepts and methods of national CPIs are inappropriate for the HICPs which are designed to measure ‘pure' inflation (of the impact of inflation on purchasing power). A list of differences between the HICPs and national CPIs can be found in the HICP - Shortguide for users, page 5, available on the website via the HICP section.

Are CPI and HICP data comparable?

Due to their differences in methodology and purpose, the CPIs are strictly speaking not comparable to the HICPs. However, over time the differences between the CPIs and the HICPs have been diminishing. See also FAQ ‘What are the main differences between CPIs and HICPs?' above.

Where can I find information on indexing contracts?

Please consult the document The Harmonised Index of Consumer prices... How to use them in contracts.

What is PPP - Purchasing Power Parity?

PPPs serve both as currency convertors and as spatial price deflators. They convert different currencies to a common currency and, in the process of conversion, equalise their purchasing power by eliminating the differences in price levels between countries. Thus, when the GDPs and component expenditures of countries are converted to a common currency with PPPs, they are valued at the same price level and so reflect only differences in the volumes of goods and services purchased in the countries.

PPPs for different levels of expenditure aggregates of GDP are available to the public via Eurostat's website in Economy and Finance / Purchasing Power Parities (PPP).

More information on methodology can be found in Metadata and in the Eurostat-OECD Methodological Manual on Purchasing Power Parities

Where can I obtain more detailed data on Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs)?

PPP data in more detail than publically available can be obtained by users (free-of-charge) for research purposes only. This requires a description of the research project for which the data is to be used, a description of the kind of data requested (PPPs, expenditure weights or average prices) and a signed statement of confidentiality that the detailed data will not be published. If your projects meet these requirements please use this word document (available only in English).

What does PPS mean?

PPS – Purchasing Power Standards is an artificial reference currency unit in which the PPPs and real expenditures for the European Union are expressed.

PPS are euros valued at average EU price levels, that is, they are euros that have the same purchasing power over the whole of the European Union. Their purchasing power is a weighted average of the purchasing power of the national currencies of EU Member States.

They reflect the average price level in the European Union or, more precisely, the weighted average of the price levels of Member States. PPS are defined by equating the total real expenditure of the European Union on a specific basic heading, aggregation level or analytical category to the total nominal expenditure of the European Union on the same basic heading, aggregation level or analytical category.

Price: Data

What data are available to the public?

HICP data are available via Eurostat's website in Economy and Finance / Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices. In the database you choose time series (TIME), geopolitical entity (GEO) and expenditure groups according to COICOP/HICP that you wish for your data extraction. Multiple choices are possible.

Since when have the CPI and HICP indices been compiled?

HICPs with harmonised coverage and methodology have been published since March 1997. Interim indices based largely on existing national Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) are available back to 1996; these are adjusted to reduce differences in coverage of goods and services observed between national CPIs.
For Member States data having joined EU in 2004 data are comparable since 2000.

What is the base year for the HICPs?

The base year for the HICP is 2015 (2015=100). Since the release of January 2016 data on 25 February 2016, the HICP and HICP-CT index series are published in reference year 2015=100. From the release of March 2016 data on 14 April 2016, Eurostat is providing the complete HICP index series also in reference years 2005=100 and 1996=100. These data are included in the HICP table prc_hicp_midx. The reference year 2015, 2005 or 1996 can be selected in the 'Unit' tab. The index reference year 2015 is set as the default. The table prc_hicp_midx05 has been discontinued as of 18 May 2016.

How have data been included for Member States joining the Euro-zone?

The MUICP index is computed as an annual chain index allowing for country weights to change each year as well as allowing for inclusion of more Member States into the euro-zone. For more information, please read the technical and thematic news releases on Euro-Changeover and Methodology in the HICP dedicated section.

How are new Members States included in the EICP aggregates?

The HICP is a chain index allowing for country weights changing each year as well as allowing for inclusion of new Member States. The ‘European Index of Consumer Prices' (see also EICP) is the official aggregate for the EU. It covers 15 Member States until April 2004, 25 Member States from May 2004 until December 2006, 27 Member States until June 2013 and 28 since July 2013. The new Member States are integrated into the EICP using a chain index formula. This means, for example, that the annual rate of change in November 2004 is the change from November 2003 to April 2004 of the 15 old Member States combined with the change from April 2004 to November 2004 of the 25 Member States.
For more information, please read the technical and thematic news releases in the HICP dedicated section.

Where can I find the EICP data?

The European Index of Consumer Prices (EICP) data (called EU data in the database), can be found on Eurostat's website:

Where can I find MUICP data?

The Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP) data is called Euro-zone data, and can be found on different locations on the Eurostat's website. See FAQ "Where can I find the EICP data?".

What is the difference between EU, EU15, EU25, EU27 and EU28 data?

EU (or EICP = the official EU index) is an index measuring inflation in the EU as an entity independently of its composition through time.
The aggregates EU15, EU25, EU27 and EU28 all measure inflation in the 'EU' as if there would still be 15, 25, 27 or 28 Member States respectively, regardless of the time of entry of the Member States.

What is the Flash Estimate and how is it calculated?

The Flash Estimate is an early estimate of the inflation rate for the Euro-zone (the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP)). It is usually released on the last working day of the month in question; the release dates are published in the Release calendar.
To compute the flash estimates, Eurostat is using preliminary price index data from the statistical offices of euro area Member States, supplemented with model based estimates for those countries not supplying data for the reference month. The model combines timely energy price information from the General Directorate Energy of the European Commission (Weekly Oil Bulletin) with HICP back series of all euro area countries and the preliminary data of those euro area Member States available for the reference month. The preliminary data and the estimates of missing Member States are aggregated to the euro area level to produce the flash estimate of inflation and the main components.
More information on the methodology can be found in the Annex of the News Release No 113/2001 of 5 November 2001 (launch of the Flash Estimate) and in News Release No 137/2012 of September 2012.
For further information on the estimates methodology, please consult the Statistics Explained pages on inflation.

Price: Other

What is the basket which is used for calculating the HICP?

There is no uniform basket for the HICP as the consumption pattern differs from country to country. Each country is obliged to use a representative basket that reflects the national household final monetary consumption expenditure (HFMCE).
These baskets are based on an official classification of goods and services known as COICOP/HICP. This Classification Of Individual Consumption by Purpose adapted to the needs of the HICPs (COICOP/HICP) can be found in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1749/99; in the Ramon server and in Eurostat's database. To see the relevance of a product group within a country's basket, you can extract the weights of each item in each country through our database. See also FAQ: Where can I get the weight for a certain product group in the HICP?.

What are the main headings covered by the HICP?

The 12 main headings in the HICP are (in the current short labels used in the News Releases):
01 Food, 02 Alcohol and tobacco, 03 Clothing, 04 Housing, 05 Household equipment, 06 Health, 07 Transport, 08 Communication, 09 Recreation and culture, 10 Education, 11 Hotels and restaurants, 12 Miscellaneous

What is the geographic coverage of the HICP?

This is stated in Council Regulation (EC) No 1688/98 amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 1749/96.

Where can I find data on housing prices (owner-occupied housing (OOH))?

The House Price Index (HPI) measures the price changes of all residential properties, both newly built and existing, purchased by households. Methodological background information is given in the Handbook on Residential Property Prices Indices.

Further information available in Statistics Explained article on Housing Price Statistics and in the metada House price index.

Data are available in the House price index database and in the HPI main table

HPI data is also shown as part of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure Scoreboard

Which items are not covered in the index?

In the annexes to Council Regulation (EC) No 1687/98 you can read a detailed explanation and list of the items covered and not covered in the HICP. In summary, these are mainly confined to COICOP codes 02.3 Narcotics; 04.2 Imputed rentals for housing, including rentals of owner-occupiers; 09.4.3 Games of chance (gambling); 12.5.2 FISIM (financial intermediation services indirectly measured); and part of 12.1.3 Part of personal care services n.e.c. (example: prostitution).

How are the HICPs calculated?

The HICPs are calculated as a chain index starting from the base-year 2015 (=100). Chain indices are used because the weights (both country weights and item weights) may change every year. For more detailed information, see Statistics Explained article on HICP methodology and the document on calculating chain indices.

Why do I get a different rate than the one published by Eurostat when I calculate the index?

This might be due to rounding errors. Each month Member States transmit to Eurostat the primary index series, i.e. the HICP and its sub-indices, rounded to one decimal place. Member States also transmit each January the new set of sub-index weights to Eurostat to a degree of detail of at least 1 in 1000. Eurostat uses and disseminates the sub-index weights at the same level of detail as reported by Member States and the country weights at a level of detail of 1 in 1000. The HICPs, the sub-index weights and the country weights constitute the primary series. The MUICP and its sub-indices are computed by Eurostat from these primary series, rounded to and published with one decimal place. The MUICP and its sub-indices rounded to one decimal place are then defined as primary series. Any derived series such as the EICP are calculated from these primary series, and published with one decimal place. Furthermore, the HICPs are chained annually. See document on calculating chain indices. For more detailed information, see Statistics Explained article on HICP methodology

How do I calculate the annual rates of change?

The annual rates of change for the HICP, the MUICP and the sub-indices compare the current month's indices with the same month's indices a year previously (with one decimal place) and are calculated. See formula below. The result is then rounded to one decimal.

How do I calculate the annual average rate of change?

The annual average rate of change, i.e. the annual average inflation rates, for the HICP, the MUICP and the sub-indices are obtained directly from the primary series and therefore based on the unrounded annual average indices. See formula below. The annual average rate of change is the measure used to determine price stability in Convergence reports of 1998, 2000 and 2002 by the Commission to the Council. 

What is the monthly (HICP) rate?

The monthly rate compares the price levels between the two latest months (m/m-1).  The monthly rates of change for the HICP, the MUICP and the sub-indices are the current month's indices in respect to the previous month's indices (with one decimal place). See formula below. The result is rounded to one decimal place when published.

Where can I get the weight for certain Member States? (country weights)

HICP country weights are available on Eurostat's website. The weights are updated yearly. In the database, after choosing the year and the countries for which you want the weights, you will be prompted to choose the country weights you want. Country weight information is also usually published with the January inflation News Release (end of February).

Code Label Short explanation
COWEU Country weights for European Union (EC12-94, EU15-2004, EU25-2006, EU27) Used to calculate the EICP. Includes the 27 Member States but the Euro area total is weighted in block, as a single entity. Example: [Total Euro area weights in the EU] + [Individual weights of the other non-Euro area Member States] = 1,000. This means that no breakdown for the Euro area Member States is available for the EICP weights.
COWE28 Country weights for EU-28 (European Union) Covers the 28 EU Member States from July 2013.
COWE27 Country weights for EU-27 (European Union) Covers the 27 EU Member States from January 2007 to June 2013.
COWE25 Country weights for EU-25 (European Union) Covers the 25 EU Member States from May 2004 to December 2006.
COWE15 Country weights for EU-15 (European Union) Covers the 15 EU Member States before 1st May 2004.
COWEMU Country weights for the Euro area (EA11-2000, EA12-2006, EA13-2007, EA15-2008, EA16-2010, EA17) Used to calculate the MUICP. Includes the 17 Member States in the Euro area. Total weight adds to 1,000. Individual breakdown by Euro area Member States.
COWEMU18 Country weights for EA-18 (Euro area) Includes the 18 Member States in the Euro area from 2014.
COWEMU17 Country weights for EA-17 (Euro area) Includes the 17 Member States in the Euro area before 2014.
COWEMU16 Country weights for EA-16 (Euro area) Includes the 16 Member States in the Euro area before 2011.
COWEMU15 Country weights for EA-15 (Euro area) Includes the 15 Member States in the Euro area before 2009.
COWEMU13 Country weights for EA-13 (Euro area) Includes the 13 Member States in the Euro area before 2008.
COWEMU12 Country weights EA-12 (Euro area) Includes the 12 Member States in the Euro area from 1999 to 2007 (MUICP including Greece prior to 1.1.2001).
COWEEA Country weights for EEA (European Economic Area) Used to calculate the EEAICP. Includes the 27 EC Member States and the European Economic Area (Iceland and Norway). The Euro area and non-Euro area weighted as two individual weight blocks. Total adds to 1,000.

Where can I get the weight for a certain product group in the HICP? (item weights)

HICP item weights are available on Eurostat's website. These weights correspond to the COICOP/HICP sub-indices list published in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1749/1999. That list is also available on the Ramon server, accessible through Eurostat's website, in 20 EC languages.

How are the weights calculated and how often are they revised?

The weights reflect the relative household final monetary consumer expenditure (HFMCE) for a given population and geographical entity at a given time. The weights are usually derived from National Accounts and Household Budget surveys plus possible other specific sources. Please see Statistics Explained article on HICP methodology
and Commission Regulation (EC) No 2454/97 on weights. Revision rules for weights are set down in the same regulation, or see Statistics Explained article on HICP methodology.  Because the HICP is a chain index, weights are reviewed every year and prices are updated to December t-1 prices.

Data - Population and social conditions

Where can I find Census data?

Data for Census round 2011 (national level) can be accessed via the new Census Hub database. Further information is available in the publication The Census Hub: easy and flexible access to European census data.

Census data for round 2001 (national and regional level) and round 1991 (national level) are available in the database under Population and social conditions / Population / Population and housing census.

Where can I find data on number of households?

Data on number of households is available in the Database under Population and social conditions /Living conditions and welfare / Income and living conditions / Living conditions / Private households.
You can also find Labour Force Survey data in Population and social conditions / Labour Market / Employment and Unemployment / LFS series - specific topics / Households statistics
Census data on national and regional level are available in Database under Population and social conditions / Population / Population and  housing census.

Where can I find data on earnings and labour costs?

Data on earnings is available under Population and social conditions / Labour market (including Labour Force Survey) / Earnings . Here you will find a wide range of statistical data on earnings. Under Earnings you will find the results from the Structure of earnings survey for reference years 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 published at ISCO (International Standard Classification of Occupation) only on 1-digit level. Data at the 2- or 3-digit level of the individual employees are not published for reasons of confidentiality. Concerning the time series for average annual gross earnings, data are available at 1-digit level, there is no additional detail.

Data on labour costs is available under Population and Social conditions / Labour market (including Labour Force Survey) / Labour costs

Data on unit labour cost is available in the database under Economy and Finance / National Accounts / Annual National Accounts / Auxiliary indicators to National Accounts / Labour productivity and unit labour costs

Can I find data on ethnic groups or religion?

No, Eurostat does not collect statistics with a breakdown by ethnic group or religion. National legislation and practice in a number of Member States prevent the collection and dissemination of information on ethnic group or religion in statistics. In addition to this, ethnic group is a complicated subject, and even where statistics are collected, it can be misleading to compare data from different countries.

Where can I find data on migration?

You can find a wide range of data, for example International migration flows and Population by citizenship in theme Population and social conditions / Asylum and managed migration.

Can I find any data on crime?

The results of a collection of data from European countries are available on the Eurostat website. They can be found in Population and Social Conditions / Crime and Criminal Justice. The topics covered include crimes recorded by the police (total crime, homicide, violent crime, robbery, domestic burglary, motor vehicle theft and drug trafficking), the prison population and the number of police officers.

Where can I find data on accidents?

Data on accidents is available in Population and social conditions / Health. These data cover accidents at work and commuting accidents as well as some data on causes of death, in-patient care and disabilities due to accidental causes. Other useful information on accidents can be found in the publications Health statistics - Key data on health 2002 (PDF) and Health and Safety at Work in Europe (1999-2007). Methodology on accidents at work and commuting accidents is covered in the ESMS Methodologies Accidents at work and Work related accidents, health problems and hazardous exposure - LFS 2007. Methodology for statistical data on non-work-related accidents is covered in the ESMS Methodologies Causes of death, Health care (expenditure, resources and care activities) and Disability data from the LFS (Labour Force Survey) 2002 ad hoc module. For road accidents from the transport and road safety perspective, you can consult the Community Road Accident Database, a separate database maintained by Energy and Transport DG of the European Commission.

Where can I find data from the Labour Force Survey?

The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS) provides population estimates for the main labour market and socio-demographic characteristics. You can find main information on LFS in the Methodology. You can find LFS data as follows:

  • Population and social conditions / Labour Market (including Labour Force Survey) / Employment and Unemployment (LFS) - Main tables and Database
  • In the publications Statistics in Focus / Data in Focus (annual data and quarterly data). The publication "Labour Force Survey - Detailed results" is no longer produced. LFS data are also used in other Eurostat general publications, such as the Eurostat Yearbook.

If you would need data with other cross variables than available in the datbase, please contact European Statistical Data Support via the web site. You will be asked to fill in an order form for the LFS extractions. As other data these are free of charge.
Microdata from Labour Force Survey are available only for universities and research institutes for scientific purposes. Please consult the page Access to Microdata for more information.

Data - Industry, trade and services

Where can I find data on Producer (output) prices?

Data on Producer prices is available in the database under Industry trade and services / Short-term Business statistics. You can also find main tables on indices and percentage change in Euro indicators/ PEEIs. Here you choose Industry, trade and services / Euro-Indicators tables /  Industry - Domestic producer prices (main tables).

Where can I find data on number of companies in the EU?

The data is available in the database under Industry, trade and services /  Structural Business Statistics / SBS - Industry and Construction or SBS - Trade or SBS - Services) / Annual detailed enterprise statistics. Here you choose the table of activity (by NACE classification), select the download facility by clicking on the corresponding symbol. Proceed to select the indicators and prepare your extraction by following the instructions.

Where can I find data on SMEs - Small and Medium-sized enterprises?

The data is available in the database under Industry, trade and services / Structural Business Statistics / SBS - Industry and Construction or SBS - Trade or SBS - Services) / SMEs -  Annual enterprise statistics by size class . Then choose the table by selecting the download facility and click on the corresponding symbol. Proceed to select the indicators and prepare your extraction by following the instructions. Definition of small and medium-sized enterprises can be found in Facts and Figures - SMEs in Europe produced by DG for Enterprise and Industry or for more detail Commission Guide to SME policy.

Where can I find data on iron and steel?

The ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community) Treaty came to an end in July 2002. Steel statistics under the ECSC Treaty were collected until 31 December 2002. Data from 1993-2002 is now incorporated in the Prodcom part of the International trade database. See also the Prodcom dedicated section on steel data and database/Prodcom monthly steel. The concluding publication Iron and steel - Yearly statistics Data 1993-2002, was published in May 2004.

Where can I find data on construction costs (new residential buildings)?

Price indices on New residential buildings are available in two locations on the Eurostat web site:

  • Main tables under Euro-Indicators/PEEIS / Industry, trade and services / Euro-Indicators tables / Construction
  • Database under Industry, trade and services / Short-term Business Statistics / Construction  Building and civil engineering  / Construction cost (or producer prices), new residential buildings. Choose the table by selecting the download facility and click on the corresponding symbol. Then proceed to select the indicators and prepare your extraction by following the instructions.

Would you like to know more on the data from the Short Term Business Statistics?

If you would like to know more on the data from STS, please click on this link.

Data - Agriculture

Where can I find GDP data on Agriculture?

You can find Main tables in Economy and finance / National accounts / Quarterly National Accounts / Quarterly National Accounts detailed breakdowns (by industry, by product). See Gross value added - NACE Rev. 2: A. This table can be printed as a table and graphs.
You can also make data extraction from the Database under Economy and Finance / National accounts  / Annual National Accounts / Detailed Breakdowns (by industry, by product, by consumption purpose) / National Accounts Aggregates and employment by branch (NACE). Choose the table by selecting the download facility and click on the corresponding symbol. Then proceed to select the indicators and prepare your extraction by following the instructions.  You can find additional information on Agriculture GDP in the ESMS methodology  (See Summary).

Data - International trade

Where can I find data and metadata on international trade in goods?

All information available on the web page: international trade in goods and in the dedicated FAQ page.

Where can I find data and metadata on international trade in services?

All information available on the web page: international trade in services

Data - Transport

Where can I find data on road accidents?

Data on persons killed in road accidents can be found in Eurostat's database under Transport / Multimodal data / Transport safety / Road transport safety. A main table people killed in road accidents is also available under Transport / Road transport.

The road accident data are taken from the Community database on Accidents on the Roads in Europe (CARE), which is entirely managed by Directorate-General Mobility and Transport (MOVE)

For information on statistics on other accidents, please consult FAQ under Data / Population and social conditions.

Data - Environment and energy

Where can I find energy consumption statistics?

The data is available under Environment and energy / Energy / Energy statistics - quantities / Energy Statistics - supply, transformation, consumption. Here you can find a wide range of statistical data on energy consumption. Choose the table by selecting the download facility and click on the corresponding symbol. Then proceed to select the indicators and prepare your extraction by following the instructions.

Where can I find information on waste statistics?

The information is available under Environment and energy/ Environment/ Environmental Data Centre on Waste.

On the Environmental Data Centre on Waste website you will find data and background information according to the directives and regulations on: Waste generation and treatment, Shipments of waste, Key waste streams including:  Batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, End of Life Vehicles (ELV), Packaging and Packaging Waste and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

Furthermore, we provide data related to municipal waste, the price of recyclates (waste collected for recycling) and greenhouse gas impacts of waste disposal.

For any question on Waste statistics, please consult their FAQ page.