Frequently asked questions Frequently asked questions

General

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)

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

The ESS is the partnership between the Statistical authority of the Union, which is the Commission (Eurostat), and the national statistical institutes (NSIs) and other national authorities responsible in each Member State for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. This Partnership also includes the EEA and EFTA countries. (More information)

What is Eurostat's dissemination policy?

Eurostat's dissemination policy is characterised by free access to European statistics for all users.

It 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'.

Is it possible to have access to microdata 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.

Where can I find information on copyright and redissemination?

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 higher the possibility that one day the page will not be available anymore. (More information)

Publications

Eurostat publishes a wide range of publications. Most of them are available in English only, but some are also available in other languages.

For more information and for access to the most recent publications, please visit the Publications page.

For the publications not found on this website please see the EU Law and Publications page.

You can find information on publications in the pipeline under: Publications Release Calendar

What is the role of European Regulations in statistics?

Regulations are often agreed to be the most appropriate tool for the production of Community Statistics, taking into account the particular characteristics of each type of legislative act as described in Article 249 of the EC Treaty. A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. In fact, almost all the requirements of statistics need direct and immediate execution in Member States.

They generally define specifically identified statistical units in the Member States, with the objective being clear and immediately applicable, and with all the elements to be surveyed specified in the same act together with methodology, timing and periodicity. As such, they are not, in general, dependant on national measures for harmonisation; national authorities simply have to apply them.

European Union and Euro area enlargement

When a country joins or leaves the European Union or the Euro area, this has an impact on the European statistical aggregates. Eurostat has guidelines it follows on how to deal with the relevant issues arising from such a change.

Technical – Downloading data manually and processing

General information regarding the navigation tree

'Tables' offers a selection of the most important Eurostat data in a user-friendly way. All data are presented in simple two or three dimensional tables.

'Database' contains the full range of data publicly available at Eurostat. They are presented in multi-dimensional tables with various selection features and export formats.

Both branches are organised according to nine statistical themes. 'Tables on EU policy' presents a selection of data organised according to specific EU policies.

What can you find on the Eurostat website? What is the Eurostat data code?

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

This short video will guide you through your search on the website:

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'.

Updates

Data and information stored in the data navigation tree are updated twice a day at 11:00 and 23:00.

Legend

TGM icon TGM (tables, graphs and maps) is designed for tables with 2 or 3 dimensions only (as available in 'tables by themes' and 'tables on EU policy' of the data navigation tree). This browser gives access to predefined tables in a user-friendly way via tables, graphs or maps. It includes a short description with all the information regarding an easy understanding of the variables presented in a table.
Data Explorer icon Data explorer is an interface designed for the reading of multi-dimensional tables ('database' in the navigation tree). It offers direct access to data, metadata and several export formats. The selection of cells is limited up to a maximum of 750 000.
Zip icon Dataset compression: for downloading complete datasets in tabular separate value format (tsv). 
Comext icon COMEXT database includes all international trade data. 
Metadata icon Metadata: explanatory texts documenting statistical data and providing summary information useful for assessing data quality and the statistical production process in general. For more information on the data navigation tree, please visit the Information page.

How can I find out when the dataset was last updated?

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

For information on the frequency of dissemination and timeliness, consult the metadata of the data collection under the "" symbol.

How can I adapt the dataset and its layout to my needs?

These 3 short videos will guide you through the different steps:

Please consult our Demo Tour "Useful tools for your extraction" for further information.

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

The data can be imported into Excel with a tab delimited file (TAB) using the following extraction tools:

Data explorer icon Data Explorer or >zip icon Complete table (equivalent to 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 icon Data Explorer you have the choice of downloading data with or without flags.

With zip icon Complete table (equivalent to 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 " ".

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" , on the other hand, is accepted by Excel independently from the regional settings.

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 are 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 http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat to the list of sites --> Click OK

Technical – Downloading data automatically and processing

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.

Note for Chrome users: 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?

It is possible to access the datasets through:

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

Technical – Other questions

I cannot 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 - use the search function or the statistical themes
  • Statistics by Theme - contains many indicators (short-term, structural, theme-specific and others) on the EU-28 and the euro-zone, the Member States and their partners. 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.
  • 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 search function can be found in the banner of every page of the website. You can search by entering either key words or by selecting a predicted suggestion.
  • Eurostat concepts and definitions database (CODED), available on the web site at Database / Metadata / Concepts and Definitions.

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

Where can I find the most common methodology?

Metadata available in ESMS 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.

Furthermore, most of the dedicated sections of statistical themes contain a methodology section. The statistical themes can be browsed here.

How can I register on the web site and what are the benefits?

To register, please visit the home page of our website and register in the top right corner. This short video will guide you through the process

As a registered user you can:

  • receive tailor-made e-mail alerts informing you of new publications as soon as they are online; (for example our Eurostat News);
  • access enhanced functionalities of the databases (customize the navigation tree, bulk download).

The registration works for all Eurostat products and services, except the detailed International Trade in Goods Data,for which there is a separate registration and Easy Comext login function. Registration enables access to more functions and 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. Click on "Lost your Password?" on the sign in page.

For EU LOGIN support, click on the contact link.

How can I contact a specific person at Eurostat?

In order to communicate with a specific person, please contact our User Support Team (only in English) available every working day from 09.00 to 12.00 and 14.00 to 17.00 under +352 4301 36789.

My question is related to a particular dataset or statistical domain

For questions related to statistical domains, please visit their dedicated pages under "Browse statistics by Theme" or "Statistics A – Z".

I did not find an answer to my question

Please send your questions, comments and suggestions to the European Statistical Data Support via the User Support form or by telephone. There are currently 28 languages covered by 32 support centres.