Household composition statistics

Data extracted in October 2015. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: September 2016.

This article presents data on household size and household type in the European Union (EU). The Labour Force Survey (LFS), a large household survey of people in the EU-28, is used to provide the estimates.

Figure 1: Average household size, 2014 (average number of persons in private households)
Source: Eurostat (lfst_hhantych)
Figure 2: Proportion of population living in private households, by presence of children, 2014
Source: Eurostat (lfst_hhnhtych)
Table 1: Private households by household composition, 2014 (number of households in 1 000 and % of household types)
Source: Eurostat (lfst_hhnhtych)

Main statistical findings

The average household size was 2.3 members in the EU-28 in 2014 (see Figure 1). The largest households (with 2.8 members on average) were recorded in Croatia, while the smallest households were observed in Sweden and Germany (with an average household size of 2.0 members each).

In 2014 in the EU-28, 30.3 % of the population living in private households lived in households which had children (Figure 2). Across the EU Member States, the highest percentages were observed in Ireland (41.5 %), Cyprus (39.4 %) and Poland (38.9 %), the lowest ones in Germany (22.1 %) and Finland (22.6 %). The shares of population living in private households with children were particularly high in Turkey (55.5 %) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (50.3 %), by far exceeding the average of the the EU Member States.

Household types

The most common household type in the EU-28 in 2014 was the single person living alone (32.7 %). Among households with more than one adult, the most common household type consisted of 'two adults' without dependent children, accounting for 24.7 % of all private households (Table 1). The next most common household type was composed of 'two adults' with dependent children, of which there were 44 million in 2014 (20.2 % of all private households).

Data sources and availability

The European Union (EU) Labour Force Survey (LFS) measures the labour status and other characteristics of the population in an average week in each quarter. It covers all citizens living in private households and excludes those in collective households.

Under the specific topic 'Households statistics', the EU-LFS currently covers statistics on household composition and number and size of households. Only annual data are available.


In addition to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the EU-Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) is also a source of household statistics. The EU-SILC is a multi-purpose instrument which focuses mainly on income. However, information on housing conditions, social exclusion, labour and education is also collected.

See also

Further Eurostat information


Main tables

LFS series - specific topic(t_lfst)
Number of persons in households (tsdpc510)


LFS series -Specific topics (lfst)
Households statistics - LFS series (lfst_hh)
Population by household composition and number of children or age of youngest child (lfst_hh_p)
Employment by household composition (lfst_hh_e)
Employment by number of children and age of youngest child (lfst_hh_k)
Working status within households (lfst_hh_s)
Number and size of households (lfst_hh_n)
Living conditions (ilc_lv)
Private households (ilc_lvph)],
Average household size (source: SILC) (ilc_lvph01)
Distribution of households by household type from 2003 onwards (source: SILC) (ilc_lvph02)
Distribution of households by household size (source: SILC) (ilc_lvph03)
Distribution of households by household type and income level (source: SILC) (ilc_lvph04)
Distribution of households with children by number of children (source: EU-SILC) (ilc_lvph05)
Census - time series of selected indicators (cens_hn)
Housing (cens_hnhsng)
Households by size (number of persons) (cens_hndwsize)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata