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Welcome to Statistics Explained
Statistics Explained, your guide to European statistics.

Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting all statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up everyone's encyclopedia of European statistics, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the very latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users alike.

To find the information you need, use the hierarchical theme tree, the online publications, the categories or the search function (alt-f).


Updated: Biodiversity statistics

Protected terrestrial area, 2013 YB15.png
Biodiversity — a contraction of biological diversity — encompasses the number, variety and variability of living organisms, including mankind. Given that humans depend on the natural richness of our planet for the food, energy, raw materials, clean air and clean water that make life possible and drive economies and societies, most commentators agree it is imperative that humans seek to prevent a loss of biodiversity, as a reduction or loss of biodiversity may not only undermine the natural environment but also economic and social goals. The challenges associated with preserving biodiversity have made this topic an international issue. This article examines two indicators for biodiversity in the European Union (EU) — namely, information on protected areas (for terrestrial and maritime areas) and bird populations. More ...

New: Statistics on enforcement of immigration legislation

Non-EU citizens refused entry at the external borders of the EU-28, by EU Member State, 2013.png
This article presents the European Union (EU) indicators on the enforcement of immigration legislation (EIL). It provides statistics on non-EU citizens refused entry at external borders,[1] apprehended as being illegally present or subject to an obligation to leave the territory of an EU Member State. The indicators in this article can be regarded as an official record of persons subject to enforcement of immigration legislation, providing a general overview of the outcomes of territorial surveillance and control procedures. More ...

Updated: Labour cost index - recent trends

Total nominal hourly labour cost, 2014 Q3 (% change compared to previous quarter).png
The labour cost index (LCI) shows the short-term development of the labour cost, the total cost on an hourly basis of employing labour. In other words, the LCI measures the cost pressure arising from the production factor “labour”. This article takes a look at the most recent evolutions of the LCI, both at the level of the European Union (EU) and the Member States. More ...

Updated: Business demography statistics

Structure of active enterprises by sector, business economy, 2012 (%).png
This article presents statistical data on business demography in the European Union (EU), treating aspects such as the total number of active enterprises in the business economy, their birth rates, death rates, and the survival rate. In the business demography domain, the business economy covers sections B to N, excluding activities of holding companies – K64.2 (NACE Rev.2). More ...

Updated: Asylum quarterly report

Asylum applicants, EU-28, January 2013 – September 2014.png
This article describes recent developments in relation to numbers of asylum applicants and first instance decisions on asylum applications in the European Union (EU). Asylum is a form of international protection given by a state on its territory. It is granted to a person who is unable to seek protection in his/her country of citizenship and/or residence, in particular for fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. More ...

Updated: Material flow accounts

Materials available to EU-27 economies and how they are used, 2013 (tonnes per capita).png
Eurostat’s material flow accounts are a comprehensive data framework that systematically records the inputs of materials to European economies, breaking them down by material category such as fossil energy materials, biomass, metal ores etc. More ...

New: Tourism statistics - intra-EU tourism flows

Average duration of inbound trips by residents from other EU-28(¹) countries, 2012 (Nights) V2.png
This article is part of the Eurostat online publication Tourism trips of Europeans, providing recent statistics on tourism demand in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries. Three types of tourism flows can be distinguished: domestic tourism (persons making tourism trips within their country of residence), outbound tourism and inbound tourism. More ...

Statistics in focus: Internet and cloud services - statistics on the use by individuals

Individuals who used the internet away from home or work, 2012 and 2014 (% of individuals)2 .png
This article presents an overview of the findings of the 2014 ‘Survey on ICT (information and communication technology) usage in households and by individuals’. It takes a closer look at individuals' internet and mobile internet use in the EU and a set of newly released indicators relating to the use of cloud services. More ...

Today's article

Consumer prices - inflation and comparative price levels

HICP all-items, development of the annual average inflation rates, 2002–12 (%) YB14 I.png
An increase in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy is called inflation; it is usually measured by consumer price indices or retail price indices. Within the European Union (EU) a specific consumer price index for the purpose of tracing price developments has been developed — it is called the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP). If there is inflation within an economy, then the purchasing power of money falls as consumers are no longer able to purchase the same amount of goods and services (with the same money). By contrast, if prices fall, then consumers should be able to purchase more goods and services; this is often referred to as deflation. When there is no change in prices (or relatively low rates of inflation) this may be referred to as a period of price stability.

Purchasing power parities estimate price level differences between countries and these can be used to calculate price level indices, which may in turn be used as a starting point for analysing price convergence between countries or regions.

Main statistical findings

Inflation: price changes over time

Compared with historical trends, consumer price indices rose at a relatively modest pace during the last two decades. The inflation rate of the EU (an evolving aggregate reflecting EU membership) decreased during the 1990s, reaching 1.2 % by 1999, after which the pace of price increases settled within the range of 2.0 % to 2.3 % per annum during the period 2000 to 2007. More ...

  1. The EIL statistics refer to the concept of ‘external borders’ for all EU-28 Member States and EFTA countries even if some are not in the Schengen area. The ‘external borders’ of the Schengen area do not coincide with the ‘external borders’ of the EU-28 Member States due to the opt-out of the United Kingdom and Ireland and the inclusion in the Schengen area of the non-EU Member States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and the fact that Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet members of the Schengen area.