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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).


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: Seasonality in tourism demand

Distribution over the year of trips and nights spent of EU residents by month of departure(¹), EU-28(²), 2012 (%).png
This article is part of the Eurostat online publication Tourism trips of Europeans, which provides recent statistics on tourism demand in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries. The article focuses on the seasonal pattern of tourism demand in the European Union (EU): the trips made by EU residents and the number of nights spent on those trips. More ...

New: Material flow accounts - flows in raw material equivalents

Comparison of actual material flow indicators with material flow indicators expressed in raw material equivalents (RME), EU-27, 2012 (tonnes per capita).png
This article presents an extension of the material flow accounts framework by estimating the material footprint of the goods consumed in the European Union (EU), i.e. the total amount of raw materials needed to produce them. It shows that raw material consumption in the EU-27 is 14.2 tonnes per capita, while domestic material consumption (DMC) is 13.5 tonnes per capita. More ...

New: Intra-EU trade in goods - recent trends

Evolution of intra EU28 export trade, 2002-2013 (EUR 1 000 million).png
This article takes a close look at recent trends, focusing on total intra-EU trade in goods and the most traded products. It presents statistics for the EU-28 aggregate and for individual Member States for the period covering 2002 to 2013, although the composition of the actual EU has changed over this period. Statistics on international trade in goods between Member States of the European Union (EU)- especially the size and evolution of imports and exports - enable the EU and national authorities to evaluate the growth of the Single Market and the integration of EU economies. These statistics also provide EU businesses with essential information for their sales and marketing policies. More ...

New: Electricity and heat statistics

Gross electricity generation by fuel, GWh, EU-28, 1990-2012 new.png
This article provides an overview of electricity and derived heat production as well as consumption in the European Union (EU) in 2012, based on the annual data provided by each Member State. Detailed data are available on gross electricity and derived heat production by type of generation plant (main activity producers, autoproducers) and by product generated (electricity only plants , combined heat and power (CHP) plants, heat only plants). In addition, simplified electricity and derived heat balances as well as trade data and other indicators are provided in the source file that can be found at the end of this article. More ...

Updated: Inflation in the euro area

Euro area annual inflation and its main components (%), 2014, November 2013 and June - November 2014-p.png
The data in this article show the most recent annual rates of change for the euro area headline inflation and its main components issued by Eurostat. The figures presented are actual HICP figures. 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 ...

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

Foreign language learning statistics

Proportion of pupils in primary education learning foreign languages, by language, 2011 (1) (%) YB14.png
Currently there are 24 official languages recognised within the European Union (EU), in addition to which there are regional, minority languages, and languages spoken by migrant populations.

In 1958, legislation specified German, French, Italian and Dutch as the official and working languages of the European Union’s (EU) predecessor, the European Communities. There have always been fewer official languages than EU Member States, as some share common languages, for example in Belgium where the official languages are Dutch, French and German, while in Cyprus the majority of the population speaks Greek. Since Croatia’s accession there are 24 official languages recognised within the EU. In addition there are indigenous regional, minority languages (such as Catalan, Galician and Basque in Spain, or Welsh and Scottish Gaelic in the United Kingdom), and languages that have been brought into the EU by migrant populations, notably Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi and Chinese.

School and other educational institutions provide the main opportunity for the vast majority of people to learn languages and linguistic diversity is actively encouraged within many further educational establishments and workplaces. This article presents statistics on language learning at primary and secondary schools in the EU Member States, EFTA and candidate countries.

Main statistical findings

Primary education

Within primary education, a clear majority of pupils (choose to) study English. Indeed, learning English is mandatory in several countries within secondary education institutions, and so a number of EU Member States have close to 100 % of pupils learning this language already in primary education, as shown in Figure 1. The highest shares of primary education pupils studying English in 2011 were recorded in Malta, Spain, Austria, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Poland, with more than nine out of every ten children studying English; this was also the case in Liechtenstein, Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The relative importance of English as a foreign language may be further magnified because pupils tend to receive more instruction in their first foreign language than they do for any subsequent languages they (choose to) study. 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.