Welcome To Statistics Explained

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

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New / updated articles

This article highlights the evolution of electricity and natural gas prices both for industrial and household consumers within the European Union (EU), but includes also price data from Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244). More ...
This article takes a look at the most recent statistics (2014 monthly cumulated data and provisional 2014 annual data as voluntarily supplied by Member States) on the volumes of electricity that have been produced and supplied at the level of the European Union (EU-28), the euro area (EA-19) and at the level of the individual Member States of the EU-28 and of Norway and Turkey. For years before 2014, annual data have been used. More ...
Trade in raw materials is extremely important for the sustainability of European countries and their economies. Construction, chemicals, the automotive and aerospace industries, machinery and equipment are some of the sectors that are most dependent on access to raw materials. More ...
This article analyses global trends in the structure of general government expenditure breakdown by their main socio-economic function (according to the Classification of the Functions of Government - COFOG), with a focus on social protection expenditure. More ...
This article is part of an online publication; it presents information on a range of labour force statistics for the European Union (EU) and in the six countries that together form the European Neighbourhood Policy-East (ENP-East) region, namely, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The article presents indicators such as activity rates, employment rates, an analysis of employment by economic activity and professional status, and statistics on unemployment. More ...
In June 2014, Eurostat published an article describing the construction of a set of indicators of economic globalisation. This set of indicators has now been extended in two ways. Firstly, the indicators are calculated separately for intra-EU and extra-EU partners; secondly, the indicators are calculated separately for 12 NACE Rev. 2 sections of the non-financial business economy. The present article shows graphs and figures for nine of the indicators in two NACE sections (manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade) to illustrate the type of information that could be used to track the various aspects of globalisation. More ...

Did you know that....

Almost half (49 %) of all enterprises in the EU-28 carried out innovation activities during the period 2010-12. Read more...

Focus on

R & D expenditure
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D in the Triad and China, 2002–12 (% of GDP) YB14.png
This article presents data on research and development (R & D) expenditures within the European Union (EU), according to the sector of performance and the source of funds. The data are obtained through statistical surveys which are regularly conducted at national level covering R & D performing entities in the private and public sectors.

One of the key objectives of the EU during the last decade has been to encourage increasing levels of investment, in order to provide a stimulus to the EU’s competitiveness. The Lisbon strategy set the EU an objective of devoting 3 % of its gross domestic product (GDP) to R & D activities by 2010. The target was not reached — and subsequently the 3 % target was maintained, forming one of five key targets within the Europe 2020 strategy adopted in 2010.


Main statistical findings

Gross domestic expenditure on R & D (GERD) stood at EUR 266 898 million in the EU-28 in 2012, which was a 2.9 % increase on the year before, and 42.9 % higher than 10 years earlier (in 2002) — note that these rates of change are in current prices and so reflect price changes as well as real changes in the level of expenditure. In 2011, the level of expenditure on R & D in the EU-28 was 87.0 % of that recorded by the United States, 1.8 times as high as expenditure in Japan (in 2010) and still considerably above R & D expenditure levels recorded in some other economies — for example, EU-28 expenditure was 2.7 times as high as in China (2011).

In order to make figures more comparable, GERD is often expressed relative to GDP — see Figure 1 — or in relation to population. The ratio of GERD to GDP, one of five key Europe 2020 strategy indicators, is also known as the R & D intensity. This ratio declined modestly in the EU-28 during the period from 2002 to 2005, falling from 1.87 % to 1.82 %. From 2006 it started to climb, reaching 2.06 % in 2012, despite a small decline in 2010. Nevertheless, the EU-28’s R & D expenditure relative to GDP remained well below the corresponding ratios recorded in Japan (3.25 %, 2010 data) and the United States (2.73 %, 2011 data), as it has for a lengthy period of time.

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