Migrant integration statistics - housing
- Data extracted in January 2018. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: January 2019
Migrants often play an important role in the labour markets and economies of the countries in which they settle. This article presents European Union (EU) statistics on home ownership and living conditions experienced by working-age migrants. The information presented generally refers to migrants aged 20-64 according to their country of citizenship; note that all of the information presented concerns this age group (unless otherwise specified). Note also that Eurostat collects information on migrants according to their country of birth — as opposed to their citizenship — and these data may be found on Eurostat’s website.
Housing is considered an important element for the well-being of individuals. Indeed, the quality and price of housing is often seen as crucial for measuring living standards and social inclusion/exclusion. This article explores an existing set of Zaragoza indicators , together with additional information; it forms part of an online publication on migrant integration statistics.
It should be noted that some of the data analysed in this article are affected by low reliability due to small sample size or high non-response rates; these values are noted in the commentary that follows and they are also identified in the tables and figures (see specific footnotes).
- 1 Main statistical findings
- 2 Data sources and availability
- 3 Context
- 4 See also
- 5 Further Eurostat information
- 6 External links
- 7 Notes
Main statistical findings
- In 2016, 3 out of every 10 foreign citizens in the EU-28 lived in their own dwelling, although foreign EU citizens were generally more likely to be home-owners than non-EU citizens.
- The highest home ownership rates (>60 %) among all foreign citizens were recorded in the Baltic Member States, Bulgaria, Croatia and Poland, while the lowest (<20 %) were recorded in Slovenia and Austria.
- Across the EU-28, foreign citizens were more likely to live in an overcrowded household than nationals; the highest overcrowding rates were usually recorded among non-EU citizens.
- On average, 1 in 4 foreign citizens living in the EU-28 was considered to be overburdened by housing costs, compared with 1 in 10 nationals.
- Across the EU Member States, the highest housing cost overburden rate among foreign citizens was recorded in Greece (79.1 %), while the lowest was in Malta (6.6 %).
Housing and living conditions
In 2016, more than 7 out of 10 (70.6 %) nationals in the EU-28 lived in their own dwelling, while the majority of the remainder lived in rented accommodation. Home ownership rates were much lower among foreign citizens, in particular for non-EU citizens. Slightly more than one third (34.0 %) of foreign EU citizens (in other words citizens of another EU Member State) owned their own home (this figure is of low reliability), while this share fell to just above one quarter (26.8 %) among the population composed of non-EU citizens (see Figure 1). While there was a downward pattern of development in home ownership rates for all three subpopulations covered in Figure 1 between 2010 and 2016, the reductions in home ownership were larger for foreign citizens than they were for nationals. The home ownership rate for EU-28 nationals fell by 1.4 percentage points during the period 2010-2016, while there was a reduction of 5.1 percentage points for non-EU citizens and 10.1 percentage points for foreign EU citizens (both low reliability).
In 2016, the highest home ownership rate among nationals was recorded in Romania (95.6 %), while Croatia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary and Luxembourg each recorded rates within the range of 85.0-90.0 %. At the other end of the scale, Germany was the only EU Member State where less than half (49.8 %) of all nationals owned their own home; the next lowest shares were recorded in Denmark (58.6 %), Austria (62.0 %) and France (63.4 %). A similar analysis for foreign citizens — covering both foreign EU citizens and non-EU citizens in 2016 — reveals that more than four fifths of this subpopulation in the Baltic Member States and Croatia were home owners (Lithuania; low reliability). By contrast, less than one fifth of the foreign citizens living in Slovenia and Austria were home owners.
A comparison between the proportions of national and foreign citizens who were home owners in 2016 confirms that home ownership rates were generally much higher for nationals. The only exception was in Estonia, where a greater proportion of foreign citizens (85.4 %) were home owners (81.0 % for nationals); note that there are a relatively high number of recognised non-citizens living in Estonia, mainly relatively old former Soviet Union citizens who are permanently resident but have not acquired any other citizenship. By contrast, the home ownership rate for nationals was at least three times as high as that for foreign citizens in Austria, Greece and Italy, rising to four times as high in Slovenia.
A more detailed comparison of home ownership rates among foreign citizens is available for 21 of the EU Member States (see Figure 2 for coverage); this confirms that foreign EU citizens were generally more likely to be home owners than non-EU citizens in 2016. The only exceptions to this rule were Estonia (low reliability), Germany, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic, where a higher proportion of non-EU citizens were home owners.
Aside from Estonia, where home ownership rates were higher for both foreign EU citizens (low reliability) and non-EU citizens than they were for nationals, Latvia was the only other EU Member State to record a higher proportion of home owners among one of its foreign subpopulations: some 84.8 % of foreign EU citizens who were living in Latvia were home owners (low reliability), compared with an 81.4 % share among nationals.
The overcrowding rate is often closely linked to other social exclusion and deprivation indicators, in particular those related to income. In 2016, this rate was 16.3 % for EU-28 nationals, while it was quite similar (19.0 %; low reliability) for foreign EU citizens. However, the overcrowding rate for non-EU citizens was considerably higher, reaching 33.1 % (see Figure 3). As such, foreign citizens (and in particular those from non-member countries) were more likely to live in an overcrowded household.
During the period 2010-2016 there was a modest reduction in the EU-28 overcrowding rate for nationals, as the share of this subpopulation living in overcrowded households fell from 17.5 % to 16.3 %. Having started in 2010 at almost the same level as that for nationals, the overcrowding rate for foreign EU citizens fell in both 2011 and 2012 to a relative low of 14.0 %, before four consecutive annual increases resulted in an increase to 19.0 % (the whole of this time series is of low reliability). The developments for the overcrowding rate among non-EU citizens followed a similar pattern to that for foreign EU citizens, albeit at a higher level: there was a decline in 2011 (the value for 2010 is of low reliability) and this was followed by no change in 2012, after which the overcrowding rate generally rose through to the end of the period under consideration (aside from a short-lived drop in 2015).
In 2016, more than half of the foreign citizens in Bulgaria (53.4 %), Greece and Croatia (both 53.2 %) were living in an overcrowded household (see Table 2); by contrast, less than one tenth of the foreign citizens in Cyprus, Malta, Ireland and the Netherlands lived in an overcrowded household. The share of foreign citizens living in overcrowded households was generally much higher than the corresponding share among nationals; however, this pattern was reversed in Hungary and Poland (data for foreign citizens are of low reliability for both these countries). By contrast, the overcrowding rate for foreign citizens was between three and four times as high as the rate for nationals in Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France and Austria. This difference was even greater in Belgium, where foreign citizens were 5.2 times as likely as nationals to be living in an overcrowded household.
Figure 4 provides a more detailed analysis of the results for foreign citizens: it reveals that in 2016 the United Kingdom was the only EU Member State to record an overcrowding rate that was higher among foreign EU citizens (20.6 %) than it was for non-EU citizens (20.1 %). By contrast, non-EU citizens were three times as likely as foreign EU citizens to be living in an overcrowded household in France, a ratio that rose to 7.6 times as likely in Malta. In 2016, the proportion of foreign EU citizens living in overcrowded households in Hungary (low reliability), Estonia (also low reliability) and Malta was lower than the corresponding share among nationals.
Housing cost overburden rate
The housing cost overburden rate for nationals living in the EU-28 fluctuated around 10 % during the period 2010-2016, with a low of 9.8 % in 2010 and a relative high of 11.1 % in 2014 (see Figure 5). In 2016, just over 1 in 10 nationals (10.7 %) living in the EU-28 spent more than 40 % of their disposable income on housing; note that changes in this rate may reflect changes in disposable income and/or changes in the cost of housing.
By contrast, a much higher proportion of foreign citizens were overburdened by housing costs, as the rate stood at 22.0 % for foreign EU citizens (low reliability) and was even higher among non-EU citizens, reaching 28.2 %. Recent developments for both of these foreign subpopulations followed a similar path insofar as relative lows were reached in 2012, followed by relative peaks in 2014 and then two consecutive years of falling rates thereafter.
There were seven EU Member States where more than 1 in 10 nationals were overburdened by their housing costs in 2016, including the Netherlands (11.2 %), the United Kingdom (12.1 %), Romania (14.1 %), Germany (15.2 %), Denmark (16.3 %) and Bulgaria (18.4 %). However, by far the highest housing cost overburden rate was recorded in Greece, where the share rose to 39.6 % (see Table 3). Among foreign citizens, the highest housing cost overburden rate in 2016 was also recorded in Greece, at 79.1 %. This was considerably higher than in any of the other EU Member States, as the latest rates for foreign citizens living in Spain, Bulgaria, Poland (low reliability) and the Netherlands were within the range of 30-40 %.
Across the 21 EU Member States for which data are available for both foreign subpopulations (see Figure 6 for coverage), it was commonplace to find that the housing cost overburden rate was higher among non-EU citizens than it was for foreign EU citizens. This pattern was observed in all but eight of the Member States, the exceptions being Estonia (low reliability), Latvia (low reliability), Finland, Italy, Malta, Austria, Sweden and Cyprus. Hungary was the only Member State to report that its housing cost overburden rate was higher for nationals (9.2 %) than it was for foreign EU citizens (2.7 %; low reliability).
Data sources and availability
The main data source for comparative statistics on income and living conditions, including housing, is EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). The information that is presented generally refers to persons of working-age, defined here as people aged 20-64. Note that the age coverage used in this article may not be the same as that used by Eurostat in the area of social inclusion statistics; for this reason results may differ slightly from information that is published elsewhere.
The overcrowding rate is defined as the percentage of the population living in an overcrowded household. A person is considered to be living in an overcrowded household if the household does not have at its disposal a minimum number of rooms, equal to:
- one room for the household;
- one room for each couple in the household;
- one room for each single person aged 18 and over;
- one room for each pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age;
- one room for each single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category;
- one room for each pair of children under 12 years of age.
The housing cost overburden rate is defined as the share of the population that is living in households where the total cost of housing (net of housing allowances) accounts for more than 40 % of a household’s disposable income.
For more information on data sources used please consult Migrant integration statistics introduced.
Tables in this article use the following notation:
|Value in italics||estimate;|
|Value in bold||value is of low reliability (due to small sample size);|
|Value is :||not available.|
Housing markets in the EU are very heterogeneous. Indeed, this may be true not only between EU Member States, but also at a regional and even more detailed level. For example, there may be considerable differences in housing markets between vibrant capital cities, deprived inner city areas, or leafy suburbs.
The global financial and economic crisis had a considerable impact on housing markets in several EU Member States. This led to large numbers of households facing problems associated with negative equity, as house prices in some areas slumped. More generally, the economic crisis resulted in a slowing or a stagnation of real income growth, which often resulted in an increasing proportion of family budgets being spent on fixed costs, for example many housing costs. Financial constraints on lending, low wage growth and in some cases an unbalanced or insufficient housing stock (for example for first-time buyers) have resulted in a situation whereby a growing proportion of young people continue to live with their parents.
The EU’s active inclusion strategy aims to ensure that every citizen, including the most disadvantaged, may fully participate in society, through the provision of adequate income support, inclusive labour markets and access to quality services. Since the signature of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, European institutions have the mandate to ‘provide incentives and support for the action of Member States with a view to promoting the integration of third-country nationals’ . In June 2016, the European Commission published an Action plan on the integration of third country nationals (COM(2016) 377 final) which set out a range of goals, providing a comprehensive framework to support EU Member States’ efforts in developing and strengthening their integration policies, for example, in the fields of education, employment and vocational training, active participation and social inclusion and access to basic services such as housing and healthcare. The latter included initiatives, among others, to promote the use of EU funds for: housing, social infrastructure, temporary accommodation and social housing; sharing best practices on how to address housing challenges.
Further Eurostat information
- Migrant integration
- Cross cutting topics, see:
- Migrant integration indicators
- Social inclusion (mii_soinc)
- Living condition (mii_lc)
- Social inclusion (mii_soinc)
Methodology / Metadata
- Income and living conditions — EU SILC (ESMS metadata file — ilc_esms)
Source data for tables, figures and maps (MS Excel)
- European Commission — towards a European agenda on migration
- European Commission — website on integration
- European Commission — the 2010 Zaragoza declaration
- European Commission — Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs
- European Commission — using EU indicators of immigrant integration, European Services Network (ESN) and the Migration Policy Group (MPG) — final report (PDF)
- European Commission — study on active inclusion of migrants, IZA and ESRI, 2011
- ILO — labour migration
- OECD — indicators of immigrant integration
- Set of common indicators agreed by EU Member States in the Zaragoza Declaration in 2010, see: http://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/librarydoc/declaration-of-the-european-ministerial-conference-on-integration-zaragoza-15-16-april-2010.
- Third-country nationals are nationals of countries that are not EU Member States.