In 2016, households in the European Union (EU) spent nearly a quarter of their total consumption expenditure on "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels". This represents a total spending of nearly €2 000 bn (equivalent to 13.3% of EU GDP) and is by far the most significant expenditure of EU households.
Of all household expenditure main items, housing was the item that saw the most significant increase in spending over the last decade, rising from a share of 22.2% of total household expenditure in 2006 to 24.5% in 2016 (or +2.3 percentage points). Similar trends can be observed in the overwhelming majority of EU Member States, albeit to different extents.
A more complete overview of household final consumption expenditure, broken down by consumption purpose, is available in this interactive infographic.
Weight of household expenditure on housing highest in Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom
In the vast majority of EU Member States, "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" represents the most substantial item of household expenditure. In 2016, households in Denmark (29.1%), Finland (28.4%) and the United Kingdom (27.1%), followed by France (26.2%), Sweden (26.0%) and the Czech Republic (25.6%) devoted the largest share of their total expenditure to housing.
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportion of household expenditure spent on housing was recorded in Malta (10.3%), ahead of Lithuania (15.6%), Cyprus (15.9%), Estonia (17.6%) and Portugal (18.8%).
The source dataset can be found here.
Share of expenditure on housing increased the most in Portugal, Spain, Finland and Ireland
Between 2006 and 2016, the share of "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" in total household expenditure grew in the vast majority of Member States. In particular, the highest increases over this 10-year time period were recorded in Portugal (from 14.3% of total household expenditure in 2006 to 18.8% in 2016, or a rise of 4.5 percentage points – pp), Spain (+4.3 pp), Finland (+4.1 pp) and Ireland (+3.8 pp), followed by Denmark and the Netherlands (both +3.1 pp), Greece and Italy (both +2.9 pp).
In contrast, the share of "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" in total household expenditure dropped slightly between 2006 and 2016 in Slovakia (from 26.7% in 2006 to 24.4% in 2016, or a decrease of 2.3 pp), Poland (-0.9 pp), Malta (-0.8 pp), Germany and Sweden (both -0.6 pp) as well as Estonia (-0.5 pp), while it remained largely stable in Hungary.