Migrant integration statistics - housing
Data extracted in January 2019.
Planned article update: February 2020.
In 2017, more than 3 in 10 foreign citizens (31 %) in the EU were home-owners, with foreign EU citizens (39 %) more likely to be home-owners than non-EU citizens (26 %).
Across the EU in 2017, non-EU citizens (35 %) were more than twice as likely to live in an overcrowded household as nationals and foreign EU citizens (both 17 %).
In 2017, the highest housing cost overburden rate in the EU was recorded by non-EU citizens (26 %), while citizens from other EU countries (18 %) and nationals (10 %) recorded lower rates.
Overcrowding rate among the population aged 20-64 years, by citizenship, EU-28, 2010-2017
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 rates and living conditions experienced by working-age migrants. The information presented refers to migrants aged 20-64 years according to their country of citizenship; note that the tables include an additional analysis by age with more detailed information for different age classes. Although they are not used in this article, Eurostat also collects data 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 affordability 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 (in bold) and figures (see specific footnotes).
In 2017, 7 out of 10 (70.7 %) nationals in the EU-28 lived in their own dwelling, in other words they were home-owners, while the majority of the remainder lived in rented accommodation. Home ownership rates were lower among foreign citizens, in particular for non-EU citizens. Almost two fifths (38.8 %; low reliability) of foreign EU citizens (in other words, citizens of another EU Member State) owned their own home, while this share was just above one quarter (25.5 %) among the population composed of non-EU citizens (see Figure 1).
While there was generally a downward pattern of development between 2010 and 2016 in home ownership rates for all four subpopulations covered in Figure 1, the reductions in home ownership rates were larger for foreign citizens than they were for nationals. The home ownership rate for nationals in the EU-28 fell by 1.3 percentage points during the period 2010-2016, while there was a reduction of 5.2 percentage points for non-EU citizens and 10.2 percentage points for foreign EU citizens (both low reliability). This pattern of declining home ownership rates was reversed in 2017 for both nationals and foreign EU citizens. The home ownership rate for foreign EU citizens rose by 4.8 percentage points, while the rate for nationals reminded almost unchanged (up 0.1 points); by contrast, the home ownership rate for non-EU citizens continued to decline between 2016 and 2017 (falling by 1.3 points).
In 2017, the highest home ownership rate among nationals was recorded in Romania (96.4 %), while Croatia (90.6 %) and Slovakia (90.0 %) also reported that at least 9 out of every 10 people of working-age were home-owners, with Lithuania (89.4 %) reporting a similar share. At the other end of the scale, Germany was the only EU Member State where less than half (49.1 %) of all nationals owned their own home; the next lowest shares were recorded in Denmark (59.1 %), Austria (61.2 %) and France (63.3 %). A similar analysis for foreign citizens — covering both foreign EU citizens and non-EU citizens — reveals that more than four fifths of this subpopulation in the Baltic Member States of Estonia and Latvia were home-owners in 2017. By contrast, less than one fifth of the foreign citizens living in Italy were home-owners.
A comparison between the proportions of national and foreign citizens who were home-owners in 2017 confirms that home ownership rates were higher for nationals. The only exceptions were Estonia and Latvia, where a greater proportion of foreign citizens (84.8 % and 82.6 % respectively) were home-owners (80.9 % and 81.8 % respectively for nationals); note that there is 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 Greece, Ireland and Slovenia, reaching four times as high in Italy.
A more detailed comparison of home ownership rates among foreign citizens is available for 23 of the EU Member States (see Figure 2 for coverage); this confirms that foreign EU citizens were more likely to be home-owners than non-EU citizens in 2017. The only exceptions to this rule were Hungary and the United Kingdom, where a higher proportion of non-EU citizens were home-owners (data for both these countries are of low reliability).
Aside from Estonia and Latvia, where home ownership rates were higher for both foreign EU citizens (low reliability) and non-EU citizens than they were for nationals, Hungary was the only other EU Member State to record a higher proportion of home-owners among one of its subpopulations of foreign citizens: some 86.4 % (low reliability) of non-EU citizens who were living in Hungary were home-owners compared with an 84.9 % share among nationals.
The overcrowding rate is often closely linked to other social exclusion and deprivation indicators, in particular those related to income. In 2017, this rate was 16.7 % for nationals, while it was very similar (16.8 %; low reliability) for foreign EU citizens. However, the overcrowding rate for non-EU citizens was noticeably higher, reaching 34.6 % (see Figure 3). As such, foreign citizens from non-member countries were more likely to be living in an overcrowded household.
During the period 2010-2017 there was a modest reduction in the overcrowding rate for nationals living in the EU-28, as the share of this subpopulation living in overcrowded households fell from 17.6 % to 16.7 %. 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 reach a low of 14.0 %, before four consecutive annual increases brought this share up to 19.0 % by 2016 (the whole of this time series is of low reliability), thereby above the share for nationals; the overcrowding rate for foreign EU citizens subsequently fell (down 2.2 points between 2016 and 2017), such that it returned to almost the same level (16.8 %) as the rate for nationals (16.7 %). 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 almost no change in 2012, after which the overcrowding rate rose through to the end of the period under consideration aside from a short-lived and modest drop in 2015.
In 2017, more than half of the foreign citizens in Bulgaria (59.1 %), Poland (55.4 %; low reliability), Greece (53.2 %) and Croatia (52.4 %) were living in an overcrowded household (see Table 2); by contrast, less than one tenth of the foreign citizens in Malta, Cyprus, 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, where a higher proportion of nationals (40.1 %) rather than foreign citizens (35.3 %) were living in overcrowded households. By contrast, the overcrowding rate for foreign citizens was between three and four times as high as the rate for nationals in Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, Austria and France. This difference was even greater in Belgium, where foreign citizens were 5.4 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 Hungary (low reliability), Estonia (low reliability) and Czechia were the only EU Member States to record overcrowding rates in 2017 that were higher among foreign EU citizens than they were for non-EU citizens. By contrast, non-EU citizens were 3.7 times as likely as foreign EU citizens to be living in an overcrowded household in Spain, a ratio that rose to 10.4 times as likely in Malta. In 2017, the proportion of foreign EU citizens living in overcrowded households in Croatia (low reliability) and Malta was lower than the corresponding share among nationals.
An alternative analysis in Figure 5 presents the situation for all foreign citizens living in the EU Member States by plotting results for the overcrowding rate against median equivalised disposable income (in PPS). There appears to be a negative relationship between these two indicators, in other words, lower levels of income are often associated with higher levels of overcrowding and vice-versa. The principal exceptions to this pattern were Luxembourg and Poland; in both cases, the level of disposable income for foreign citizens was noticeably higher than in other EU Member States with similar overcrowding rates.
Housing cost overburden rate
The housing cost overburden rate for nationals living in the EU-28 fluctuated around 10 % during the period 2010-2017, with a low of 9.8 % in 2017 and a high of 11.2 % in 2014 (see Figure 6). In 2017, slightly fewer than 1 in 10 nationals (9.8 %) 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 higher proportion of foreign citizens living in the EU-28 were overburdened by housing costs, as the rate stood at 18.4 % for foreign EU citizens (low reliability) and was even higher among non-EU citizens, reaching 25.7 %. Recent developments for both of these subpopulations of foreign citizens followed a similar path insofar as relative lows were reached in 2012, followed by relative peaks in 2014 and then three consecutive years of falling rates thereafter.
There were eight EU Member States where more than 1 in 10 nationals were overburdened by their housing costs in 2017, including the Netherlands (10.2 %), Hungary (11.0 %), Romania (11.7 %), the United Kingdom (13.0 %; low reliability), Germany (14.2 %), Bulgaria (15.4 %) and Denmark (16.4 %). However, by far the highest housing cost overburden rate was recorded in Greece, where the share reached 38.3 % (see Table 3). Among foreign citizens, the highest housing cost overburden rate in 2017 was also recorded in Greece, at 78.5 %. This was noticeably higher than in any of the other EU Member States, as the next highest rates were recorded for foreign citizens living in Bulgaria, Spain and Denmark, each within the range of 30-40 %.
Across the 23 EU Member States for which data are available for both subpopulations of foreign citizens (see Figure 7 for coverage), it was commonplace to find that the housing cost overburden rate was higher among non-EU citizens than it was among foreign EU citizens. In 2017, this pattern was observed in all but four of the Member States, the exceptions being Austria, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and Hungary (information for the last two Member States is of low reliability). Subject to data availability, Hungary was the only Member State to report that its housing cost overburden rate was higher for nationals (11.0 %) than it was for non-EU citizens (0.9 %; low reliability).
Source data for tables and graphs
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 years. 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 years 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.
Equivalised disposable income is the total income of a household, after tax and other deductions, that is available for spending or saving, divided by the number of household members converted into equalised adults (by weighting each member according to their age).
A purchasing power standard, abbreviated as PPS, is an artificial currency unit. Price differences across borders mean that different amounts of national currency units are needed for the same goods and services depending on the country. Data presented in PPS terms allow a comparison of monetary values that are adjusted to reflect price level differences between countries.
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.|
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.
- Social inclusion (mii_soinc)
- Income distribution and monetary poverty (mii_ip)
- Living condition (mii_lc)
- A 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.