Young people - housing conditions


Data extracted in October 2018.

Planned article update: November 2019.

Highlights

In 2017, 7.0 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU faced severe housing deprivation.

In 2017, 26.7 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU lived in overcrowded dwellings.

In 2017, 11.9 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU lived in households that spent 40 % or more of their equivalised disposable income on housing.


Source: Eurostat (ilc_lvho05a)

This article analyses the housing conditions of young people (persons aged 15-29 years — both living with their parents and independently) in the European Union (EU), looking at three main aspects:

The poverty status of young people is taken into account in the analysis by dividing this subpopulation into those at risk of poverty (with below 60 % of the median equivalised disposable income) and those not at risk of poverty (60 % or more of the median equivalised disposable income).

In 2017, in the EU-28, there were 88.0 million people aged between 15 and 29 (17.2 % of the whole population). For young people, just as for the population as a whole, the cost and quality of housing is key to their living standards and well-being, an element of social inclusion.

Full article

Severe housing deprivation rate

In 2017, 7.0 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU-28 faced severe housing deprivation

When housing lacks at least one of a number of basic facilities or characteristics — such as daylight, a bath/shower or a toilet, or a proper roof — and in addition the dwelling is overcrowded, the persons living in that dwelling are described as facing severe housing deprivation. In 2017, 7.0 % of the EU-28’s young population (aged 15-29 years) faced severe housing deprivation. This was 2.5 percentage points higher than the severe housing deprivation rate for the whole population (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Severe housing deprivation rate, EU-28, 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_mdho06a)

Looking in further detail, the youngest age group (aged 15-19 years) had the highest rate of severe housing deprivation (7.5 %), while somewhat lower rates, but still above the average for the whole population, were recorded for people aged 20-24 years (7.1 %) and 25-29 years (6.5 %).

Severe housing deprivation affects young people at risk of poverty and those not at risk of poverty, although to varying extents. In the EU-28, the share of the young population (aged 15-29 years) at risk of poverty and subject to severe housing deprivation was 13.1 % in 2017, while among young people not at risk of poverty the share was 5.3 %.

Turning to the data for the individual EU Member States reveals a great difference in terms of severe housing deprivation among young people. Within the 15-29 years age group, the rate of severe housing deprivation in 2017 ranged from 24.9 % in Romania to 1.5 % in Finland. Apart from Romania, eight other Member States had rates above the EU-28 average (see Figure 2). In 14 Member States, the housing deprivation rate for the young population was below 5.0 %; in addition to Finland, Ireland (2016 data), Malta, Cyprus and Spain recorded housing deprivation rates for young people below 2.0 %. The EFTA countries for which data are available all had severe housing deprivation rates for young people below the EU-28 average, while among the three candidate countries for which data are available the rates ranged from 12.5 % in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2016 data) to 31.5 % in Turkey (2015 data).

Figure 2: Severe housing deprivation rate, 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_mdho06a)

All EU Member States recorded a higher severe housing deprivation rate among the young population in 2017 than among the population as a whole. In percentage point terms, the greatest differences were observed in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Latvia, ranging from 7.7 points difference to 4.9 points. In relative terms, the severe housing deprivation among young people was more than double the rate for the population as a whole (albeit at relatively low levels) in the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Cyprus; this was also the case in Norway.

Overcrowding rate

In 2017, 26.7 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU-28 lived in overcrowded dwellings

The overcrowding rate is defined as the percentage of the population living in an overcrowded household. A person is considered as living in an overcrowded household if the household does not have at its disposal a minimum number of rooms equal to the sum of:

  • one room for the household;
  • one room per couple in the household;
  • one room per single person aged 18 and more;
  • one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age;
  • one room per single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category;
  • one room per pair of children under 12 years of age.

In 2017, the overcrowding rate (26.7 %) for the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU--28 was nearly four times as high as the severe housing deprivation rate (7.0 %). The overcrowding rate for the young population was 9.2 percentage points higher than the overcrowding rate for the population as a whole (17.5 %). The overcrowding rate for the age group 20-24 years was the highest among the three age groups presented in Figure 3, with a rate that was 2.1 percentage points higher than that for all young people (aged 15-29 years). Among these three age groups, the oldest age group (25-29 years) had the lowest overcrowding rate (23.9 %).

Figure 3: Overcrowding rate, EU-28, 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_lvho05a)

Across the EU-28, the overcrowding rate for the young population who were at risk of poverty was 39.1 % in 2017, around 1.7 times as high as the rate for the young population who were not at risk of poverty (23.3 %). Those in the teenage age group (aged 15-19 years) who were at risk of poverty had the highest overcrowding rate (40.9 %) among the three age classes that make up the young population, while those in the middle age group — aged 20-24 years — had the highest overcrowding rate. The oldest age group — persons aged 25-29 years — had the lowest overcrowding rate for both those at risk of poverty and those not at risk of poverty.

Among the EU Member States, the overcrowding rate for young people varied considerably across the EU-28, even more so than the severe housing deprivation rate. In Malta, 4.0 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) lived in an overcrowded household in 2017, while in Romania the rate reached 65.1 %. A total of 10 Member States had an overcrowding rate for young people in 2017 that was higher than the EU-28 average. Among them, seven (Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania) reported that more than half of their young population lived in overcrowded households (see Figure 4). The highest difference in percentage points between the overcrowding rate for the 15-29 years age group (61.6 %) and the population as a whole (41.9 %) was observed in Bulgaria (19.7 points). In relative terms, the largest differences were observed in Denmark, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Sweden and Finland, where the overcrowding rate for young people was at least twice as high as the rate for the population as a whole; this was also the case in Norway.

Figure 4: Overcrowding rate, 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_lvho05a)

Housing cost overburden rate

In 2017, 11.9 % of the young population (aged 15-29 years) in the EU-28 lived in households that spent 40 % or more of their equivalised disposable income on housing

The indicator housing cost overburden rate shows the percentage of the population living in households where housing costs equate to more than 40 % of a household’s disposable income.

In 2017, 10.2 % of the population in the EU-28 lived in households that spent 40 % or more of their equivalised disposable income on housing (see Figure 5). For the young population (aged 15-29 years) the share was somewhat higher, at 11.9 %. Among the three age classes within the young population the housing cost overburden rate was highest in the age group 20-24 years (14.1 %) and lowest in the age group 15-19 years (9.0 %).

Figure 5: Housing cost overburden rate, EU-28, 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_lvho07a)

The gap between the population at risk of poverty and not at risk of poverty was notably higher for the housing cost overburden rate than for the two indicators presented earlier in this article. The percentage of the population in the EU-28 that spent more than 40% of their available income on housing in 2017 was 4.5 % among persons not at risk of poverty and 37.8 % among those at risk of poverty.

In 2017, the housing cost overburden rate reached 40.2 % for the young population (aged 15-29 years) at risk of poverty in the EU-28, which was more than nine times the rate for the population of the same age who were not at risk of poverty (4.3 %). Among the three age groups within the young population at risk of poverty, those aged 20-24 years or 25-29 years recorded the highest housing cost overburden rates, 46.3 % and 44.8 % respectively.

Figure 6 presents the housing cost overburden rate in 2017 for the EU Member States and several EFTA and candidate countries. For the population aged 15-29 years, Malta had the lowest rate (1.2 %), while Denmark (30.0 %) and Greece (44.4 %) had by far the highest; the next highest rate was 16.4 % in Bulgaria. A total of nine Member States recorded rates above the EU-28 average (11.9 %), including the relatively large populations of the United Kingdom (2016 data), Germany and Spain.

Figure 6: Housing cost overburden rate, 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_lvho07a)

In 18 EU Member States, the housing cost overburden rate in 2017 was higher among the population aged 15-29 years than for the population as a whole. The difference of 14.3 percentage points in Denmark was far greater than in any of the other Member States, as the second largest difference was 5.9 percentage points in the Netherlands; among the EFTA countries, Norway also recorded a large difference (11.7 percentage points). In relative terms, the difference was also greatest in Denmark, as the housing cost overburden rate for young people was 1.9 times as high as for the whole population, although this was only slightly greater than the relative differences observed in Finland and France (both 1.8 times as high for young people); the relative difference was even greater in Norway, with the rate for young people (20.8 %) some 2.3 times as high as for the whole population (9.1 %).

Unlike the other indicators presented earlier in this article, some EU Member States recorded higher housing cost overburden rates for the population as a whole than for the younger population. This was the case in nine Member States as well as in Switzerland. Among these Member States, Bulgaria recorded the largest difference (2.5 percentage points), with 18.9 % of the population as a whole having a housing cost overburden compared with 16.4 % for the younger population; a similar situation was observed in Switzerland (where the difference was 2.4 points). In Romania, the housing cost overburden rate for the population as a whole and for the young population was the same (12.3 %).

In Figure 7 the housing cost overburden rate for young people (aged 15-29 years) is presented by sex: gender differences are generally small for this indicator. In the EU-28, the housing cost overburden rate for young women was 12.4 % in 2017, compared with 11.5 % for young men. In 20 Member States the rate was higher for young women than for young men, in France the rates were the same, and in the remaining seven Member States young men had a higher housing cost overburden rate than did young women. In the majority of Member States, the gender gap did not reach or exceed 2.0 percentage points in either direction. Sweden and Romania reported the largest differences (3.2 and 2.2 percentage points respectively) among Member States where the rate was higher for young men, while Ireland (2016 data) and Cyprus (3.2 and 3.1 percentage points respectively) reported the largest differences where young women had a higher rate.

Figure 7: Housing cost overburden rate for young people (aged 15-29 years), 2017
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_lvho07a)

Data sources

The data used in this article are primarily derived from EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). The legal basis for these data is the framework Regulation 1177/2003. EU-SILC is the main European source of information for statistics relating to income, living conditions and social inclusion. The reference population covered by these data is all private households and their current members residing in the territory of an EU Member State at the time of data collection. Persons living in collective households and in institutions are generally excluded from the target population. The EU-28 aggregate is a population-weighted average of individual national figures.

Context

Housing conditions are a fundamental aspect of living standards and social integration of individuals. For young people starting life away from the parental household finding and sustaining accommodation can be a big challenge. In the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy, one of the headline targets is: ‘lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion’. For each target a group of indicators was set up to monitor and support the strategy. Housing conditions are included within the indicators related to material deprivation. Housing issues were also addressed in the EU youth strategy which ran from 2010 to 2018. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward proposals for a new EU youth strategy for the period from 2019 to 2027.

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Youth social inclusion (yth_incl)
Living conditions (ilc_lv)
Housing conditions (ilc_lvho)
Material deprivation (ilc_md)
Housing deprivation (ilc_mdho)