Accessing European statistics
Latest update of text: October 2019
Planned article update: December 2020
The simplest way to obtain Eurostat’s wide range of statistical information is through its website. Eurostat provides users with free access to its databases and all of its publications in portable document format (PDF) via the internet. The website is updated daily and presents the latest and most comprehensive statistical information available on the European Union (EU), its Member States, EFTA countries, as well as candidate countries and potential candidates. It also provides access to a narrower range of data covering other non-member countries, for example, other neighbouring countries (principally those to the east and south), as well as other major economies, such as Japan or the United States.
For full access to all of the services available on Eurostat’s website, it is recommended that users should take a few minutes to register from the homepage. Registration is free-of-charge and allows access to:
- Tailor-made e-mail alerts providing information on new publications as soon as they are online;
- Enhanced functionalities within databases (for example, the ability to save data queries and make bulk downloads).
The information on Eurostat’s website under the heading of ‘Browse statistics by theme’ (alternatively, click on ‘Data > Browse statistics by theme’ in the top menu bar of most webpages on the Eurostat website) provides links to:
- EU policy indicators (statistics for European policies and high-priority initiatives);
- Statistics by theme:
- General and regional statistics;
- Economy and finance;
- Population and social conditions;
- Industry, trade and services;
- Agriculture and fisheries;
- International trade;
- Environment and energy;
- Science, technology and digital society.
For each of these themes, the user is presented with a range of different subthemes. These subthemes are presented through ‘dedicated sections’ on each subject area, with links to information for data (main tables and databases), legislation, methodology, publications and other background information.
Access to data
Data navigation tree
The majority of Eurostat’s statistics may be accessed from the data navigation tree; alternatively, click on ‘Data > Database’ in the top menu bar of most webpages on the Eurostat website.
The data navigation tree is based on the nine statistical themes presented above and is collapsible and expandable. It has four main branches:
- Database by themes which contains the full range of public data available on Eurostat’s website. These data are presented in multi-dimensional tables with selection features that allow tailor-made presentations and extractions. The interface for databases is called the Data explorer and this provides an intuitive way to select and organise information. Data can be downloaded from the Data explorer in various formats (XLS, CSV, HTML, PC AXIS, SPSS, TSV and PDF).
- Tables by themes which offers a selection of the most important Eurostat data in a user-friendly way. All data are presented in simple two- or three-dimensional tables (referred to as main tables), generally with European aggregates and data for the EU Member States on the y-axis and time on the x-axis. Main tables can be viewed using an interface called TGM — tables, graphs and maps — where the data may be visualised as graphs or maps in addition to a standard, tabular presentation. Data can be downloaded from TGM in various formats (XLS, HTML, XML, TSV and PDF). Data can also be extracted directly in TSV format by the mean of a compressed file.
- Tables on EU policy which also provides access to pre-defined main tables; these have particular relevance for tracking the progress being made in relation to important policy areas, including: the macroeconomic imbalances procedure indicators; the euro-indicators / principal European economic indicators — PEEIs; the Europe 2020 indicators; the circular economy indicators; the sustainable development indicators; the Employment and social policy indicators; and the indicators for the European pillar of social rights. The tools for viewing and extracting data are the same as those described above for tables by themes.
- The fourth branch was created to present some cross-cutting topics, and currently contains data coming from different data sources on the quality of life, migrant integration and children in migration, economic globalisation indicators, equality (age and gender), quality of employment, agri-environmental indicators, climate change and skills-related statistics.
The data navigation tree also has two special branches, where new items or recently updated items (from all databases and main tables) can be displayed according to a number of criteria set by the user.
Online data codes
Eurostat online data codes, such as tps00001 and nama_gdp_c , allow easy access to the most recent data on Eurostat’s website; these codes are given as part of the source below each table, figure or map.
Users can access the freshest data by typing a standardised hyperlink into a web browser — https:/ /ec.europa.eu/eurostat/product?code=<data_code>&mode=view — where <data_code> is to be replaced by the online data code printed under the table or figure in question. The data are presented either in the TGM or the Data explorer interface.
Online data codes can also be fed into the ‘Search’ function on Eurostat’s website, which is presented in the top right-hand corner of most Eurostat webpages. The results from such a search present related dataset(s), publications, news releases, news articles, dedicated sections and other information. By clicking on these hyperlinks users are taken to the appropriate dedicated section or to product page(s).
Note that the data on Eurostat’s website are frequently updated.
Several data visualisation tools provide users with interactive web or mobile applications. They are available from the Eurostat website.
- My region gives access to a selection of annual regional indicators for the EU-28, EFTA and candidate countries.
- Country Profiles gives access to the main statistical data for the EU-28 and its Member States, the euro area, EFTA countries, EU candidate countries and a few other non-member countries.
- EU Economy gives access to the most important short-term macroeconomic indicators for the euro area, the EU-28 and its Member States.
Eurostat produces a variety of publications. All publications are available free-of-charge in an electronic format from Eurostat’s website and nearly all printed publications are also available free-of-charge. A ‘Publications’ tab is accessible from the top menu bar on Eurostat’s website.
Eurostat’s publications programme consists of several collections:
- Statistical books provide statistical data and analysis covering a broad range of topics. Among these books, Eurostat produces a few flagship publications (paper or digital) every year addressing themes highly relevant for stakeholders. Digital publications are interactive products containing short texts, dynamic infographics, maps, videos, graphs, photos, etc.
- Manuals and guidelines describe methodologies, guidelines and standards which are actually applied in the European Statistical System (ESS).
- Statistical working papers present on-going statistical methodological developments and applied statistical studies.
- Statistical reports are quality reports or other papers introducing new or experimental data in one statistical area.
- Compact guides are leaflets promoting statistical information available in a specific domain.
Statistics Explained is part of Eurostat’s website: it provides easy access to statistical information concerning the EU. It can be accessed from the homepage of the Eurostat website as well as from the right-hand frame of most dedicated sections.
Statistics Explained is an online publishing system about EU statistics which uses MediaWiki technology and resembles Wikipedia. It is a collaborative platform that is used to present statistical articles which together form an encyclopaedia of European statistics, completed by a glossary of the statistical concepts and terms used. In addition, numerous links are provided to the latest data and metadata and to further information, making Statistics Explained a portal for regular and occasional users alike.
Statistics Explained pages in English consists of some 640 statistical articles presenting data, 260 background articles on methodological practices or developments, and some 1 900 glossary pages defining or explaining terms; these numbers are continuously growing. The online version of the Eurostat regional yearbook — almost 100 statistical articles in total — are also made available in German and French, while about 25 key articles can be consulted in 23 EU languages. Other examples of cross-cutting online publications include The EU in the world and Sustainable development in the European Union .
Digital publications are interactive communication tools which present a specific statistical topic in an easy way with the aim to make statistics more understandable through short texts, dynamic infographics, maps, videos, graphs, photos etc. Example of such digital publications are The life of women and men in Europe, Shedding light on energy in the EU and People on the move.
Statistical data and metadata exchange (SDMX) content oriented guidelines were adopted in January 2009 by seven international organisations: the Euro SDMX metadata structure (ESMS) is a format based on these. ESMS is used to present methodological information structured according to 21 selected concepts; it is the standard for reference metadata in the ESS.
Reference metadata may be accessed on Eurostat’s website from the heading ‘Metadata’ or alternatively, click on ‘Data > Metadata’ in the top menu bar of most webpages on the Eurostat website. Metadata may also be accessed directly from the data navigation tree, or when viewing databases and main tables.
National reference metadata in ESMS format has been gradually made available to users on Eurostat’s website since 2011.
Eurostat also disseminates metadata about some indicators known as the ESMS-Indicator Profile. This provides user-oriented information on the properties of specific indicators, with work carried out for most indicators that link statistics to European policies, such as Europe 2020 indicators and sustainable development indicators (SDIs).
In parallel with the expansion of the coverage of national metadata, a new ESS Standard Quality Report Structure has also been introduced. It is the main report structure for reference metadata detailing data quality and uses the main SDMX concepts plus more detailed subconcepts designed to specifically document data quality. It is used for several statistical domains where detailed quality reports are required by legislation from EU Member States.
All the reference metadata concepts used in the different ESS standard report structures are also described in the Single Integrated Metadata Structure available on Eurostat’s website under the quality heading.
Eurostat and the other members of the ESS have set up a system of user support centres. These exist for nearly all of the EU’s official languages and for a range of languages spoken in the EFTA, candidate countries and potential candidates.
In order to offer the best possible and personalised support, requests should, whenever possible, be addressed to the relevant language support centre. The mission of each centre is to provide free-of-charge help and guidance to persons having difficulty in finding the statistical data they require. Contact information for these user support centres is available via the ‘Help’ tab on Eurostat’s website.
Eurostat’s service for journalists
Statistics make news and they are essential to many reports, features and in-depth analyses. Printed media, as well as radio, television and online information services, use Eurostat data intensively. Eurostat’s press office puts out user-friendly news releases on a key selection of data covering the EU, the euro area, the EU Member States and their partners. All Eurostat news releases are made available free-of-charge on Eurostat’s website at 11 a.m. (central European time). Journalists wishing to obtain, on the day of publication, news releases or our weekly release calendar by e-mail in German, English or French, should contact Eurostat’s press office by phone (+352) 4301 33408 or e-mail email@example.com.
News items are produced on a daily basis showing current topics and new data releases through short informative texts and visualisations published on the Eurostat website.
Eurostat’s media support service is dedicated to professional journalists and provides data extractions and explanations of Eurostat’s statistics. The very best is done to answer media requests as quickly as possible in order for journalists to meet their deadlines. Journalists can contact the media support team for information on news releases and to obtain Eurostat statistical data by phone (+352) 4301 33408 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eurostat institutional support
The Eurostat Institutional Support service is dedicated to staff members of all EU Institutions and services. To obtain statistical data, advice on statistical analysis or answers to any other questions on Eurostat products and services, please contact us at (+32) 229 71493 or ESTAT-INSTITUTIONAL-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu
- There are two types of online data codes: main tables have 8-character codes — the first character of which is the letter ‘t’ — for example, tps00001 or t2020_10, while datasets have codes that use an underscore ‘_’ within the syntax of the code, for example nama_10_a10 or demo_pjan.