Statistics Explained

Archive:Eurostat yearbook

The Eurostat yearbook has been discontinued as from 2018. Most of its articles are still available as regular Statistics Explained articles classified by theme. Further Eurostat online publications can be found here

Latest update of text: November 2017. Planned article update: January 2018.

'Europe in figures — Eurostat yearbook' provides users of official statistics with an overview of the wealth of information that is available on Eurostat’s website and within its online databases. It belongs to a set of general compendium publications and, of these, it provides the most extensive set of analyses and detailed data. The Eurostat yearbook has been conceived as an online-only publication updated on a rolling basis that provides a balanced set of indicators, with a broad cross-section of information, covering all of the main areas in which official European statistics are available. The complete publication is available in English, German and French and a selection of around 20 articles is available in 19 additional European languages.


The Eurostat yearbook is divided into a general introduction and 13 main chapters (for example ‘Population’) each of them consisting of a chapter-specific introductory article and two to nine statistical articles (for example ‘Marriage and divorce statistics’). Each statistical article starts with a brief introduction followed by the core content composed of the main statistical findings with data presented in tables, figures and occasional maps that have been selected to illustrate the wide variety of data available for that particular topic; often these include information on how important benchmark indicators have developed during recent years within the European Union (EU), the euro area (EA) and the EU Member States. Thereafter, information about the data sources, data collection methods and / or data availability are presented. In addition, all of the main articles close with some general background information (for example EU policy context) and links to further information available on Eurostat’s website and elsewhere (for example, websites of other European Commission Directorates-General, the United Nations (UN) or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)).


Thematic coverage

With more than 450 statistical tables, figures as well as occasional maps, the Eurostat yearbook covers the following areas: population; living conditions; health; education and training; the labour market; economy and finance; international trade; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; industry and services; science, technology and digital society; the environment; energy; and transport.

Spatial coverage

The Eurostat yearbook usually presents information for the EU-28 (an aggregate / average covering the 28 Member States of the EU), the euro area (EA-19, based on a fixed composition of its current 19 members), as well as the individual EU Member States. The order of the Member States used in the yearbook generally follows their protocol order; in other words, the alphabetical order of the countries’ names in their respective original languages. In figures the data are usually ranked according to the values for (one of) the indicator(s) illustrated.

The EU-28 and euro area (EA-19) aggregates are normally only provided when information for all of the EU Member States is available, or if an estimate has been made for missing information; any incomplete totals that are created are systematically footnoted. Time series for these geographical aggregates are equally based on a consistent set of countries for the whole of the time period (unless otherwise indicated). In other words, although the EU only had 25 Member States since early 2004, 27 Member States since the start of 2007 and 28 Member States since the middle of 2013, the time series for the EU-28 refer to a sum or an average for all 28 Member States for the whole of the period presented, as if all 28 Member States had been part of the EU in earlier periods. In a similar vein, the data for the euro area are consistently presented for the 19 members despite the later accessions of Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, Slovakia, Estonia and most recently Latvia (on 1 January 2014) and Lithuania (on 1 January 2015) to the euro area. Unless otherwise stated, the data for the euro area covers the 19 Member States that have shared the euro as a common currency since January 2015 (EA-19: Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland), subject to availability.

When available, information is also presented for:

  • EFTA countries — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland;
  • the candidate countries — Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1], Albania, Serbia and Turkey;
  • potential candidates — Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo[2] when comparable data are available;
  • China, Japan and the United States when comparable data are available;
  • occasionally some other non-member countries — for example, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Korea.

In the event that data for any of these non-member countries are not available then these have been excluded from tables and figures; however, the full set of 28 EU Member States is maintained in tables, with footnotes being added in figures for those EU Member States for which information is missing.

Temporal coverage

In addition to presenting the data for the latest year (or reference period) available, the Eurostat yearbook often presents data for earlier periods. This may be: one or two additional years, for example 2014 and 2015 to be compared with data for 2016; a snapshot comparing with five and / or 10 years earlier, for example 2006 and 2011 to be compared with 2016; or a full time series covering the latest available decade (eleven values), for example, from 2006 through to 2016. The interval between the years presented in tables and figures is often restricted to a five- or 10-year comparison in order to highlight slower, structural changes.

If data for a reference period are not available for a particular country, then efforts have been made to fill tables and figures with data for previous reference periods (these exceptions are footnoted); generally, an effort has been made to go back at least two reference periods, for example showing data for 2014 or 2015 for those countries (or geographical aggregates) for which 2016 data are not yet available.

Timing of rolling updates and data freshness

Timing of rolling updates

Most articles are updated once a year after new, mainly annual, data have been released. As different statistical sources release new data at different times of the year, the updates of the articles in the Eurostat yearbook are published on a rolling basis throughout the year. The date of the current version (for example ‘Data from March 2017’) and planned update (for example ‘Planned article update: April 2018’) are indicated at the beginning of each article. For some articles (for example Government finance statistics) major updates are released twice a year and these articles are therefore updated biannually, whereas the release of data for some other articles is less frequent (for example the article on Innovation statistics is revised every two years as a function of this data collection being carried out biennially). For all articles, the original update is done in English; once this update has been completed it is translated — see Language versions below.

Data freshness

At the time of updating

At the time of updating an article the freshest data available are used. It should be noted that the latest reference period available (normally a reference year as most data are annual) varies across different sources and may therefore vary within an article and between different articles. The reasons for this are related to the methods of data collection, processing and subsequent release of data to the public, all of which involve more or less complex processes that result in a certain amount of time elapsing, which can vary from a few weeks in the case of short-term monthly indicators to several years for complex, ad-hoc surveys.

After updating

After an article has been updated, further updates to the data on which the article is based may become available (and released through Eurostat’s online database. A single article may be based on several data sources which release new data — typically for an additional reference year — at different times. As such, some data sources of an article may release an additional year’s data several months before the article is updated again, which, due to resource constraints, normally takes place only when all of the main data sources of the article have released an additional year’s data. The longer the period of time that has elapsed from the extraction of the data for an article, the greater the likelihood that fresher data are available for one or more of the data sources on which it is based. As well as data slowly becoming outdated, the links contained within an article may also become outdated.

How to get the freshest data?

General links to the data related to the topic of an article

At the end of each statistical article there are links to (one or more) relevant main tables and databases, through Eurostat’s online database (Eurobase).

Links to the data used to compile the tables, figures and maps of an article

It is possible to access the latest version of each data set through the online data codes that are provided as part of the source under each table, figure and map. These online data codes lead to a common standard view of the data set, which is not necessarily the one used for the tables, figures and maps in the statistical articles. In order to get the view used in a particular article it may be necessary to adjust the selection of the various dimensions (time, countries, indicators, other classifications) for the data set. A description of the use of the data codes is given in the article titled ‘Accessing European statistics’ / ‘Access to data’ / ‘Online data codes’.

With the specific view used when extracting the data for the tables, figures and maps of an article

An MS Excel file containing all of the tables, figures and occasional maps shown in each Eurostat yearbook article is provided towards the end of each article under the heading ‘Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)’. In most worksheets, below the data sets for the figures and maps or below the tables, users may find one or more bookmarks to the specific, tailor-made extractions which were used to create each table, figure or map.

Future data releases

A release calendar, which provides details of the schedule for releasing euro-indicators (a collection of important monthly and quarterly indicators), is available at: For other data sets, the metadata provided on Eurostat’s website gives information relating to the frequency of surveys and the time that may elapse before fresher data are published / released.

PDF version of an article

A PDF version of an article in Statistics Explained can be easily created. After opening the desired article, click the printer icon in the upper right corner.

Language versions and previous editions

Language versions

The online Eurostat yearbook is available in English, German and French on Statistics Explained. As the original articles are drafted in English and the translations take some time, the German and French versions of each article are not always as up-to-date as the English version. Occasionally the English version of an article may be lightly updated between the main annual updates; these interim updates are not always translated.

In addition, a selection of around 20 main statistical articles from the Eurostat yearbook are available in Statistics Explained in 19 additional languages (besides German, English and French): Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

Previous editions

Since its 2013 edition, the Eurostat yearbook has no longer been released as a PDF file or as a printed book in order to concentrate resources on the rolling updates of online articles. All previous editions of the publication (from 1996 through to 2012) are available as PDF files at:

As the type of content associated with the concept of a statistical yearbook is well known, Eurostat has decided to keep the name Yearbook for the online version, although its rolling updates and online format do not correspond to the traditional features of an annual printed publication.

Data presentation

Symbols and other presentational conventions

Eurostat’s online databases contain a large amount of metadata that provide information on the status of particular values or data series. In order to improve readability, only the most significant information has been included in the tables and figures that form each statistical article. The following symbols are used, where necessary:

: not available, confidential or value with low reliablity;

– not applicable.

The following presentational conventions are used:

Italic data value is forecasted, provisional or estimated and is likely to change;

Breaks in series are indicated in the footnotes provided under each table and figure.

Numbers and rounding

Billion is used to designate thousand million (rather than million million).

Non-rounded values are generally used as much as possible for statistical calculations. By contrast, values that are presented in an article are usually rounded (for example, to be more rapidly digested), with values presented in the text often rounded further than those than in tables or figures. As a result of rounding it is possible that some totals may be slightly different to those obtained when summing constituent parts in the tables or figures; in such cases, preference should be given to using the total (rather than the sum of the parts, as it should generally be more accurate). For example, in the Excel tables attached to the articles it is possible that more accurate values (with ‘hidden decimals’) are presented — these original (rather than rounded) values will have been used for any calculations performed on the data set (including the calculation of sums or averages). In a similar vein in figures (for example a pie chart) it is possible that the sum of the (rounded) values of the constituent parts does not equal 100 %.

The EU-28 and euro area aggregates are calculated from non-rounded values for the Member States. Due to rounding there may be small differences between the value of an aggregate given in a table or figure and the value that may be calculated directly from the Member States' values presented in a table or figure. Once again, the EU-28 total should be preferred.

Related Eurostat publications

Key figures on Europe

The statistical book Key figures on Europe is derived annually from the online Eurostat yearbook and presents some of the core content from the yearbook. It is available in English (2017 edition) , German (2016 edition) and French (2016 edition) both as PDF and paper versions.

Eurostat regional yearbook

The Eurostat yearbook's sister publication, the Eurostat regional yearbook supplements the information provided for the EU-28 and its Member States in the Eurostat yearbook by providing data at a sub-national level to give an overview of key statistics that are available for the regions of Europe. The 2017 edition was published in English in September 2017 as an online book in Statistics Explained and as a PDF. A paper version of the English publication became available in October 2017. Online versions of the German and French editions for 2017 were released in November 2017. All previous editions are available as PDF files.

The EU in the world

The EU in the world publication supplements the information provided in the Eurostat yearbook through a selection of important and interesting statistics on the EU — considered as a single entity — in comparison with the 15 non-EU countries from the Group of Twenty (G20). The 2016 edition was published in September 2016 as an online book in Statistics Explained, as a PDF and on paper; it is only available in English.


  1. The name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is shown in some tables and figures in this publication as FYR of Macedonia — this does not prejudge in any way the definitive nomenclature for this country, which is to be agreed following the conclusion of negotiations currently taking place on this subject at the United Nations.
  2. This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.