People in the EU - introduction

Data extracted in November and December 2017

No update planned

This introduction is one of a set of statistical articles that forms Eurostat’s flagship publication People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? The publication presents a snapshot of the population of the European Union (EU) — as captured by the 2011 census and various other Eurostat data sources. It aims to answer a range of different questions, including:

  • How do people live, work and learn in the EU in the 21st century?
  • What are the most common family and household structures, and how are they changing?
  • What are housing conditions like across the EU Member States?
  • How many people living in the EU are migrants from another country?
  • How frequently do people in the EU move to another region or country?
  • What are the characteristics of active ageing in the EU?
  • And finally, what might the population of the EU be like if we look ahead 60 or more years?

Eurostat provides users with free data on all of these topics. In this publication, each article helps to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date summary for a range of demographic phenomena, helping us to understand more about the people living in the EU today.

A paper edition of the publication was released in 2015. In late 2017, a decision was taken to update the online version of the publication (subject to data availability). Readers should note that while many of the statistical sources used in People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? have been revised since its initial 2015 release, this was not the case for the population and housing census, as a census is only conducted once every 10 years across the majority of the EU Member States. As a result, the analyses presented often jump between the latest reference period — generally 2015 or 2016 — and historical values for 2011 that reflect the last time a census was conducted with the information from the census remaining unchanged with respect to the 2015 release, while most of the other sources of information have been refreshed.

Full article


People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? is divided into seven analytical articles, covering:

  1. Demographic changes - profile of the population, which provides an overview of long-term population developments in the EU, including the slowdown in birth and fertility rates, an increase in life expectancy and the gradual ageing of the EU’s population.
  2. Changing family life - portrait of household and family structures, which describes the composition of households and families across the EU and the pattern of an increasing number of fragmented family units.
  3. Home comforts - housing conditions and housing characteristics, which analyses the EU’s housing stock in terms of its age, the average size of dwellings, types of tenure, and housing deprivation measures.
  4. Native diversity - residents’ origin, which analyses a set of indicators for national and foreign-born populations in the EU.
  5. Changing places - geographic mobility, which provides, among others, an analysis of the mobility patterns of different socioeconomic groups in the EU who changed their dwelling during the 12-month period prior to the last population and housing census.
  6. An ageing society - focus on the elderly, which presents data on the fastest growing section of European society, people aged 65 years and over.
  7. Demographic challenges - population projections, which analyses the considerable changes that will likely be seen in the structure of the EU’s population through to 2080.

The core content of each article is a set of main statistical findings presented alongside tables, figures and occasional maps that have been selected to illustrate the wide variety of statistical information that is available. Links are also provided to the relevant parts of Eurostat’s website where further information can be found.

Demographic change in the EU: the challenges

Demographic change — together with geopolitical uncertainties, globalisation and climate change — is recognised as one of the most significant challenges currently facing Europe. In recent decades, the structure and profile of the EU’s population has changed considerably, due in part to: lower birth and fertility rates; changes in patterns of family formation; shifts in the roles of men and women; greater geographic mobility; higher levels of migration; and increases in life expectancy.

These demographic changes have led to the role of the family becoming generally weaker, and have given rise to a decline in the average size of households, different forms of living arrangements (consensual unions or registered partnerships) and record numbers of people living alone. As a result, there are considerable differences in the way that we live today compared with say 50 years ago and it is likely that the pace of change will quicken in the coming decades, as the EU’s population grows progressively older.

Demographic change in the EU: policy responses

With an ageing population, policy attention has focused on the contribution the elderly can make to both economic life and civil society. An active elderly generation has the potential to influence a range of policy areas, including public finances, labour markets, housing, health and social care. Most EU governments have already looked at ways of encouraging a higher proportion of the elderly to remain in the labour market, while they have also examined and introduced a raft of pension reforms (often with the goal of improving the medium and long-term financial viability of these systems). However, policy initiatives linked to population ageing extend beyond the domains of public finances and pensions, to issues influencing people’s lives by providing reforms that strengthen family relationships and inter-generational cooperation.

Changes in family structures (more people living alone), labour markets (the increasing participation of women or older persons) and increased spatial mobility (higher levels of inter-regional or international migration), have led to some individuals finding it increasingly difficult to combine their working and family lives, providing the support that has traditionally been given to older relatives. This reconciliation (or balancing) of working and family life has received a great deal of policy attention.

The year 2006 was declared European year of workers mobility, while 2008 was declared European year of intercultural dialogue. More recently, the European year of active ageing and solidarity between generations in 2012 highlighted the contributions that older people can make to economic development and to society in general, focussing on three main areas:

  • creating better job opportunities and working conditions for older people;
  • helping older people play an active role in society;
  • encouraging healthy ageing and independent living.

In June 2010, the European Council adopted the Europe 2020 growth strategy with the goal of the EU becoming a ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive economy’. The strategy addressed demographic transformations and highlighted that Europe’s future would depend, at least to some degree, on its ability to capture the potential of its two fastest growing population groups, the elderly and migrants. The Europe 2020 strategy also identified the need for increased reconciliation between paid work and family commitments, and the role that this may play in achieving greater social cohesion. The European employment strategy (EES) supported the Europe 2020 target to increase the employment rate of those aged 20-64 years to at least 75 % by 2020; one means of doing so was by encouraging older workers to remain in the workforce up to and beyond the minimum age to draw a pension. One of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, the ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’ was designed to empower people by developing their skills, so as to improve their flexibility and security (flexicurity) in the working environment; it included actions on lifelong learning and e-skills. The Europe 2020 strategy also promoted the active inclusion of vulnerable groups and the provision of decent housing for everyone through the ‘European platform against poverty and social exclusion’ flagship initiative.

This work was subsequently incorporated into three new initiatives, namely; the European semester, a new skills agenda for Europe, and the European pillar of social rights. The first of these provides a framework for coordinating economic policies across the EU. The second is designed to try to make sure that people in the EU are able to develop the skills that are necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow, with the goal of boosting employability, competitiveness and growth across the EU. The third is designed to deliver new and more effective rights for EU citizens, by developing: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; and social protection and inclusion.

Confronting demographic change

In a Communication The Demographic Future of Europe — from Challenge to Opportunity (COM(2006) 571), the European Commission presented its views on the demographic challenges facing the EU and provided a range of policy options for tackling these. The Communication stressed the belief that there was a need to act in at least five policy areas, namely:

  • supporting demographic renewal through better conditions for families and improved reconciliation of working and family life;
  • boosting employment — more jobs and longer working lives of better quality;
  • raising productivity and economic performance through investing in education and research;
  • receiving and integrating migrants into Europe;
  • ensuring sustainable public finances to guarantee adequate pensions, healthcare and long-term care.

European agenda on migration

The European agenda on migration sets out the EU’s response to the migrant crisis which intensified in 2015 when thousands of migrants put their lives in peril by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. As well as providing actions designed to provide a rapid response to the immediate crisis, the agenda also proposed a range of medium and longer-term steps that should be taken to manage migration, including: reducing the incentives for irregular migration, reforming the EU’s common asylum policy, and developing a new framework for legal migration and integration (in order to ensure the EU remains an attractive destination for migrants at a time of demographic decline).

Statistical sources

People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? presents data from a wide range of official sources. The principle source is a population and housing census that was conducted in each of the EU Member States and EFTA countries during the course of 2011; note that each country was able to choose when they carried out their census and some aspects in relation to how the data would be collected and compiled.

Specific surveys and Eurostat population projections are used to supplement this information from the census, according to the subject matter of each article, for example, drawing on information concerning: demography and migration statistics; EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC); labour market statistics from the labour force survey (LFS); health statistics; statistics on the digital economy and society; and tourism.

Population and housing census

A census provides an opportunity to obtain a comprehensive and accurate picture of the population and the housing stock. It is a considerable undertaking, which provides a unique source of data that is invaluable for policy formation, as comparable data are collected for small areas (municipalities) that may be aggregated up through regions, to national and international aggregates. A census may also be used to collect information on the main characteristics of individuals, families, households and the dwellings in which they live, in other words a range of geographic, demographic, social and economic information.

The results of a population and housing census are unique insofar as they provide detailed information down to the level of individual municipalities, while also providing a means to produce cross-tabulations of different variables. The essential features that distinguish a population and housing census from other data collections are:

  • individual enumeration — in other words, the characteristics of each individual person and dwelling are separately recorded, allowing the cross-classification of various characteristics;
  • simultaneity — the information obtained on individuals and dwellings refers to a specific and unique reference period;
  • universality — the census provides data that cover all persons, households and dwellings in precisely defined territorial areas;
  • small-area data — the census allows data to be produced for the smallest geographic areas of a country and for small subpopulations, subject to the protection of confidentiality.

Given its scope and magnitude, a population and housing census is generally conducted once every 10 years in Europe, although a few of the EU Member States have decided to conduct an annual census and others have censuses every five years. The latest census for all of the Member States and EFTA countries was conducted in 2011 and it entailed comprehensive administrative preparations by a wide range of public agencies including local, regional and national authorities, as well as national and international statistical agencies.

The 2011 census programme was a considerable undertaking for the European Statistical System (ESS), designed to provide high-quality, detailed and comparable data on the size and characteristics of the population and the housing stock of Europe. The census is a huge and uniquely rich source of data, providing information that is of use to students, researchers, analysts, policymakers and administrators working in central and local government, academia and the private sector.

The 2011 European census statistics are the result of extensive planning, close cooperation and consultation between Eurostat and the NSIs. The aim has been to facilitate the widest possible use of the census as a key resource for European social statistics. For the 2011 exercise, European legislation defined (for the first time) a detailed set of harmonised data to be collected in each EU Member State, based on international guidelines and recommendations prepared by the United Nations (UN), Eurostat and the individual offices of each national statistical authority. Each EU Member State was free to develop the data collection and processing methods that they considered to be best suited to their own administrative practices and traditions. Thereafter, they prepared data sets and metadata based on harmonised statistical definitions and classifications, as specified in the legislation (see below), ensuring comparability between Member States.


European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 763/2008 on population and housing censuses outlines the topics to be collected, transmission procedures and quality assessments to be undertaken for the census. However, it is concerned with output harmonisation, rather than input harmonisation and each EU Member State was therefore free to assess for themselves how to conduct their census and which data sources, methods and technology were best for their own individual context.

By contrast, certain conditions had to be met to achieve the objective of comparable data and these were detailed in a set of three implementing regulations:

  • European Commission Regulation (EC) No 1201/2009 contains definitions and technical specifications for the census topics (variables) and breakdowns (for example, classifications of location, sex, marital status and occupation) that were required;
  • European Commission Regulation (EU) No 519/2010 provides details of the data output to be used to transmit data to the European Commission in order to comply with a defined programme of statistical data (tabulations);
  • while European Commission Regulation (EU) No 1151/2010 legislates for the transmission of a quality report containing a systematic description of the data sources used and the quality of the census results produced.

Eurostat’s website provides more information on the population and housing census.

Population statistics (demography, migration and population projections)

In contrast to the data from the population and housing census, information on demography and migration is collected every year from the national statistical authorities of 49 European countries (both EU Member States and non-member countries), and is largely based on administrative sources.

Eurostat’s population statistics (as used in this publication) generally refer to the situation as of 1 January each year. Different analyses of the overall population numbers are available, covering:

Annual data are collected for vital events (births and deaths). The number of live births is presented according to characteristics of the mother (statistics by age; by educational attainment; by marital status; by citizenship; by country of birth) or of the child (by sex; by birth order). Fertility rates and mean ages at (first) childbirth are calculated on the basis of distributions according to the mother’s age. Eurostat also collects data on marriages and divorces, as well as childbirth outside marriage.

Life expectancy is a key indicator used to analyse and compare mortality patterns. Data on the number of deaths are available by characteristics of the deceased (statistics by citizenship; by country of birth; by region of residence).


The legal basis for the collection of population statistics is provided by European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 on European demographic statistics and by an implementing Regulation (EU) No 205/2014 which specifies the classifications and tabulations (breakdowns) of data, deadlines and conditions for data revisions.

European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 legislates for the collection of Community statistics on migration and international protection, together with implementing Regulation (EU) No 351/2010 which specifies the definitions of the categories of the groups of country of birth, groups of country of previous usual residence, groups of country of next usual residence and groups of citizenship to be used.

Migration (immigration and emigration) is one of two basic components that explain population change in the EU, natural population change being the other. Data are available on the stock of foreign persons residing in each of the EU Member States (statistics by citizenship; by country of birth), as well the flow of immigrants and emigrants into/out of a Member State each year.

Using population statistics, vital events and migration developments, Eurostat produces population projections every three years. These provide information as to the likely future size and structure of the EU’s population. European population projections (with base year 2015) contain statistical information on population projections through to 2080/2081; statistics for the main scenario provide projections of the population as of 1 January by sex and by age.

While each country collects demography and migration data in its own way (for a detailed repository of the differences please refer to ‘Demographic statistics: a review of definitions and methods of collection in 44 European countries’), EU Member States have made efforts to harmonise the main data sets that they collect.

Eurostat’s website provides more information on population statistics.

Statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC)

EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) provide statistics on income distribution and social exclusion in the EU. This source is based on a framework that defines a list of primary (annual) and secondary (every four years or less frequently) variables, with microdata collected for income, poverty, social inclusion/exclusion, housing, education, labour and health topics. EU-SILC provides statistics that cover absolute and relative measures, for objective and subjective aspects, in monetary and non-monetary terms, for households and individuals.


The main legislation establishing EU-SILC specifying the survey design, survey characteristics and data transmission requirements is European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1177/2003.

A number of implementing regulations provide for further specifications concerning definitions, fieldwork, sampling practices, permanent variables and quality reports. Furthermore, additional regulations are used to introduce variables that are collected only every four or five years, through a variety of ad-hoc modules.

The reference population of EU-SILC includes all private households and their current members at the time of data collection; those living in collective households and in institutions are generally excluded. All household members are surveyed, but only those aged 16 years and over are interviewed.

Eurostat’s website provides more information on statistics covering income and living conditions.

Labour force survey (LFS) statistics

Labour force statistics measure the involvement of individuals, households and businesses in the labour market. They cover short-term and structural aspects of the labour market, both for the supply and the demand side, in monetary and non-monetary terms. Some of the most widely used statistics in this domain concern employment and unemployment, as provided by the EU’s labour force survey (LFS).


The legal basis for the collection of data for the labour force survey is Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 on the organisation of a continuous, quarterly sample survey; this specifies the design, survey characteristics and decision-making processes and has been amended several times (2002, 2003 and 2007).

Implementing regulations specify further detail, in particular on the coding and classifications to be used.

The LFS is the largest European household survey, providing quarterly and annual data on labour participation for people aged 15 years and over. It covers residents in private households (excluding conscripts), analysed by labour status (employed, unemployed or economically inactive). The data are analysed according to multiple dimensions (by age; by sex; by educational attainment; permanent/temporary employment; full-time/part-time employment).

Eurostat’s website provides more information on statistics covering the labour force.

Health statistics

European health statistics measure both objective and subjective aspects of the population’s health. They cover different kinds of issues that affect everyday lives, including indicators on the functioning of public health care systems, self-reported health indicators, prevalence and incidence rates for a range of diseases, and mortality data by cause of death. Prevalence is the actual number of cases of people who suffer from a specific disease; it is often reported as a rate in relation to the total population at risk. Incidence is the rate of new (or newly diagnosed) cases of a particular disease; these statistics are also more meaningful when expressed as a rate (for example, per 100 thousand inhabitants).


The legal basis for the collection of data on health is European Parliament and Council framework Regulation (EC) No 1338/2008 on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work. The Regulation lists five domains: health status and health determinants; healthcare; causes of death; accidents at work; and occupational diseases and other work-related health problems and illnesses. A number of European Commission Regulations were subsequently adopted specifying in detail the variables, breakdowns and metadata that EU Member States should deliver.

Eurostat’s website provides more information on health statistics.

Digital economy and society statistics

Statistics on the digital economy and society track the production and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), which have been one of the main drivers of economic and social change in recent years. The data presented in this publication refer to the use of the internet by the elderly, the number of internet users who used the internet at least once a week and the number of internet users who went online every day. Statistics are also presented for a range of activities such as online banking or the use made of social networks.


The legal basis for the collection of data on the information society is European Parliament and Council framework Regulation (EC) no 808/2004 and framework Regulation (EC) No 1006/2009 which provide for a module covering enterprises, and a module covering households and individuals.

As framework regulations there is the possibility for adjustments to be made in order to collect specific variables each year through a series of ad-hoc modules, thereby meeting the needs of policymakers to collect new indicators on emerging technologies and products in this rapidly evolving domain.

Eurostat’s website provides more information on digital economy and society statistics.

Tourism statistics

Tourism statistics are collected by competent national authorities in the EU Member States; they are compiled according to a harmonised methodology established by EU law (see below). Most of the data are collected via sample surveys.

Tourism covers the activity of visitors taking a trip to a destination outside their usual environment, for less than a year, for any purpose, including business, leisure or other personal purposes. Three main types of tourism are distinguished, according to the origin and destination of visitors: domestic tourism; inbound tourism, and; outbound tourism.


The collection of statistical information in the field of tourism is based on European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) no 692/2011 concerning European statistics on tourism, together with Commission implementing Regulation (EU) no 1051/2011 as regards the structure of the quality reports and the transmission of the data.

These cover, on the one hand, data on capacity and occupancy of tourist accommodation establishments, and on the other, data on trips made by EU residents.

Eurostat’s website provides more information on statistics covering tourism.


Know more about your area

Do you need to find out more about the population and housing of your city, region or country?

  • How many single parent families are there in your area? How many of these are headed by a lone father?
  • How many of the elderly residents in your area were born abroad? When did they arrive in the country?
  • What proportion of dwellings in your area are over 50 years old? How many of these dwellings are unoccupied?
  • How does your area compare with other parts of Europe?

There is now an easy and flexible way to get the detailed information that you need — the CENSUS HUB.

The CENSUS HUB: a new way of disseminating European statistics

Eurostat has developed an online application called the CENSUS HUB.

The 2011 census data are disseminated in an innovative way designed to maximise the value of these hugely detailed data by offering users great flexibility to define data extractions to meet their needs. Users are not restricted to accessing a small number of pre-defined tables. Instead, they can specify their own cross-tabulations.

The CENSUS HUB provides free access to the wealth of census data and is an easy-to-use tool that can quickly produce customised tabulations. It was set-up by Eurostat, together with ESS members, and provides access to the population and housing census data stored in each EU Member State and EFTA country. The CENSUS HUB is based on the concept of data sharing, whereby each national statistical authority provides access to their data according to standard processes, formats and technologies, while Eurostat provides the infrastructure and interface that allows users to specify, compile and extract data. Each national statistical authority keeps control over their own data, with responsibility for data validation and revisions. Data from the national databases are compiled by the CENSUS HUB, with output either displayed on screen or in spreadsheet-readable files. This whole process takes just seconds.

Structure of the CENSUS HUB system

Data from the population and housing census are available for almost 125 000 municipalities: as such, the CENSUS HUB provides an opportunity for people to learn more about their own town or municipality with data for individuals, families, households and the dwellings in which they live across all 28 EU Member States and the four EFTA countries. A summary of the information available is presented in Figures 1, 2 and 3.

Figure 1: Structure of the CENSUS HUB system

Figure 2: Information available in the CENSUS HUB — data for persons/individuals

Figure 3: Information available in the CENSUS HUB — data for households, families and housing

The CENSUS HUB is an easy-to-use, versatile tool that will meet the needs of many different types of users. It can provide information for:

  • analysts in central or local government, businesses and non-governmental organisations who can extract background data for their research;
  • researchers or demographers who can benefit from the richness of around one billion figures on population and housing in Europe — some at the level of individual municipalities;
  • anyone who just wants to learn more about their country, region or municipality, or about anywhere else in the EU.

You can select and arrange the tables as you need and then ‘cut and paste’ or download the data for use in your reports or studies. The CENSUS HUB also gives access to extensive metadata — explanatory information to help understand the data, including the definitions of the census topics, quality measures and details of the census methodology used in each country. Anyone can use the CENSUS HUB free-of-charge via the internet; it is an easy to use, versatile tool providing access to almost one billion data points.

We invite you to try it:

Using the CENSUS HUB

STEP ONE: select the statistical unit of interest: persons, families and households, or dwellings. Then decide whether the results should be based on place of residence or place of work and choose the level of geographical detail (national level, NUTS level 2 regions, NUTS level 3 regions, or municipalities); note that the level of geographical detail depends on the variables and countries selected (some levels are not available for some countries due to their size). The topics (variables) to be included in the output table are then presented for selection, together with the geographical breakdown. The data selection screen also offers links to detailed methodological information.

Figure 4: Using the CENSUS HUB — step one

STEP TWO: on the following screen, choose the layout of the output table(s).

Figure 5: Using the CENSUS HUB — step two

STEP THREE: visualise the output on screen.

Figure 6: Using the CENSUS HUB — step three

STEP FOUR: select a file format to download the data for further analyses.

Figure 7: Using the CENSUS HUB — step four


Data extraction

People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? was updated during November and December 2017, when the most recent data available was extracted from Eurostat’s online databases; this information was used to construct tables, figures and maps, and to draft the accompanying analysis. Note that it is possible that some of the data used within People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? has already been revised or that an additional reference period has become available for one or more countries since the data were extracted.

Spatial coverage

The articles generally present data for the EU-28 (a sum/average covering the 28 Member States of the EU), as well as information for individual EU Member States. In tables, the order of the EU Member States follows their order of protocol; in other words, the alphabetical order of the countries’ names in their respective languages. In figures, the data are usually ranked according to the values of a particular indicator.

The EU-28 aggregate is only provided when information for all 28 of the Member States is available, or if an estimate has been made for missing information. Any incomplete totals that have been created are systematically footnoted. Time series for the EU aggregate are based on a consistent set of information across the whole of the time period (unless otherwise indicated). For example, 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, time series for the EU-28 refer to a sum/average for all 28 of the Member States for the whole of the period shown, as if all 28 Member States had been part of the EU for the whole period in question. This approach facilitates the interpretation of the data as it is not interrupted by changes in the composition of the EU.

Data are presented at various geographic levels covering national and sub-national areas. At the heart of regional statistics is the NUTS classification, which covers territorial units based on a hierarchy of regions across the EU Member States. The NUTS classification subdivides each Member State into regions at three different levels, covering NUTS levels 1, 2 and 3 (from larger to smaller areas). Data according to local administrative units (LAUs) is even more detailed.

Whenever available, data are also presented for the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and for the candidate countries (Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [1], Albania, Serbia and Turkey). Regional information is also shown for EFTA and candidate countries (when available), based on so-called statistical regions, which follow the same rules as the NUTS (although they have no legal basis in EU law).

More information on the NUTS classification, is available at:

More information on the system of local administrative units (LAUs), is available at:

More information on statistical regions for non-member countries, is available at:

Temporal coverage

Population and housing censuses are generally only conducted once every 10 years in most of the EU Member States. The information presented from this source (the CENSUS HUB) relates to the 2011 census round; no comparisons have been made with the results from previous census exercises because of changes in methodology.

For the other sources, surveys are generally conducted on a more regular basis, often annually, and this allows some of the tables and figures to show developments over time. Time series for some indicators may extend back a considerable period of time; for example, there are EU aggregates available for demographic indicators that stretch back to the 1960s. It is however more common to find that time series generally span a period of approximately the last 10 years.

Aside from the final article on demographic projections, the information presented in People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? does not include forecasts. Those tables, figures and maps which present a snapshot of a single reference period are based on the most recent period available when data were extracted (November and December 2017). The latest reference period may vary between the different sources because there are different methods for data collection, processing and release, all of which involve more or less complex processes that result in a certain amount of time elapsing, which can vary from a few months (as for the labour force survey) to several years (as for the census).

If data for a specific reference period were not available then efforts were made to fill tables and figures with information pertaining to previous reference periods (these exceptions are also footnoted); generally, this process involved going back at least two reference periods, for example, trying to include data for 2014 or 2015 in the event that a value was missing for 2016.

Data presentation

Many of the data values used in People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? have accompanying metadata or flags that provide information on the status of particular values or series/indicators. In order to improve readability, only the most significant information has been included as footnotes under tables, figures and maps.

Estimates or provisional data used in the construction of tables are indicated through the use of an italic font for the value(s) in question. In figures and maps, estimates and provisional values are footnoted. In a similar vein, all breaks in series are footnoted.

The following symbols and formatting are used, where necessary:

  • Italic data value is provisional or estimated and is therefore likely to change;
  •  : not available, confidential or unreliable value;
  • - not applicable.

The term billion is used to signify a thousand million.

Direct access to
Other articles
Dedicated section
External links


  1. The use of the name the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 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.