There are 182 million hectares of forests and other wooded land in the EU-28, making up about 43 % of its land area. Over the past 25 years, this wooded land has grown by 5% - approximately 0.2 % per year - although the rate varies substantially between countries. Approximately 134 million hectares or 32% of the EU's land area is covered by forests that are available for wood supply. Since forests proper cover 161 million hectares in the EU-28, this means that 83.6% of our forests are available for wood supply.

Ecologically, the EU's forests belong to many different biogeographical regions and have adapted to a variety of natural conditions, ranging from bogs to steppes and from lowland to alpine forests. Socioeconomically, they vary from small family holdings to state forests to large estates owned by companies, many as part of industrial wood supply chains.

What are we doing?

Eurostat produces annual data from two questionnaires,

  • The Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (JFSQ) on production and trade in wood and wood products. The JFSQ is part of a worldwide exercise in which Eurostat is responsible for the EU and EFTA countries. Our partners are UNECE, FAO and ITTO
  • European Forest Accounts (EFA, formerly IEEAF) on the area and value of wooded land, the quantity and value of timber, the economic activity of forestry and logging and employment in the sector. EFA is part of a Eurostat environmental satellite accounts initiative that started in the late 1990s.

Why are we doing it and who are the users?

  1. The Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire provides data for
    1. Supply balances for wood products 
      • To model whether supply matches demand due to competing uses for material and energy
      • Fuelwood in the UNECE Joint Wood Energy Enquiry
      • To report on carbon in harvested wood products as defined in the 2013 Decision on LULUCF
    2. Comparisons of the EU with other big players, published by Eurostat and in
      • UNECE annual market review
      • ITTO monthly newsletter and ITTO annual world timber report
      • FAO forest products yearbook

  2. European Forest Accounts

There is renewed interest from the countries in producing these data, a collection re-started in 2008 after a break of several years. They provide data on

a. The economic viability of forestry and logging, informing rural development policy and national accounts;

b. Employment in forestry and logging in annual work units;

c. The multi-functionality of forests, because forests protect water resources, prevent avalanches and mudslides from hitting inhabited areas and infrastructure, bind CO2 and provide habitats of high biodiversity. Countries wish to know what the costs for these services are.


How we benefit from our international partners

We have early access to data on wood resources produced by our partner FAO. This is the five-yearly global Forest Resources Assessment, where all countries in the world are asked to report and forecast numbers on topics such as forest area, wood resources and removals. We also have early access to similar five-yearly data collected by FOREST EUROPE, UNECE and FAO.

Data & indicators

We use all available data to produce our data series on Eurostat's database and different kinds of indicators for special publications.