Can you afford to pay for education? - Products Eurostat News

null Can you afford to pay for education?


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In 2016, the majority (59%) of households living in the EU were able to pay the costs of formal education fairly easily (26%), easily (20%) or very easily (13%), whilst 41% of households reported some (22%), moderate (12%) or great (7%) difficulty in paying for these costs.

The affordability of formal education in the EU was similar across cities, towns and suburbs, and rural areas. Difficulty covering the related costs was reported by 44% of households in rural areas, 41% in cities and 39% in towns and suburbs.

The costs of formal education include tuition fees, registration, exam fees, books, school trips, canteen costs and other expected costs. In the case of adult learners, the cost can include the loss of income resulting from the individual giving up employment or reducing their working hours in order to participate in education. The purpose of analysing this data is to assess the level of difficulty households experience in covering the total costs of formal education for all household members who participate in formal education.


Infographic on affordability of formal education, 2016

The source dataset can be accessed here.


In 2016, at least one in two households reported difficulty in paying the costs of formal education in 15 EU Member States, in particular in Greece (89%), Cyprus (82%), Romania (78%) and Croatia (77%). In contrast, in the remaining 13 EU Member States, at least half of households were able to pay for formal education with ease. In particular, in Finland, 87% of households reported that they were able to cover the financial costs related to formal education fairly easily, easily or very easily, followed by Germany and Sweden (both 85%).

For the purposes of this article, the category ˈwith easeˈ includes those households which were able to cover the costs of formal education fairly easily, easily, or very easily, whilst the category ˈwith difficulty' includes those households which covered these costs with some difficulty, difficulty, or great difficulty.


For more information:

Eurostat website section on income, social inclusion and living conditions

Eurostat database on income and living conditions

Eurostat news release on access to services


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