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Over 20% of household expenditure allocated to housing

30/11/2018

© graletta / Shutterstock.com

In 2017, households in the European Union (EU) spent over €2 000 bn (equivalent to 13.1% of EU GDP) on "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels". This represents 24.2% of their total consumption expenditure and is by far the EU's largest household expenditure item, ahead of transport (13.0%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (12.2%), restaurants and hotels (8.8%) as well as recreation and culture (8.5%).

Of all household expenditure main items, housing was the item that saw the most significant increase in spending over the last decade, rising from a share of 22.7% of total household expenditure in 2007 to 24.2% in 2017 (or +1.5 percentage points).

A more complete overview of household final consumption expenditure, broken down by consumption purpose, is available in this interactive infographics.

Finland, Denmark and the United Kingdom spend highest share of household expenditure on housing, Malta spends least.

In the vast majority of EU Member States, "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" represents the most substantial item of household expenditure. In 2017, the share of household expenditure devoted to housing was largest in Finland (28.8%), Denmark (28.7%) and the United Kingdom (26.7%). They were followed by France (26.2%), Sweden (26.1%) and Czechia (25.4%). At the opposite end of the scale, Malta (10.1%), Lithuania (14.8%) and Cyprus (15.4%) spent the lowest share of their household expenditure on housing.

 

Graph: Housing expenditure in EU Member States, 2017

The source dataset can be found here.

Share of expenditure on housing increased mainly in Finland

Between 2007 and 2017, the share of "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" in total household expenditure grew in most Member States. In particular, the highest increase over this 10-year time period was recorded in Finland (from 24.0% of total household expenditure in 2007 to 28.8% in 2017, or a rise of 4.8 percentage points – pp), ahead of Portugal (+3.8 pp), the Netherlands (+3.7 pp), Ireland (+3.5 pp), Bulgaria (+3.4 pp) and Spain (+3.0 pp).

In contrast, the share of "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" in total household expenditure dropped between 2007 and 2017 in Slovakia (from 26.3% in 2007 to 23.7% in 2017, or a decrease of 2.6 pp), followed by Estonia (-1.0 pp), Poland (-0.8 pp), Germany and Malta (both -0.7 pp), Hungary (-0.5 pp) and Sweden (-0.1 pp), while it remained stable in Latvia.