In 2018, households in the European Union (EU) spent over €200 bn (equivalent to 1.3% of EU GDP) on ‘communications’. This represents 2.3% of households’ total consumption expenditure. By ‘communications’ we mean postal services, telephone and telefax equipment and services.
Households in Bulgaria spend the highest share, Luxembourg spends the least
In 2018, the share of communication-related household expenditure was highest in Bulgaria (4.8%), Greece (4.4%, 2017 data), Romania (4.1%) and Croatia (4.0%).
In contrast, Luxembourg (1.3%), the United Kingdom (1.6%), Denmark and Austria (both 1.9%) spent the lowest share of their household expenditure on communications.
The source dataset can be found here.
Estonia - highest decrease in communications expenditure, Romania the highest increase
Of all the main items of household expenditure, communications was the item that saw the most significant decrease in spending over the last decade in the EU. It fell from 2.8% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 2.3% in 2018 (or -0.5 percentage points (pp)).
Between 2008 and 2018, the share of total household expenditure on communications decreased in most EU Member States. The largest decrease was recorded in Estonia (from 3.8% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 2.5% in 2018, or a fall of 1.3 percentage points (pp)). Estonia was followed by the Netherlands (-1.1 pp), Poland (-1.0 pp), France (-0.8 pp), Ireland (-0.7 pp), Czechia, Portugal and Bulgaria (all -0.6 pp).
However, communication spending increased in four EU Member States where 2018 is available: Romania (from 2.1% in 2008 to 4.1% in 2018, or an increase of 2.0 pp), ahead of Lithuania (+0.5 pp), Sweden (+0.4 pp) and Croatia (+0.2 pp).
For more information:
- Statistics Explained article on household consumption by purpose
- Themes in the spotlight item on household expenditure
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