EU Science Hub

Health conditions in regions of Eastern and Western Europe

Objectives: We report health conditions in the regions of the European Union (EU) from both objective and subjective perspectives and verify whether drawing conclusions regarding the health conditions in different countries without considering the countries’ sub-national variability may lead to inaccurate results. Methods: To depict health conditions in the EU regions, two classification methods are used: (i) hierarchical clustering with Ward’s method and squared Euclidean distance and (ii) k-mean clustering. To illustrate the intra-country variability of health conditions, the coefficients of variation are computed. Results: Health conditions are considerably better in the western regions of the EU. Objective and subjective health measures mostly do not always coincide. Extensive within-country differences in health conditions exist. Conclusions: The EU is clearly split into the EU-15 and Central and Eastern European countries, however, this division is observed with respect to objective health conditions only. Inclusion of self-perceived health status in the analysis measures considerably changes this picture.