Household expenditure by consumption purpose in the EU 


In 2018, households in the European Union (EU) spent almost €2 100 bn (equivalent to 13.0% of EU GDP) on ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’.

This represents 24.0% of their total consumption expenditure and is by far the EU’s largest household expenditure item, ahead of ‘Transport’ (13.2%), ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’ (12.1%), ‘Recreation and culture’ (9.1%) as well as ‘Restaurants and hotels’ (8.7%).

The remaining household spending was distributed over ‘Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance’ (5.4%), ‘Clothing and footwear’ (4.7%), ‘Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics’ and ‘Health’ (both 3.9%), ‘Communications’ (2.3%), ‘Education’ (1.2%) and ‘Other’ (11.4%) – which together represented 32.8% of total expenditure in 2018.

eu household expenses

The source data is accessible here.

Finland, Denmark and Slovakia 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 2018, the share of household expenditure devoted to housing was largest in Finland (28.5%), Denmark (28.1%) and Slovakia (27.7%). They were followed by France (26.3%), the United Kingdom (26.0%), Sweden (25.9%) and Czechia (25.2%).

In contrast, Malta (10.3%), Lithuania (15.0%) and Cyprus (15.1%) spent the lowest share of their household expenditure on housing.

household expenditure

The source dataset can be found here.

Finland recorded highest increase in housing expenditure

Of all household expenditure main items, housing was the item that saw the most significant increase in spending over the last decade in the EU, rising from a share of 23.2% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 24.0% in 2018 (or +0.8 percentage points (pp)).

Between 2008 and 2018, the share of ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ in total household expenditure grew in most Member States. The highest increase was recorded in Finland (from 23.7% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 28.5% in 2018, or a rise of 4.8 percentage points (pp)), ahead of the Netherlands (+3.1 pp), Portugal (+2.7 pp), Bulgaria (+2.5 pp), Ireland and Spain (both +2.1 pp) and Luxembourg (+2.0 pp).

In contrast, this share dropped in 10 EU Member States: Slovakia (from 30.6% in 2008 to 27.7% in 2018, or a decrease of 2.9 pp), followed by Hungary (-2.1 pp), Germany and Latvia (-1.7), Malta (-1.3 pp), Cyprus (-1.0 pp), Poland (-0.7 pp), Sweden (-0.4 pp), the United Kingdom (-0.3 pp) and Czechia (-0.1 pp), while it remained stable in Lithuania.

Source: Eurostat

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