The number of new enterprise births in the European Union (EU) as a proportion of the total number of active EU enterprises stood at 9.3% in 2017, according to the latest comparative figures released by the statistical office of the EU (Eurostat).
This rate remained stable compared with 2016 (9.3%), but it was slightly higher than that recorded five years before (9.5% in 2012).
The employment generated by these newly created enterprises stood at 2.4% of total employment in the EU in 2017, ranging from 5.2% in Portugal to 1.2% in Germany and the Netherlands.
The case of Finland
In Finland the birth rate of enterprises was stood at 9.6%, above the average of the EU. Finland also recorded the largest increase (2.9 percentage points) compared to the previous year.
After Finland, the countries where this rate grew more were Slovakia (2.7 percentage points), Hungary (2.1 pp), Estonia (1.2 pp) and Lithuania (0.9 pp). In turn, the highest decreases were observed in Malta (-6.1 pp), Latvia (-3.8 pp), Spain (-0.9 pp), Bulgaria and Italy (both -0.5 pp) as well as Austria and Sweden (both -0.4 pp).
The highest enterprise birth rate
The enterprise birth rates varied widely across EU member states in 2017.
The highest rates were observed in Lithuania (19.7%), Portugal (15.8%), Slovakia (13.7%), Hungary (12.9%) and Latvia (12.4%).
The lowest rates were recorded in Greece (4.5%), Belgium (6.4%), Sweden (6.6%), Germany and Austria (both 6.8%).