Finland is the country of the European Union (EU) where households spend more money on housing. And it is also the country that recorded the largest increase in housing expenditure in the last 10 years.
In the vast majority of EU Member States, ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ represents the most substantial item of household expenditure.
According to the latest figures by the statistical office of the EU (Eurostat), 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%), Sweden (25.9%) and Czechia (25.2%).
In contrast, Malta (10.3%), Lithuania (15%) and Cyprus (15.1%) spent the lowest share of their household expenditure on housing, says Eurostat.
The highest increase in ten years
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 an average share of 23.2% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 24% in 2018 (or +0.8 percentage points).
Between 2008 and 2018, the share of ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ in total household expenditure grew in most Member States. But 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), 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 ten 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.
In 2018, households in the EU spent almost 2,100 billion euros (equivalent to 13% of EU gross domestic product) on ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’.
This represents 24% 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%).