People in the EU

Demographic change is high on the list of challenges faced by the EU today, and one which has consequences for the real estate sector. On 27 November Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, published a new flagship publication “People in the EU: who are we and how do we live?” It provides a detailed picture of the population, families, households and housing, and is intended to promote understanding of the demographic, social and economic situation of those living in the EU.

The new publication draws on data from sources including the latest population and housing census, which was conducted in the EU Member States and EFTA countries in 2011, and a range of statistical surveys that collect data on population-related indicators which are available in the Eurostat database. These reveal, for example, that the population has aged significantly in the last 20 years, with the median age of the EU population being 42.2 years in 2014. Of the Member States, Ireland has the youngest population (median age 36.0 years), and Germany the oldest (median age 45.6 years).

Also almost one-third of EU households are now composed of one person, with the highest percentage of single-person households registered in the Nordic Member States, Denmark 45.0%, Finland 40.8% and Sweden 39.9%, and Germany 40.5%. Of those living alone, more than 40% were aged 65 or over in the EU, and predominately women, who made up 56.6% of such households.

In the foreword of the publication Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner responsible for employment, social affairs, skills and labour mobility, states that “Providing a better understanding of the different aspects of the lives of individuals and families will help the European Commission and the Member State governments in their joint efforts to create prosperity for everybody in Europe. This data will help us translate the 10 Juncker Commission priorities into targeted policies and concrete actions.”

The full publication is available at