This is the most popular type of home in Europe right now

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Simon Torkington, Senior Writer, Formative Content

  • Almost half the population of the European Union lives in apartments.
  • Seven out of 10 people in EU member states own their house or flat.
  • But across Europe and indeed the world, there is a shortage of affordable housing.

Decent housing is one of the most basic of human needs. The place we call home, whether it’s a tiny flat or a grand house, provides shelter, safety and often defines our place in the social order too.

The latest housing research from the European Union (EU) gives a detailed breakdown of the types of homes occupied by citizens across the member states.

Data shows the divide between people living in flats and houses in the European Union.
Data shows the divide between people living in flats and houses in the European Union. Image: Eurostat

The data for 2019 (the latest available), shows that across the European Union as a whole, 53.3% of people lived in houses (detached, semi-detached or terraced) and 46.1% of people lived in apartments.

In 14 EU member states a majority of the population lived in flats. Latvia leads the way in flat occupation with 66% living in this type of home with Spain a close second on 65%. Ireland had just 8% of people residing in flats.

Croatia (68%) and Slovenia (66%) had the highest percentage of people living in detached houses. Ireland and the Netherlands were the only countries where a majority lived in semi-detached houses (58% and 53% respectively).

Owner occupiers

The research also reveals a high level of home ownership across Europe.

Across the continent seven out of every 10 people lived in a house or flat they own.

There were more owners than tenants in every EU member state in 2019. Romania (96%), Hungary (92%), Slovakia (91%) and Lithuania (90%) have the highest levels of ownership. The lowest shares of owner-occupied flats and houses were in Germany (51%) and Austria (55%).

A crisis in affordable housing

Statistics on home occupancy and ownership only tell part of the story. Across Europe and indeed the world, there is a shortage of affordable housing. Home ownership remains well beyond reach for many and even making the monthly rent is a struggle for hundreds of millions of people. Indeed, a 2019 World Economic Forum whitepaper warned that 90% of cities around the world do not provide affordable housing or housing of adequate quality.

The latest research from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Building for a better tomorrow: Policies to make housing more affordable, sets out the scale of the problem and suggests policy approaches to ensure everyone has access to decent, affordable housing.

As the financial burden of housing grows so does the number of overcrowded homes.
As the financial burden of housing grows so does the number of overcrowded homes. Image: OECD Affordable Housing Database
As the financial burden of housing grows so does the number of overcrowded homes.
As the financial burden of housing grows so does the number of overcrowded homes. Image: OECD Affordable Housing Database

The report finds less than half of the population, on average, in OECD countries think there is enough affordable housing available. It also shows families spending a greater proportion of household income on housing.

For low-income households it’s a continuing and familiar worry. Those worries are now hitting the middle classes too, says the report, with relatively high earners now finding it difficult to make ends meet as housing costs swallow up more of the monthly budget.

In the UK, 48% of households are spending more than 40% of their monthly budget on housing costs with the US a close second at 46%.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 challenges for government adoption of AI

A Sting Exclusive: “Sustainable development goals: what role for business?” Commissioner Mimica asks live from European Business Summit 2015

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

How teaching ‘future resilient’ skills can help workers adapt to automation

High-Level Forum on providing protection to Afghans at risk

How India is harnessing technology to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

COVID-19 has been a setback for women. Gender-responsive policies can stem the losses

Gig workers among the hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic

This Brooklyn farm company is training a new generation of urban farmers

Empathic AI could be the next stage in human evolution – if we get it right

UN chief urges emergency fund support as one of the ‘most effective investments’ in humanitarian action

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

Armed groups threaten every child in Central African Republic, UNICEF warns

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Here’s how one business leader is tackling injustice: It starts with personal commitment

To my Chinese friend

UN agency warns conditions around Yemen’s key port city of Hudaydah still ‘very bad’, as staff rush to deliver aid

Commission launches debate on responding to the impact of an ageing population

Honeybees are transforming the lives of mangrove farmers in Viet Nam – here’s how

Migration crisis update: mutual actions and solidarity needed as anti-migrant policies thrive

India vs Virus: voices from the COVID front line

Coronavirus: 70% of the EU adult population fully vaccinated

Azeri natural gas will keep the EU warm soon

Black Lives Matter – for Pakistan’s Sheedi community too

Go early, go hard and keep it simple: how Senegal is staying ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic

Busting the myths about coronavirus

4 key steps to decommissioning coal-fired power plants

Coronavirus response: Team Europe supports Somalia with three EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights

‘Huge’ stakes, ‘daunting’ job to tackle gender-based violence, UNICEF chief tells ground-breaking conference

We need tech solutions that value human interaction more than ever

European Commission adopts new tools for safe exchanges of personal data

Health Systems and Society: ways to reinforce the human power during the pandemic

Eight years after Fukushima, nuclear power is making a comeback

World Wildlife Day: UN chief urges ‘more caring’ relationship with nature

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

How COVID-19 is driving a long-overdue revolution in education

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

‘A new chapter’ dawns for democracy in Guinea-Bissau: top UN official

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on the Commission’s proposal for a new Regulation to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market

5 surprising ways major cities are going green

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

New neighbours: Could Venus really be home to alien life?

Remarks by Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on the Zero Pollution Action Plan

Chart of the day: When do young Europeans leave home?

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

Emotional stability and the COVID-19 pandemic: is it possible to reconcile them?

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

Nordic noir: The unhappiness epidemic affecting young people in the world’s happiest countries

Climate change: cutting the good by the root?

Why the global trade of chemicals is key to COVID-19 recovery

What does the future of energy look like, how do we get there, and who will benefit?

Brexit: PM May must hush Boris Johnson to unlock the negotiations

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

GSMA Reveals Global Partners for MWC21 Barelona

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: