Eurostat measures the standard of living by actual individual consumption per capita, which shows how many goods and services individuals consumed, regardless of whether they paid for them by themselves or the costs were borne by their governments or non-governmental organizations. Actual individual consumption per capita is expressed in purchasing power standards, which enables the elimination of the differences in price levels between countries.
Last year, the highest standard, as expressed by actual individual consumption per capita, was registered in Luxembourg and was 31% higher than the EU average.
Italy, Cyprus, and Lithuania closest to average
Luxembourg was followed by Germany and Denmark, where the standard was 23% and 21% higher than the average respectively. Cyprus, Italy, and Lithuania were closest to the average, where actual individual consumption per capita was up to 4% lower than the EU average.
Spain, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Malta, Poland, and Slovenia registered actual individual consumption per capita of between 10% and 20% below the EU average.
Croatia alongside Bulgaria
In Romania, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia, Latvia, and Hungary, actual individual consumption was between 20% and 30% lower than the EU average, while Croatia and Bulgaria had the lowest standards. Actual individual consumption per capita in Croatia in 2020 was 33% below the EU average, compared with 34% in 2019, while Bulgaria was 39% below the EU average.
Highest consumer prices in Luxembourg
Eurostat also showed differences in consumer prices between EU member states, using purchasing power standards.
Luxembourg had the highest price level index for actual individual consumption in 2020, half as high as the EU average. It was followed by Denmark, Sweden; Ireland, and Finland with price levels more than 20% higher than the average.
Consumer prices in Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy were slightly above the EU average, while those in Spain and Cyprus were up to 10% lower. Price levels in Latvia and the Czech Republic were about 30% below the average.
Croatia placed alongside Latvia, with price levels 35% lower than the EU average.
Prices in Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria were between 40% and 50% below the EU average.
GDP per capita
Luxembourg remained in the top spot as the country with the highest GDP per capita in the European Union. Expressed in purchasing power standards, it was two and a half times higher than the EU average.
Luxembourg was followed by Ireland, with GDP per capita slightly more than twice as high as the EU average, and Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, and Germany with GDPs roughly a fifth higher than the average.
France’s GDP per capita was slightly above the average and Malta’s slightly below, while Italy and the Czech Republic had a GDP per capita of less than 10% below the average.
The countries with GDPs per capita of between 10% and 20% below the EU average included Slovenia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Estonia, and Spain. Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia, and Romania had GDPs per capita of between 20% and 30% lower than the average.
Croatia placed alongside Greece, with a GDP per capita of 36% below the EU average, up from 35% in 2019. Bulgaria was at the bottom of the ranking with a GDP per capita of 45% below the EU average.
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