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18 Jul, 2013

Fascinating Factoids about the social status of Europe, in one pocketbook


Brussels, 17 July 2013, Eurostats press release – How many foreign citizens live in an EU Member State? And how many of them come from another EU Member State? How is the risk of poverty influenced by the level of education? Are there more females or more males among the student population in the EU?

Answers to these questions and many more can be found in the 1st edition of the European social statistics pocketbook1, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The pocketbook presents a comprehensive summary of social statistics available at Eurostat and offers users an interesting and easy understandable overview. It includes seven chapters on population, health & safety, education & training, labour market, income & living conditions, social protection and crime & criminal justice.

EU citizens living in another Member State accounted for 2.7% of the EU population in 2012

In 2012, 34.3 million foreign citizens2 lived in the EU27 Member States, accounting for 6.8% of the EU27 population. This foreign population included 13.6 million EU citizens living in another Member State, 2.7% of the EU27 population, and 20.7 million non EU citizens, 4.1% of the EU27 population.

In 2012, the largest numbers of foreign citizens were recorded in Germany (7.4 million persons or 9% of the total population), Spain (5.6 million or 12%), Italy and the United Kingdom (both 4.8 million or 8%) and France (3.9 million or 6%). In total, more than three quarters of foreign citizens in the EU27 lived in these five Member States.

Among the EU Member States, the highest proportion of foreign citizens in the population was observed in Luxembourg (44% of the total population), followed by Cyprus (20%), Latvia3 and Estonia3 (both 16%). The percentage of foreign citizens was less than 1% in Poland, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

Luxembourg also recorded the highest proportion of foreign EU citizens (38% of the total population), followed by Cyprus (13%), Ireland (9%) and Belgium (7%). Apart from Latvia3 (16%) and Estonia3 (15%) the highest proportion of non-EU citizens was registered in Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Austria (all 7%).

There were 123 female students per 100 male in the EU27 in 2011

There were almost a quarter more female students than male students in tertiary education4 in the EU27 in 2011. This was the case in all Member States, except Greece and Cyprus where numbers were almost equal. Among the Member States, the highest female/male student ratios in tertiary education were found in Latvia (157 female students per 100 males), Slovenia (154), Poland (149), Estonia and Slovakia (both 148) and Sweden (145).

The higher the education level, the lower the risk of poverty

The level of education has a significant impact on the risk of poverty: in the EU27 in 2011, almost one quarter of the population aged 18 or over with a low education level5 was at risk of poverty6, compared with 14% of those with medium education5 and 7% with high education5. In all Member States, the lowest risk of poverty was registered for persons with a high education level.

In 2011, the share of persons with a low education level who were at risk of poverty ranged from 12% in the Netherlands to 44% in Bulgaria, while for those with medium education it varied between 8% in Malta and the Czech Republic and 21% in Lithuania and for those with high education between 2% in Romania and Portugal and 10% in Spain.

The largest differences in the at risk of poverty rate between persons with low and high levels of education were recorded in Bulgaria (44% for those with low education and 4% for those with high education), Croatia (38% and 5%), Romania (35% and 2%) and Cyprus (29% and 4%), and the smallest in the Netherlands (12% and 6%) and Denmark (17% and 9%).

  1. Eurostat pocketbook “European social statistics” is available free of charge in pdf format on the Eurostat website: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/product_details/publication?p_product_code=KS-FP-13-001.

Data presented in this News Release could differ from the data published in the report, due to updates made after the data extractions used for the publication.

  1. Citizenship means the particular legal bond between an individual and his or her State, acquired by birth or naturalisation, whether by declaration, choice, marriage or other means under national legislation.

Foreign citizens refer to persons who are not citizens of the country in which they reside. They also include stateless persons.

  1. In the case of Latvia and Estonia, the proportion of non-EU foreign citizens is particularly large due to the high number of ‘recognised non-citizens’, mainly former Soviet Union citizens, who are permanently resident in these countries but have not acquired Latvian/Estonian citizenship or any other citizenship.
  2. Tertiary education covers programmes that are largely theoretically based and are intended to provide sufficient qualifications for gaining entry into advanced research programmes and professions with high skill requirements (ISCED level 5A), programmes that are generally more practical/technical/occupationally specific than ISCED 5A programmes (ISCED level 5B), and tertiary programmes that lead to the award of an advance research qualification (ISCED level 6). Level 5A programmes have a minimum theoretical duration of three years’ full-time studies, although typically they are of four or more years. Level 5B programmes are typically shorter than those in 5A with a minimum of two years’ full-time studies.
  3. Data are classified according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): high education corresponds to ISCED levels 5 and 6 (tertiary education); medium education corresponds to ISCED levels 3 and 4 (upper secondary and post secondary non-tertiary education) and low education to ISCED levels 0-2 (pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education).
  4. Persons at-risk-of-poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers). The equivalised income is calculated by dividing the total household income by its size determined after applying the following weights: 1.0 to the first adult, 0.5 to each other household member aged 14 or over and 0.3 to each household member aged less than 14.