In 2021, the levels of actual individual consumption (AIC) in the EU showed significant differences. Used as a measure of the material welfare of households, AIC per capita expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS) varied from 65 % to 144 % of the EU average across the Member States in 2021.
This information on GDP and consumption per capita is based on revised purchasing power parities published by Eurostat today. The article presents some of the findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.
Luxembourg recorded the highest level of AIC per capita in the EU at 44% above the EU average, followed by Germany (20 % above), Denmark (19 % above), Austria (17 % above) and Belgium (16 % above). In 2021, nine Member States recorded AIC per capita above the EU average.
The lowest levels of AIC per capita were registered in Bulgaria (35% below the EU average), Hungary (30 % below), Slovakia (29 % below), Croatia (28 % below) and Greece (25 % below).
Over the last three years, AIC per capita relative to the EU average has changed in the majority of Member States. A clear increase was registered in Bulgaria (65 % of the EU average in 2021 compared with 58 % in 2019), Romania (84 % vs 78 %), Croatia (72 % vs 67 %), Latvia (76 % vs 71 %), Estonia (80 % vs 76 %), Poland (84 % vs 80 %), Lithuania (97 % vs 93 %) and Denmark (119 % vs 115 %). In contrast, the most noticeable decreases were recorded in Ireland (88 % in 2021 vs 94 % in 2019), Spain (85 % vs 91 %) and Malta (83 % vs 86 %).
Luxembourg and Ireland score highest GDP per capita in 2021
In 2021, like in 2020, Luxembourg and Ireland recorded the highest level of GDP per capita expressed in PPS in the EU, at 168 % and 119 % above the EU average.
Data show substantial differences between the EU Member States in terms of GDP per capita, used to measure economic activity. After Luxembourg and Ireland, Denmark (33 % above EU average), the Netherlands (30 % above), and Austria and Sweden (both 23 % above) come on the top of the list with a GDP per capita more than 20 % above the average.
In contrast, Bulgaria (43 % below the EU average), Greece (36 % below) and Slovakia (31 % below) registered the lowest GDP per capita.
For more information:
- Statistics Explained article on consumption and GDP per capita
- Thematic section on purchasing power parities
- Database on purchasing power parities
- Metadata on purchasing power parities
- Luxembourg: The high GDP per capita in Luxembourg is partly due to the country’s large share of cross-border workers in total employment. While contributing to GDP, these workers are not taken into consideration as part of the resident population which is used to calculate GDP per capita.
- Ireland: The high level of GDP per capita in Ireland can be partly explained by the presence of large multinational companies holding intellectual property. The associated contract manufacturing with these assets contributes to GDP, while a large part of the income earned from this production is returned to the companies’ ultimate owners abroad.