EU had almost 360 000 professional firefighters in 2022

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Southern Europe has again been ravaged by wildfires and scorching temperatures, bringing firefighters into the spotlight. In 2022, there were 359 780 professional firefighters in the EU, representing 0.2% of total EU employment. Compared with 2021, there was a decrease in the total number of firefighters of 2 800 people.

Among EU countries for which reliable data are available, Greece, Estonia, and Cyprus registered the highest share of firefighters in their national employment, with shares of above 0.4 %, while the Netherlands and France had the lowest shares at around 0.1 %.

At EU level, in 2022, most of the firefighters were between 30 and 49 years old, with the age groups 40 – 44 years (65730 people) and 35 – 39 years (59810 people) having the highest numbers. There were also 45280 firefighters between 15 and 29 years old, and 91570 were 50 years and over.

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Methodological notes:

  • Firefighters refer to the category ‘5411 Firefighters’, as defined under the ISCO-08 classification.
  • Data on firefighters in 2022 from the EU Labour Force Survey are not shown for Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Austria because of very low reliability; and are flagged for low reliability for Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
  • According to the methodology of the survey, voluntary workers, such as volunteer firefighters, are not included in employment statistics based on this activity.