EU Consumer price levels in 2021


In 2021, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across the EU.

Denmark and Ireland (both 140% of the EU average) had the highest price levels. These Member States were followed by Luxembourg (132%), Sweden (128%) and Finland (126%). The lowest price levels were found in Poland (60%) and in Romania and Bulgaria (both 56%).

This information comes from data on price levels for consumer goods and services published by Eurostat. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Widest price gaps for restaurants & hotels and for alcohol & tobacco
In 2021, the price level for restaurants & hotels was almost 3.4 times higher in the most expensive country than in the cheapest one. Price levels ranged from 46% of the EU average in Bulgaria, 54% in Romania and 62% in Hungary, to 155% of the average in Denmark, 137% in Sweden and 133% in Finland.

Alcohol & tobacco ranked second in terms of price level difference, with the lowest price levels registered in Bulgaria (64% of the EU average), Poland (72%) and Hungary (79%) and the highest in Ireland (205%), Finland (173%), Sweden (136%) and Denmark and France (both 134%). This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products.

Food & non-alcoholic beverages were cheapest in Romania (69% of the EU average) and Poland (72%), while they were most expensive in Luxembourg (125% of the average), Denmark (120%) and Ireland (119%).

Clothing is a group of products where prices differed less among the Member States, ranging from 76% of the average in Bulgaria to 134% in Denmark. Personal transport equipment also recorded a smaller price disparity among Member States, with Poland (81% of the EU average) cheapest and Denmark (138%) most expensive. Price differences were also limited for consumer electronics, from 88% of the average in Poland to 113% in the Netherlands.

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Methodological notes: 

  • Data presented in this news article are based on the results of a price survey covering more than 2 000 consumer goods and services across Europe. The overall price levels included in this news article relate to the concept of household final consumption expenditure (HFCE). This news article covers selected subcategories of total HFCE.
  • Price level indices (PLIs) provide a comparison of countries’ price levels relative to the EU average and are calculated using purchasing power parities.