How Europeans Live

In the first phase of the campaign, we wanted to analyse data relating to the way we ‘Live’ across the continent. We’ve pulled information looking at every day aspects such as the cost of clothing, food cost and consumption, fuel usage, political affiliation and the cost of accommodation.
We’ve pulled out some snapshots from the app, so you can see what we’ve already found, but we’d encourage you to go into the app for yourself, have a play around with the data and get your own insights into the way we live!

The cost of living

One of the things we looked into was the cost of living across Europe. You might not be surprised to learn that the UK and Denmark are the two most expensive countries to live in. But check out what happens when you remove the cost of property in the UK – suddenly the ultimate cost of living drops considerably – making it only marginally higher than the cost of living in Portugal.

Dr Pablo Calderón Martínez, Teaching Fellow in European Studies at Kings College London comments, “When the cost of accommodation is removed from the overall cost of living, the countries who pay the most for utilities, clothing, food, restaurants, sport and leisure activities, and transportation are actually Denmark, Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands.
Another interesting thing to note is that the cost of items such as clothing (e.g. Nike shoes) is remarkably inconsistent across the continent – despite the single market. Notably, in no way does the cost of these items seem to correlate with the adjusted disposable income of each country

Relationship status

We also wanted to see the status of relationships across Europe – and found that nearly 41% of EU citizens are married, while 39% are registered as single (in that they’ve never been in a legal union). Look through the app to see where marriage is most prevalent.

Civil engagement and political participation

Another aspect that can have a big impact on the way we live is politics and the political parties we have in power. Our life decisions, or the way we choose to live can also have an impact on the way we vote. Have a look at the app and see the impact political leanings have on the way we live.

Pablo comments, “It is generally accepted that better off individuals and societies vote more and engage more in politics than people and/or societies with lower incomes. To an extent, the evidence presented by OECD data does seem to follow this general pattern. For example, data suggests that despite the household average income in Germany being almost double than that of Spain, as well as considerably higher average disposable income (around 1,000 Euros), Spanish society shows a higher level of civic engagement (similar to that shown in the UK) as measured by the OECD.”

Life expectancy

A key part of how we live is how long we live for. Take a look at your country to see the average lifespan. Notably, it’s the longest in Mediterranean countries Italy and Spain, but shorter in
Baltic countries Lithuania and Latvia.

Fuel and energy consumption

A lot of countries are finding ways to cut back on fuel and oil levels. Take a look at France, Germany and the Netherlands, who appear to be leading the way in terms of decreasing oil consumption per household – as have the Scandinavian countries.

Pablo comments, “The progress individual countries are making towards the reduction of oil consumption (arguably a goal of the whole EU) varies considerably between individual countries; even between countries in similar regions and with similar incomes. Scandinavia is a good example. Of the three Scandinavian countries in the study, Sweden and Denmark have reduced their oil consumption per household, but Finland has failed to do so at a comparable rate (oil consumption seems to have increased steadily almost every year)”.