Household number and size
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2001
Policy issue: What is driving household consumption?
Most countries saw average household size drop 10-15%, although it remained constant in Iceland, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. By 1995, the average European household contained 2.5 people. This is expected to decrease further as the number of one-person households increases from 30% in 2000 to 36% by 2015.
The average size of dwellings, however, did not decrease in tandem, growing from 83 to 87 square metres between 1985 and 1997.
The environmental impact of the combination of both more and larger households therefore counteracted the positive effect of improvements made to energy efficiency in household appliances during this period.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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