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Household number and size

Assessment made on  01 Jan 2001

Generic metadata

Classification

Household consumption Household consumption (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Pressure

Identification

Indicator codes
Geographic coverage:
Contents
 

Policy issue:  What is driving household consumption?

Key messages

  • While Europe's population increased by 5% between 1980 and 1995, the same period saw the number of households increase by 19%. Smaller households have a higher consumption per capita than large ones.

Figures

Key assessment

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.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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