Ecological footprint of European countries

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-161-en
Also known as: SEBI 023
Created 11 Jun 2019 Published 16 Jul 2019 Last modified 18 Jul 2019
12 min read
The total ecological footprint of the EU-28 countries increased rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s, and has remained relatively constant since the 1980s. However, total biocapacity — the capacity of ecosystems to produce useful biological materials and absorb waste materials generated by humans, using current management schemes and extraction technologies — has changed very little since 1961. The picture is similar for the EEA-39 countries and the wider pan-European region. The constantly increasing  ecological footprint coupled with decreasing biocapacity has resulted in an ever larger deficit which may have negative consequences for the environment both within and outside Europe.  

Key messages

The total ecological footprint of the EU-28 countries increased rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s, and has remained relatively constant since the 1980s. However, total biocapacity — the capacity of ecosystems to produce useful biological materials and absorb waste materials generated by humans, using current management schemes and extraction technologies — has changed very little since 1961. The picture is similar for the EEA-39 countries and the wider pan-European region.

The constantly increasing  ecological footprint coupled with decreasing biocapacity has resulted in an ever larger deficit which may have negative consequences for the environment both within and outside Europe.

 

Are Europeans using more than their share of the world's resources?

Ecological footprint, biocapacity and biocapacity deficit per person, 1961-2014

EU-28
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EEA-39
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Pan-Europe
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Table
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Ecological footprint by land type, 1961-2014

EU-28
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EEA-39
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Pan-Europe
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Table
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Biocapacity by land type, 1961-2014

EU-28