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Ecological footprint of European countries

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-161-en
Also known as: SEBI 023
Created 02 Mar 2020 Published 20 Apr 2020 Last modified 20 Apr 2020
9 min read
The total ecological footprint of the EU-27 Member States plus the United Kingdom is high and is now more than twice the biocapacity available in the region (i.e. the capacity of ecosystems to produce useful biological materials and to act as sinks of carbon emissions). The picture is similar for the EEA-39 countries. The region’s high ecological footprint means that its total demand for ecological goods and services exceeds that which Europe’s ecosystems can supply. This results in a large ecological deficit, which has negative consequences for the environment within and outside Europe.

Key messages

The total ecological footprint of the EU-27 Member States plus the United Kingdom is high and is now more than twice the biocapacity available in the region (i.e. the capacity of ecosystems to produce useful biological materials and to act as sinks of carbon emissions). The picture is similar for the EEA-39 countries.

The region’s high ecological footprint means that its total demand for ecological goods and services exceeds that which Europe’s ecosystems can supply. This results in a large ecological deficit, which has negative consequences for the environment within and outside Europe.

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

Ecological footprint, biocapacity and ecological deficit per person in Europe, 1961-2016

EU-27 + UK
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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 in Europe, 1961-2016

EU-27 + UK
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EEA-39
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Pan-Europe
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Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Biocapacity by land type in Europe, 1961-2016

EU-27 + UK