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Standard of living in UK rises to joint fourth highest in Europe

Released: 11 December 2014 Download PDF

In 2013 the standard of living in the UK (measured using Actual Individual Consumption – AIC – per head) rose to joint fourth highest in the European Union (along with Denmark, Sweden and Finland), up one place from last year, according to new figures recorded by ONS and compiled and released by Eurostat today.

AIC (a measure of personal consumption of goods and services) in the UK was 15% higher than the EU28 average, the same as in 2012. AIC in Luxembourg was again the highest in the European Union (36% above the EU28 average), with Bulgaria again the lowest (51% below the EU28 average). AIC per head is often used as a measure of households’ standard of living as it incorporates all goods and services that a household consumes, including benefits-in-kind, such as health and education services.

Prices paid by UK households for consumer goods and services were sixth highest in the EU in 2013 (joint with Belgium and the Netherlands), unchanged from 2012. Prices in the UK were 14% above the EU28 average in 2013, compared with 16% higher in 2012. Prices in Denmark remained the highest (42% above the EU28 average), while prices in Bulgaria (56% below the EU28 average) remained the lowest.

Background notes

  1. The full Eurostat release can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/6216033/2-11122014-AP-EN.pdf

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    Issued by: Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG

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  2. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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