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

Released: 12 December 2013 Download PDF

In 2012 the standard of living in the UK (measured using Actual Individual Consumption – AIC – per head) was joint sixth highest in the EU with France and Denmark, 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 14% higher than the EU28 average, compared with 13% higher in 2011. AIC in Luxembourg was again the highest in the European Union (38% above the EU28 average), with Bulgaria having 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 the sixth highest in the EU in 2012, up three places from 2011. However, the relative price rises in the UK were due to changes in exchange rates. Prices in the UK were 17% above the EU average in 2012, compared with 10% higher in 2011. Prices in Denmark were the highest (45% above the EU28 average), while Bulgaria (57% below the EU28 average) had the lowest prices.

Background notes

  1. The full Eurostat release can be found here: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home
    © Crown copyright 2013.

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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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