GDP per capita in the Member States ranged from 45% to 274% of the EU27 average in 2011
Based on first preliminary estimates for 20111, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards2 (PPS) varied from 45% to 274% of the EU27 average across the Member States.
The highest level of GDP per capita in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg3 with a level of more than two and a half times the EU27 average. The Netherlands were just above 30% of the average, while Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Austria were between 25% and 30% above. Finland, Belgium and Germany were between 15% and 20% above the average, while France and the United Kingdom were between 5% and 10% above. In Italy and Spain, GDP per capita was around the EU27 average.
Cyprus was around 10% below the EU27 average, while Slovenia, Malta, Greece, the Czech Republic and Portugal were between 15% and 25% lower, and Slovakia was around 25% below. Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania were between 30% and 40% lower than the average, while Latvia was around 40% below, Romania around 50% below and Bulgaria 55% below.
These figures for GDP per capita, expressed in PPS, are published by Eurostat, the statistical Office of the European Union. They cover the 27 EU Member States, three EFTA countries, one acceding state, four candidate countries and two potential candidate countries.
Actual Individual Consumption per capita in the Member States ranged from 44% to 150% of the EU27 average
While GDP per capita is often used as an indicator of countries' level of welfare, it is not the only such indicator. An alternative welfare indicator, better adapted to reflect the situation of households, is Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita4. Generally, levels of AIC per capita are more homogeneous than those of GDP but still there are substantial differences between the Member States. In 2011, AIC per capita expressed in PPS ranged between 44% of the EU average in Bulgaria to 150% in Luxembourg.
GDP and Actual Individual Consumption per capita in PPS in 2011, EU27 = 100
GDP per capita
AIC per capita
Euro area (EA17)5
Former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The figures are based on the latest GDP data for 2011 and the most recent PPPs available. Revised estimates will be published in December 2012.
The Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) is an artificial currency unit that eliminates price level differences between countries. Thus one PPS buys the same volume of goods and services in all countries. This unit allows meaningful volume comparisons of economic indicators across countries. Aggregates expressed in PPS are derived by dividing aggregates in current prices and national currency by the respective Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). The level of uncertainty associated with the basic price and national accounts data, and the methods used for compiling PPPs imply that differences between countries that have indices within a close range should not be over-interpreted.
The high GDP per capita in Luxembourg is partly due to the country's large share of cross-border workers in total employment. While contributing to GDP, these workers are not taken into consideration as part of the resident population which is used to calculate GDP per capita.
Indicators reflecting directly the situation of households are more adapted than GDP to reflect welfare. The level of consumption per head is one of these. In national accounts, Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) denotes expenditure on goods and services that are purchased and paid for by households. Actual Individual Consumption (AIC), on the other hand, consists of goods and services actually consumed by individuals, irrespective of whether these goods and services are purchased and paid for by households, by government, or by non-profit organisations. In international volume comparisons of consumption, AIC is often seen as the preferable measure, since it is not influenced by the fact that the organisation of certain important services consumed by households, like health and education services, differs a lot across countries. For example, if dental services are paid for by the government in one country, and by households in another, an international comparison based on HFCE would not compare like with like, whereas one based on AIC would. AIC is listed among the recommendations of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report.
The euro area (EA17) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
The figure for Albania is based on preliminary Eurostat estimate of GDP.