Eurostat yearbook

From Statistics Explained

Latest update of text: June 2014. Planned article update: June 2015.

Europe in figures - Eurostat yearbook provides users of official statistics with an overview of the wealth of information that is available on Eurostat’s website and within its online databases. It belongs to a set of general compendium publications and, of these, it provides the most extensive set of analyses and detailed data. The Eurostat yearbook has been conceived as an online-only publication updated on a rolling basis that provides a balanced set of indicators, with a broad cross-section of information, covering all of the main areas in which official European statistics are available. The complete publication is available in German, English and French and a selection of around a fifth of its content is available in 18 additional languages.


The Eurostat yearbook is divided into a general introduction and 13 main chapters (for example ‘Population’) each of them consisting of a chapter-specific introductory article and two to nine main articles (for example ‘Marriage and divorce statistics’). Each main article starts with a brief introduction followed by the core content composed of the main statistical findings with data presented in tables, figures and occasional maps that have been selected to illustrate the wide variety of data available for that particular topic; often these include information on how important benchmark indicators have developed during recent years within the European Union (EU), the euro area (EA) and the EU Member States. Thereafter information about the data sources, collection methods and/or data availability are presented. In addition all articles present more general background information, for example on the EU policy context, and links to further information available in Eurostat and elsewhere (for example other European Commission Directorates-General, the United Nations or the OECD).


Thematic coverage

With around 500 statistical tables, figures and occasional maps, the Eurostat yearbook covers the following areas: population; living conditions; health; education and training; the labour market; economy and finance; international trade; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; industry and services; research and communication; the environment; energy; and transport.

Spatial coverage

The Eurostat yearbook usually presents information for the EU-28 (the 28 Member States of the EU), the euro area (based on 18 members), as well as the individual EU Member States. The order of the Member States used in the yearbook generally follows their order of protocol; in other words, the alphabetical order of the countries’ names in their respective original languages. In some of the figures the data are ranked according to the values of a particular indicator.

The EU-28 and euro area aggregates are normally only provided when information for all of the Member States is available, or if an estimate has been made for missing information. Any incomplete totals that are created are systematically footnoted. Time series for these geographical aggregates are based on a consistent set of countries for the whole of the time period (unless otherwise indicated). In other words, although the EU only had 25 Member States since early 2004, 27 Member States since the start of 2007 and 28 Member States since the middle of 2013, the time series for the EU-28 refer to a sum or an average for all 28 Member States for the whole of the period presented, as if all 28 Member States had been part of the EU in earlier periods. In a similar vein, the data for the euro area are consistently presented for the 18 members (as of January 2014), despite the later accessions of Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, Slovakia, Estonia and most recently Latvia, to the euro area. Unless otherwise stated, the data for the euro area covers the 18 Member States that shared the euro as a common currency as of January 2014 (Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland). If Lithuania joins the euro area on 1 January 2015 any updates thereafter will present information on the euro area of 19 members if and when available.

When available, information is also presented for:

  • EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland;
  • the candidate countries, namely, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1], Albania[2], Serbia and Turkey. Information on Iceland, which is both an EFTA country and a candidate country, is presented within the EFTA countries;
  • Japan and the United States, as well as China in the fairly rare cases comparable data are available;
  • potential candidate countries Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo[3] if comparable data are available (included in updates of articles from July 2014 onwards).

In the event that data for any of these non-member countries are not available then these have been excluded from tables and figures; however, the full set of 28 EU Member States is maintained in tables, with footnotes being added in figures for those EU Member States for which information is missing.

Temporal coverage

In addition to presenting the data for the latest year (or reference period) available, the Eurostat yearbook often presents earlier year(s) in the tables and figures. This may be: one or two additional years, for example 2010 and 2011 to be compared with data for 2012; a snapshot comparing with five and/or 10 years earlier, for example 2002 and 2007 to be compared with 2012; or a full time series covering the 10 years leading up to the latest reference period, for example, from 2002 through to 2012. The interval between the years presented in tables and figures is often restricted to five or 10 year comparisons in order to highlight slower, structural changes.

If data for a reference period are not available for a particular country, then efforts have been made to fill tables and figures with data for previous reference periods (these exceptions are footnoted); generally, an effort has been made to go back at least two reference periods, for example showing data for 2010 or 2011 for those countries (or geographical aggregates) for which 2012 data are not yet available.

Rolling update timing and data freshness

Rolling update timing

Most of the articles — of which there are around 85 — are updated once a year after new, mainly annual, data have been released. As different sources release new data at different times of the year, the updates of the articles of the Eurostat yearbook are published on a rolling basis throughout the year. The date of the current version (for example ‘Data from May 2014’) and planned update publication (for example ‘Planned article update: June 2015’) are indicated in the beginning of each article. For some articles (for example Government finance statistics) significant new data are released twice a year and they are updated twice a year, whereas for example for the article Innovation statistics new data are released every two years and it can thus be updated only biennially. For all articles, the original update is done in English; once this update has been completed it is translated — see ‘Language versions’ below.

Data freshness

At the time of updating

At the time of updating an article the freshest data available are used. It should be noted that the latest reference period available (normally a reference year as most data are annual) varies across different sources and may therefore vary within an article and between different articles. The reasons for this are related to the methods of data collection, processing and subsequent release of data to the public, all of which involve more or less complex processes that result in a certain amount of time elapsing, which can vary from a few weeks in the case of short-term monthly indicators to several years for complex, ad-hoc surveys.

After updating

After an article has been updated, further updates to the data on which the article is based may become available. A single article may be based on several data sources which release new data — typically for an additional reference year — at different times. As such, some data sources of an article may release an additional year's data several months before the article is updated again, which, due to resource constraints, normally takes place only when all of the main data sources of the article have released an additional year's data. The longer the period of time that has elapsed from the extraction of the data for an article, the greater the likelihood that fresher data are available for one or more of the data sources on which it is based. As well as data slowly becoming outdated, the links contained within an article may also become outdated.

How to get the freshest data?

General links to the data related to the topic of an article

At the end of each statistical article there are links to the relevant main tables and databases on Eurobase, Eurostat's online reference database.

Links to the data used to compile the tables, figures and maps of an article

It is possible to access the latest version of each data set through the online data codes that are provided as part of the source under each table, figure and map. These online data codes lead to a common standard view of the data set, which is not necessarily the one used for the tables, figures and maps in the statistical articles. In order to get the view used in a a particular article it may be necessary to adjust the selection of the various dimensions (time, countries, indicators, other classifications) available in the data set. A description of the use of the data codes is given in the article titled ‘Accessing European statistics’/‘Access to data’/‘Eurostat online data codes — easy access to the freshest data’.

With the specific view used when extracting the data for the tables, figures and maps of an article

An MS Excel file containing all of the tables, figures and occasional maps shown in a Eurostat yearbook article is available towards the end of each statistical article under the heading 'Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)’. In most sheets, below the tables or data sets for the figures and maps, is one or more long bookmarks to the specific, tailor-made extractions which were used to create each table, figure or map.

Future data releases

A release calendar, which provides details of the schedule for releasing euro-indicators (a collection of important monthly and quarterly indicators), is available at: For other data sets, the metadata provided on Eurostat’s website gives information relating to the frequency of surveys and the time that may elapse before fresher data are published/released.

PDF version of an article

A PDF version of an article can easily be created by clicking the PDF icon in the horizontal menu in Statistics Explained or from the left hand side menu ‘Tools’/‘PDF version’.

Language versions and previous editions

Online-only Eurostat yearbook English edition
Online-only Eurostat yearbook German edition
Online-only Eurostat yearbook French edition
Online Regional yearbook English edition
Online Regional yearbook German edition
Online Regional yearbook French edition

Language versions

The online-only Eurostat yearbook is available in English, German and French on Statistics Explained (part of Eurostat’s website). As the original articles are drafted in English and the translations take some time, the German and French versions of each article are not always as up-to-date as the English version. The three language versions of the online Eurostat yearbook are accessible through the short URLs:,, and

In addition, a selection of 17 main statistical articles from the Eurostat yearbook are available in Statistics Explained in 18 additional languages (besides German, English and French): Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian and Swedish. Croatian translations will not be available before 2015.

Previous editions

Since the 2013 edition, the Eurostat yearbook has no longer been released as a PDF file or as a printed book in order to concentrate resources on the online version. The last English edition available as a PDF file or in printed form is the 2012 edition. All previous editions (from 1996 through to 2012) are available as PDF files from

As the type of content associated with the concept of a statistical yearbook is well known, Eurostat has decided to keep the name 'Yearbook' for the online-only version, although its rolling update and online-only format do not correspond to a traditional annual printed book.

Data presentation

Eurostat online databases contain a large amount of metadata that provide information on the status of particular values or data series. In order to improve readability, only the most significant information has been included in the tables and figures. The following symbols are used, where necessary:

Italic data value is forecasted, provisional or estimated and is likely to change;

: not available, confidential or unreliable value;

– not applicable.

Breaks in series are indicated in the footnotes provided under each table and figure.

Billion is used to designate thousand million (rather than million million).

Related Eurostat publications

Key figures on Europe pocketbook

The pocketbook Key figures on Europe (2013 edition) is derived from the Eurostat yearbook and presents the core content of the yearbook. It is available in German, English and French both as PDF and paper versions.

Eurostat regional yearbook

The Eurostat yearbook's sister publication, the Eurostat regional yearbook (2013 edition, PDF and paper versions published in October 2013; 2014 edition in Statistics Explained) supplements the information provided for the EU-28 and the Member States in the Eurostat yearbook by providing data at a sub-national level to give an overview of key statistics that are available for the regions of Europe. Eurostat’s regional yearbook is published on paper, as a PDF and on Statistics Explained. The three language versions of the virtual Eurostat regional yearbook are accessible through the short URLs:,, and

The EU in the world

The publication The EU in the world (2013 edition, PDF and paper versions published in November 2012) supplements the information provided in the Eurostat yearbook by a selection of important and interesting statistics on the EU — considered as a single entity — in comparison with the 15 non-EU countries from the Group of Twenty (G20). The publication is available on Statistics Explained as an online publication, the online EU in the world.


  1. The name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is shown in tables and figures in this publication as FYR of Macedonia — this does not prejudge in any way the definitive nomenclature for this country, which is to be agreed following the conclusion of negotiations currently taking place on this subject at the United Nations.
  2. Albania became a candidate country on 27 June 2014. It is included in updates of articles from July 2014 onwards when data is available.
  3. This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.