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Welcome to Statistics Explained
Statistics Explained, your guide to European statistics.

Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting all statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up everyone's encyclopedia of European statistics, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the very latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users alike.

To find the information you need, use the hierarchical theme tree, the online publications, the categories or the search function (alt-f).

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New: Quarterly national accounts - main GDP aggregates ESA 2010

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ESA 2010 versus ESA 95 GDP growth rates for EA18 1997Q1 to 2014Q2.png
This article presents key messages and explanations on Eurostat's first ESA 2010 based estimation of quarterly main gross domestic product (GDP) aggregates. It complements the first estimation of annual GDP presented in a news release published on 17 October 2014. More ...

Updated: Housing price statistics - house price index

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House Price Indices euro area and EU aggregates Index levels 2010 100 2014Q2.PNG
This article describes the house price index (HPI) in the euro area and the European Union (EU), presenting data on this indicator both at European and Member State level. It also provides examples of possible use of this indicator in relation to other statistics, such as consumer price indices, rent price indices and household disposable income. Finally, a summary description of the methodology used in the compilation of the HPI is given. More ...

Updated: Tourism statistics - occupancy rates in hotels and similar establishments

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Net occupancy rates of bed places in hotels and similar establishments, January to June 2014, EU-28 (%) NEW.png
This article focuses on the short-term evolution of the net occupancy rates of bed places and bedrooms of hotels and similar accommodation establishments in the European Union (EU) and contains the first publication of data for June 2014. More ...

Updated: Material flow accounts

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Materials available to EU-27 economies and how they are used, 2013 (tonnes per capita).png
Eurostat’s material flow accounts are a comprehensive data framework that systematically records the inputs of materials to European economies, breaking them down by material category such as fossil energy materials, biomass, metal ores etc. More ...

New: Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) - a statistical portrait - introduction

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Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) - a statistical portrait.png
This article is an introduction to the online version of Eurostat’s publication Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) — A statistical portrait. This publication provides a selection of statistics on the European Union (EU), Norway and Switzerland in comparison with 20 Asian ASEM partners. It aims to give an insight into the society and economy of the ASEM partners. More ...

Updated: International trade in medicinal and pharmaceutical products

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Evolution of EU-28 trade in medicinal and pharmaceutical products, 2002-2013, (EUR billion).png
The European Union (EU-28) was by far the major world trader in medicinal and pharmaceutical products (SITC division 54) in 2013, with total trade amounting to EUR 171.1 billion. Exports made up about two thirds of this trade. The United States occupied the second position for trade in these products, at some distance, with trade worth EUR 83.9 billion. More ...

Statistics in focus: Pig farming sector - statistical portrait 2014

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Number of sows by region (2013).png
This article provides a general overview of statistics on pig farming in the European Union (EU). Pigmeat is produced throughout the EU on several types of farms with considerable variations from one Member State to another. Three quarters of pigs are reared by just 1.5 % of the largest fatteners. Small pig producers are mostly found in the 13 Member States that joined the EU since 2004, which creates a decreasing size of the herd. The tasks of pig rearing are distributed across farms in the main production basins and even across regions. More ...

Updated: Inflation in the euro area

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Euro area annual inflation and its main components, 2002-2014-09-p.png
The data in this article show the most recent annual rates of change for the euro area headline inflation and its main components issued by Eurostat. The figures presented are actual HICP figures. More ...

Today's article


Foreign language learning statistics

Proportion of pupils in primary education learning foreign languages, by language, 2011 (1) (%) YB14.png
Currently there are 24 official languages recognised within the European Union (EU), in addition to which there are regional, minority languages, and languages spoken by migrant populations.

In 1958, legislation specified German, French, Italian and Dutch as the official and working languages of the European Union’s (EU) predecessor, the European Communities. There have always been fewer official languages than EU Member States, as some share common languages, for example in Belgium where the official languages are Dutch, French and German, while in Cyprus the majority of the population speaks Greek. Since Croatia’s accession there are 24 official languages recognised within the EU. In addition there are indigenous regional, minority languages (such as Catalan, Galician and Basque in Spain, or Welsh and Scottish Gaelic in the United Kingdom), and languages that have been brought into the EU by migrant populations, notably Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi and Chinese.

School and other educational institutions provide the main opportunity for the vast majority of people to learn languages and linguistic diversity is actively encouraged within many further educational establishments and workplaces. This article presents statistics on language learning at primary and secondary schools in the EU Member States, EFTA and candidate countries.

Main statistical findings

Primary education

Within primary education, a clear majority of pupils (choose to) study English. Indeed, learning English is mandatory in several countries within secondary education institutions, and so a number of EU Member States have close to 100 % of pupils learning this language already in primary education, as shown in Figure 1. The highest shares of primary education pupils studying English in 2011 were recorded in Malta, Spain, Austria, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Poland, with more than nine out of every ten children studying English; this was also the case in Liechtenstein, Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The relative importance of English as a foreign language may be further magnified because pupils tend to receive more instruction in their first foreign language than they do for any subsequent languages they (choose to) study. More ...


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