ESO News


Pandemic crisis and economic trends: the tourism sector in European and EFTA countries

The ongoing Covid crisis has had and still continues to have a considerable impact on different sectors of the European economy. Hope for a fast recovery has been repeatedly contradicted by new waves of infections leading to renewed measures that slowed down the pace of recovery in national economies. This publication presents empirical data from Eurostat’s database with a focus on some figures from the tourism sector for the EU 27 complemented by additional figures from EFTA Member States.

Trade in Goods and Trading Partners of EFTA Member States 2017

The EFTA Statistical Office (ESO) has published an article on the foreign trade relations of the four EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland with its partner countries in the EU and the rest of the world. The article points to the importance of the EU as the most important trading partner of the EFTA States and underlines the sensitivity of the EFTA States to the planned withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. See the explanatory notes in the bottom for methodological details.

The 2015 Annual Report of the European Statistical System released

The European Statistical System (ESS) is a partnership among Eurostat, the national statistical institutes and other national authorities providing high-quality, official statistics for Europe. The EFTA States are, together with the EU Member States, part of this "statistical production factory" which employs around 50 000 people in 32 different countries.

One third of all asylum applicants under 18 are unaccompanied

In 2015, over 7 700 asylum seekers were considered as unaccompanied minors in the EFTA States, according to data published by Eurostat. The vast majority of these were male, with Afghanistan representing the most common country of origin, followed by Eritrea and Syria.

Better data. Better lives.

Today is the second annual World Statistics Day. This year’s theme underlines the "critical role of high-quality official statistical information in analysis and informed policy decision-making in support of sustainable development".

Switzerland has the highest prices in Europe

Data published recently by Eurostat show that the overall price levels in the EFTA countries were higher than the average price level in the European Union (EU) in 2014. Switzerland had the highest overall price level, followed by Norway. Iceland was closer to the EU average, but some products, like consumer electronics, were relatively more expensive in Iceland than in the other EFTA countries.

Iceland has highest employment rate in Europe

According to data published recently by Eurostat, Iceland had the highest share of employment among people aged 20 to 64 years in 2014, at 83.5%.The employment rates among the EFTA countries were generally high compared to the countries of the European Union (EU), particularly among women aged 55 to 64 years (see map).

High share of underemployed women in Norway and Switzerland

A part-time worker who wishes to work more, and is available to do so, is defined as underemployed. Eurostat recently published data on underemployment in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries based on the European Labour Force Survey of 2014.

Low unemployment rates in EFTA countries

Unemployment rates in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland were low in 2014 compared to those in European Union (EU) countries, according to data published recently by Eurostat.

High life satisfaction in EFTA countries

Residents of the EFTA countries are generally very satisfied with their lives. Their life satisfaction is among the highest in Europe, according to new Eurostat data released on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2015.

Record number of air passengers in EFTA countries in 2013

More than 84 million passengers travelled by air in the EFTA countries in 2013, of which 74.4 million to and from EU countries. The largest growth was in Iceland, with 3.2 million passengers, an increase of 16.7% compared to 2012.

EFTA countries show decrease in income inequality

Income inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient, varies across Europe. Newly published data from Eurostat show that Norway and Slovenia had the lowest inequality among the EU and EFTA countries in 2012, whereas the highest inequality was found in Spain and Latvia. In both Iceland and Switzerland income inequality was below the EU28 average.

Visualising European regional statistics

European statistics are frequently presented at national level, but the Eurostat website also provides data at regional level. Although regional breakdowns are often also available from the national statistical institutions, the Eurostat website features an application that enables you to make comparisons between regions in different European countries, and visualise the results through interactive graphics.

US and EFTA States are the EU’s main partners in trade in services in 2012

The European Union’s international trade in services with the rest of the world increased in 2012, with EU exports of services to the EFTA countries rising by 2.4%, from EUR 103.2 billion in 2011 to EUR 105.7 billion in 2012; and EU imports rising by 6.6%, from EUR 69.7 billion to EUR 74.3 bn.

Tourism statistics released for EU and EFTA countries

A recent Eurostat report shows that the average expenditure per trip was highest for visitors to Iceland (EUR 1 217 per trip in 2010), followed by Norway (EUR 638 per trip in 2007) and Spain (EUR 529 per trip in 2008).

Quality of life in 79 European cities

Four cities from the EFTA countries have been included in a recent survey on the quality of life in 79 European cities. Three of these have been ranked in the top ten, while the fourth, Geneva, has been ranked 57th in terms of overall satisfaction on living in the city.

Country statistics at your fingertips

Never be at a loss for numbers again! The Eurostat app for iPhone/iPad and Android gives mobile access to the main statistical data on the EFTA States, the European Union and its Member States, the euro area, the EU candidate countries and other selected countries.

Increasing Number of Asylum Applications in EFTA States

The total number of asylum applicants in the four EFTA countries reached almost 39’000 in 2012. This represents an increase of roughly 17% compared to one year before. In 34% of all cases a positive decision was granted in first instance.

EFTA countries among the safest in the world

According to Control Risks, an independent British risk consultancy, the four EFTA countries, together with Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden, are the safest countries in the world.

Eurostat update: Who are our new fellow citizens?

Have you ever listened to or taken part in a discussion about citizenship granted in your country? Statistics is frequently used in these discussions, often without a proper reference. Next time you have the chance to be prepared. In a recent publication Eurostat provides the answers to the questions you might have on the subject.

Eurostat takes the pulse on the debt level

The deficit (net lending/borrowing) of the general government sector in Iceland was -4.4 % of GDP in year 2011 and the gross consolidated debt was 98.8 % of GDP. The Norwegian general government had a surplus of 13.6% in 2011, and a gross consolidated debt of 29.0% of GDP.

EFTA Performance in Light of the Europe 2020 Strategy

The EFTA States have the highest employment rate in Europe and the lowest share of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The EFTA countries are also among the countries in Europe with the highest level of tertiary educational attainment.

Course on Price Statistics in Kiev

On 21-23 of May 2012, EFTA's Statistical Office (ESO) organised a training course on price statistics in Kiev hosted by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.

Spring 2012 edition of Eurostat’s quarterly leaflet

Eurostat recently published the spring 2012 edition of its quarterly leaflet “Basic figures on the EU”. This publication also provides a selection of the freshest data for economic and social domains of EFTA States.

EFTA countries' GDP per capita higher than EU27 average

According to a Eurostat press release of 13 December 2011, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Norway, expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS), was 181% of the EU27 average. This represented a growth of five percentage points from 2009.

EFTA Statistical Office Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The 20th Anniversary of the EFTA Statistical Office represents 20 years of close cooperation between EFTA and the EU. To mark this occasion ESO is publishing a new edition of the EFTA/EU Statistical Cooperation Handbook.

Iceland has the highest inflation rate in the EEA

A recent Eurostat publication on inflation shows that Iceland’s annual inflation rate in September 2011 was the highest in the European Economic Area (EEA) at 5.5%. Switzerland's annual inflation rate in September was the lowest in the EEA at 0.2%, increasing from -0.3% in August.

EFTA States among EU's most important trading partners

Recent figures from Eurostat show that the EFTA States were among the main trading partners of the European Union in the first half of the year. For the period January to June 2011, Switzerland was the third main importer of EU products after the United States and China.

Key figures on Europe – 2011 edition

Eurostat - the statistical service of the European Community - has released a pocketbook, Key figures on Europe – 2011 edition. The pocketbook provides users of official statistics with an overview of the wealth of information that is available on the Eurostat website. The publication provides a balanced set of indicators, with a broad cross-section of information on the Member States of the European Union, as well as the EFTA States.

EFTA Member States rank highly in Eurostat renewable energy usage comparison

According to a Eurostat news release of April 2011, EFTA Member States rank highly in the use of renewable energy, with Norway at the top. These figures were published in connection with the EU Sustainable Energy Week from 11 to 15 April 2011, which promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Asylum applicants in EFTA countries in 2010

On 29 March 2011, figures concerning asylum applications were published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union. Overall, figures show a decrease in asylum applicants in 2010 compared to 2009 in EFTA countries.

Deficit in EFTA service trade with EU27

In 2009, the EU27 recorded that external trade in services slowed down compared to 2007 and 2008. The figures show, however, that the EFTA block is a main trading partner in services for the EU27. According to Eurostat, EU27 imports of services from EFTA fell from EUR 63.3 billion in 2008 to EUR 59.7 billion in 2009, while the exports of services fell from EUR 87 billion to EUR 82.8 billion in the same period. The deficit for the EFTA block in trade in services with EU27 therefore amounted to EUR 23.1 billion in 2009.

EFTA countries are important trading partners for EU 27

According to a Eurostat news release on 16 September 2010 Norway and Switzerland are amongst the main trading partners for the Member States of the European Union. Measuring the extent of trade as the sum of the values of imports and exports, the news release indicates that only the United States and China had traded more with the EU 27 than Norway and Switzerland combined, in the first half of 2010.

Employment rates in EFTA countries amongst highest in Europe in 2009

In a recent news release published by Eurostat, the total employment rate for people aged 15 to 64 in EU27 is 64.6%. The figures for the EFTA countries are substantially higher, with Switzerland yielding the highest employment rate of the 33 countries included in the Eurostat news release with 79.2%.

Seminar for Turkish statisticians

From 21 to 23 June the EFTA Statistical Office (ESO) organised a course on the European Statistical System (ESS) for statisticians involved in the production of official statistics in Turkey.

Asylum applicants in EFTA countries in Q3 2009

Asylum applicants figures have been published for the third quarter of 2009. Overall, figures show an increase in asylum applicants in Q3 2009 compared to Q3 2008 for Norway and Liechtenstein and a decrease for Switzerland.

EFTA countries' annual inflation rates 2009

The latest Eurostat publication on inflation shows a continuous decrease in the annualized inflation rate for Iceland through year 2009 whilst for other EFTA countries the annual rates were rather stable. Switzerland showed negative price growth for several months in 2009, but the annual rate for December was slightly positive.