European Union statistics
Area and population
As of 1 January 2006, the population of the EU was about 493 million people. Many countries are expected to experience a decline in population over the coming decades, though this could be offset with new countries planning to join the EU within the next 20 years. The most populous member state is Germany, with an estimated 80.4 million people. France and Ireland have the highest birth-rates. The most densely populated country is the island of Malta, which is also the smallest, while the largest in area is France. The least densely populated country is Finland.
Population figures in the table below are from 2006 or 2007 estimates. The highest and lowest figures in each column have been marked in bold.
% of EU
% of EU
For statistics relating to economy, please see Economy of the European Union.
The primary resource for funding the European Union is the contributions sought from member states. Each member state contributes to the EU budget, and receives funding back from the EU, depending on the relative wealth of the states, i.e. their ability to pay.
The table below shows the contributions as a percentage of the total budget. This takes into account the special considerations given to the United Kingdom to reduce its contribution through a rebate. Expenditure in Luxembourg, Belgium and France include items for the EU administrative centres in each of those countries.
|Member State||Total contribution
as % of total EU budget
year 2006 in Euro
as % of total EU budget
in Euro per capita
in Euro per capita
Freedom of the press
Reporters sans frontières conducts an annual survey on the freedom of the press and produces scores (not shown here) for each country. In 2017 and 2018, Sweden was proclaimed as having the freest press in the European Union, and the second in the world behind Norway, with a score of 8.3 (while Finland has had the freest in the world according to these reports 12 times out of 14 between 2002 and 2016). Bulgaria was ranked as having the least free press in the European Union, with scores above 35 in 2017 and 2018. 
An index of Economic Freedom is produced by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation. It uses 50 different variables to compile the survey, in areas such as trade policy and government intervention.
Source: 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.
Perception of corruption
Transparency International is an international NGO publishing an annual Global Corruption Report indicating the perception of corruption around the world. The rankings of the table refer to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 .
The Human Development Index is a measure produced by the United Nations which covers three aspects of human development:
- poverty (GDP per capita)
- education (mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling)
- health (life expectancy)
The rankings of the table refer to the UNDP Human Development Report 2018 (2017 data). The UN lists all EU member states as countries with very high human development.
Income inequality, measured by the gini coefficient is how evenly incomes are distributed through the population. Denmark has the least income inequality with a gini coefficient score of 24.4, whilst Portugal has the most income inequality with a score of 38.5. Malta, Luxembourg, and Cyprus have no statistics available, and so are not included in this table. These statistics have been compiled by the United Nations (see )
Ease of doing business
The Ease of Doing Business Index is created by the World Bank and based on the study of laws and regulations, with the input and verification by more than 3,500 government officials, lawyers, business consultants, accountants and other professionals who routinely advise on or administer legal and regulatory requirements.
The data in the table are from the 2017 report.
- Enlargement of the European Union
- Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
- Hispanics and Latins in Europe
- List of European Union member states by population
- Largest urban areas of the European Union and Larger Urban Zones
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe statistics
- "Total Population as of 01.01.06 Archived 6 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine", EUROSTAT. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
- "The EU's baby blues", BBC News, 27 March 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006.
- "France claims EU fertility crown ", BBC News, 16 January 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2007.
- Figures for France include the four overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion) which are integral parts of the European Union, but do not include the overseas collectivities and territories, which are not part of the European Union. Figures for Metropolitan France proper are: population 63.6 million, area 551 695 km², and population density 113/km².
- World Press Freedom Index 2017 and World Press Freedom Index 2018, Reporters Without Borders