Where are the cheapest and most expensive countries in the EU?

Where are the cheapest and most expensive countries in the EU?
By Alice Cuddy
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Which EU countries will your money go the furthest in, and how do prices for goods and services compare to wages?


Bulgaria is the cheapest country in the European Union for consumer goods and services, while Denmark is the most expensive, according to new data published by Eurostat.

The data, which covers prices for products and services including food, education, healthcare and housing, shows that Bulgaria was the cheapest country in the bloc in 2017, with prices 56% below the EU average.

Romania was the second-cheapest, with prices 52% below the average, followed by Poland, Hungary and Lithuania.

At the other end of the scale, price levels in Denmark and Luxembourg were more than 41% above the EU average, while Sweden, Ireland, Finland and the UK were also among the most expensive countries.

A breakdown by Eurostat showed that Denmark was the most expensive member state for restaurants and hotels; food; recreation and culture; transport; and household equipment.

Meanwhile, Ireland had the highest prices for alcohol and tobacco; Luxembourg for housing, water, electricity and gas; Greece for communications; and Sweden for clothing and footwear.

A comparison with other available data showed that prices for consumer goods and services generally correlated with wages.

Luxembourg had the highest average monthly minimum wage of EU countries with available data for 2017 — at almost €2,000 — while Bulgaria and Romania had the lowest.

The data also suggests that, relative to the minimum wage, people in Luxembourg could more comfortably meet costs than people in Bulgaria or Romania.

Data for 2017 on the average monthly wage was not available.

Other data shows that Denmark had the highest hourly labour costs (€42.50) in 2017, while Bulgaria had the lowest (€4.90), followed by Romania (€6.30).

Explore the consumer goods and services data in the graphic below:

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