Survey shows that Cyprus has the lowest share of the population living in overcrowded homes among EU member states — with only 2.5% not having enough rooms compared to the size of their household, according to figures published by Eurostat on Wednesday.
The same figures show that seven in ten people in Cyprus live in under-occupied households. Eurostat’s figures show that This rate is particularly high for the elderly. Overall, Cyprus ranked second with 71.4% of the population living in under-crowded dwellings.
Overall, the average overcrowded households in 2018 in the EU was 17.1%.
In the EU, more than one in three persons (33.0%) lived in under-occupied dwellings in 2018, meaning that the dwellings were deemed to be too large, in terms of excess rooms and more specifically bedrooms, for the needs of the household living in it.
Although merrier, overcrowded households can feel even smaller with kids playing in the same room as parents trying to telework during the coronavirus lockdown. Moreover, overcrowded environments can present a higher risk of spreading the virus, Eurostat noted.
On the other hand, staying home alone for days on end brings its own set of challenges as well.
Overcrowding rate falling slightly in countries with the highest rates
Among the EU Member States, almost half the population in Romania (46.3%) were living in overcrowded households in 2018.
This was also the case for around two in every five persons in Latvia (43.4%), Bulgaria (41.6%), Croatia (39.3%) and Poland (39.2%).
Compared to the previous year, the share of the population living in overcrowded dwellings fell slightly in all of these countries except Latvia (+1.5 percentage points), with the strongest fall recorded in Poland (-1.3 pp).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest overcrowding rates were recorded in Cyprus (2.5%), Ireland (2.7%), Malta (3.4%) and the Netherlands (4.1%).
The share of young people and children that live in overcrowded dwellings is much higher than for the elderly. In 2018, almost one quarter (24.1%) of people aged 18 year or less lived in overcrowded dwellings in the EU, while only 6.9% of those aged 65 years and older did.
In particular, 40.2% of young people in the EU who were living in households at risk of poverty were also living in overcrowded dwellings.