Luxembourg and Denmark were found to have the highest overall price levels in the EU in 2017, both 41% above the EU average.
According to date published by Eurostat, Sweden came in a close third place with prices 35% above the EU average. The lowest price levels were recorded in Bulgaria (56% below the EU average), Romania (52% below) and Poland (47% below).
Luxembourg was found to be the second-most expensive for housing, water, electricity and gas (63% above the EU average) after Switzerland. It moved up two places since 2003 when the UK topped this section, followed by Denmark and Switzerland. The finding backs up concerns raised by Luxembourg residents in a Eurobarometer survey published in June which found the main preoccupations in Luxembourg centre around housing (58%) and the rising cost of living (25%).
Luxembourg topped the ranking for spending on education with over three times the average budget of EU members invested in pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education. This will not surprise those familiar with Luxembourg’s education sector, which according to an OECD report boasts the highest teacher starting salaries in the world at €68,348, something of a moot point since Luxembourg consistently performs under average in the Pisa test rankings, an international benchmark giving a snapshot of student performance worldwide.
With low taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, it will also be no surprise that Luxembourg’s prices were 10% cheaper than the EU average. Heavily-subsidies public transport also meant users of public transport in Luxembourg paid 8% less than the EU average.
A recent Statec report calculated that an average household of two adults and two children needed to earn €4,079 per month in order to have a decent life. The budget, while high, prompted criticism after it was published in August since it appeared to understate the cost of healthcare.