The lowest share of household spending on books in EU countries is in Bulgaria and Greece, at 0.6 per cent, the bloc’s statistics agency Eurostat said on April 23.
In statistics released to mark World Book and Copyright Day, Eurostat said that in 2016, households in Slovakia devoted the largest share of their total expenditure to books, newspapers and stationery (2.1 per cent). They were followed by households in Germany (1.6 per cent) and Poland (1.4 per cent).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest shares were recorded in Bulgaria and Greece (both 0.6 per cent), the Czech Republic, Spain and Malta (all 0.7 per cent).
In 2016, households in the EU spent more than 90 billion euro or 1.1 per cent of their total consumption expenditure on books, newspapers and stationery. This represents 0.6 per cent of EU GDP or about 200 euro per EU inhabitant.
Annually, households spent double the amount on books, newspapers and stationery as they spent on package holidays. On the other hand, households’ expenditure on these items was less than half of their spending on recreational and cultural services.
Spending on books, newspapers and stationary is in decline. In 1995, 1.8 per cent of the total consumption expenditure of households in the EU was devoted to these items. The share has been constantly decreasing since then to 1.1 per cent in 2016.
In Finland, 16.8 per cent of the population surveyed recorded reading books as one of the activities they spent time on (as “main activity”). They were followed by Poland (16.4 per cent), Estonia (15.0 per cent), Greece and Luxembourg (both 11.9 per cent).
At the opposite end of the scale, France (2.6 per cent), Romania (6.2 per cent), Austria (7.2 per cent) and Belgium (7.9 per cent) had the lowest share of respondents reading books, Eurostat said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)