About 43.5 per cent of Bulgarians live in overcrowded households, while in the country, 67.2 per cent of non-EU citizens are in overcrowded households, according to European Union statistics agency Eurostat, citing figures for 2017.
Among EU countries, the overcrowding rate recorded for non-EU citizens (based on available data) was highest in Croatia (67.6 per cent), followed by Bulgaria (67.2 per cent), Poland (61 per cent), Greece (55.6 per cent) and Italy (52.5 per cent). The lowest rates were observed in Malta (9.4 per cent) and Cyprus (7.1 per cent).
For foreign EU citizens (i.e. EU citizens residing in another EU country), the overcrowding rate was highest in Hungary (51.6 per cent), Latvia (42.8 per cent) and Italy (42.5 per cent). The Netherlands (4.6 per cent), Cyprus (4.0 per cent), Ireland (3.9 per cent) and Malta (0.9 per cent) recorded the lowest rates.
The highest overcrowding rates for national citizens were recorded in Romania (47.8 per cent), Bulgaria (43.5 per cent), Croatia (41.4 per cent), Latvia (40.7 per cent) and Hungary (40.1 per cent), while the lowest were in Cyprus (2.5 per cent), Malta (2.4 per cent) and Ireland (2.1 per cent).
Eurostat said that the overcrowding rate is the percentage of the population living in an overcrowded household.
A person is considered as living in an overcrowded household if the household does not have at its disposal a minimum number of rooms equal to the sum of:
one room for the household;
one room per couple in the household;
one room per single person aged 18 and more;
one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age;
one room per single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category;
one room per pair of children under 12 years of age.
In 2017, the proportion of non-EU citizens in the EU living in overcrowded households was estimated to be 34.6 per cent. This was almost 18 percentage points higher than the overcrowding rates for national citizens (16.7 per cent) and foreign EU citizens (16.8 per cent).
(Photo: Sami C)