At the national level, for both the general population and people at-risk-of poverty, the highest shares of housing costs in disposable income were recorded in Greece (34% and 60% respectively), Denmark (26%; 57%) and the Netherlands (24%; 48%), while the lowest were in Malta (9%; 18%), Cyprus (11%; 19%), and Lithuania (12%; 24%).
For Latvia the respective figures were 15.2% and 28.1%.
With house prices and rents rising, the cost of housing can be a burden. This can be measured by the housing cost overburden rate, which shows the share of the population living in a household where total housing costs represent more than 40 % of disposable income. In the EU in 2021, 10.4 % of the population in cities lived in such a household, while the corresponding rate for rural areas was 6.2 %. The housing cost overburden was higher in cities than in rural areas in all Member States, except Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia and Latvia.
The highest housing cost overburden rates in cities were observed in Greece (32.4 %), Denmark (21.9 %) and the Netherlands (15.3 %), while in rural areas they were highest in Greece (22.0 %), Bulgaria (13.3 %) and Romania (10.8 %).
Arrears on mortgage, rent or utility bills is another indication that housing costs could be too high. Despite the fact that house prices and rents have increased during the period 2010 to 2021, the share of people living in households with arrears on mortgage, rent or utility bills in the EU has decreased from 12.4 % in 2010 to 9.1 % in 2021. The shares have decreased in 20 Member States, increased in five and were the same in 2010 and 2021 in Malta (2021 data for Slovakia not available). In 2021, the largest shares were observed in Greece (36.4 %), Bulgaria (20.4 %), Cyprus (17.3 %), Croatia (16.6 %) and Ireland (13.6 %) and the smallest in Czechia (2.4 %), the Netherlands (2.6 %), Belgium (4.2 %) and Austria (4.8 %). For Latvia the figure was relatively low at 7.2%.