EU statistics in celebration of International Women’s Day

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EU statistics in celebration of International Women's DayHow many more women than men are there among the total population and among the elderly? Is the share of women at risk of poverty or social exclusion higher than for men? How do employment rates for women and men differ by education level? Do women buy different goods and services over the internet than men?

Answers to these questions are supplied by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2012.

Twice as many women as men aged 65 and over in the Baltic countries

There were in total 257 million women and 245 million men in the EU27 in 2011, meaning that there were 105 women per 100 men. There were around 15% more women than men in the total population in the Baltic countries: Estonia and Latvia (both 117 women per 100 men) and Lithuania (115), while the ratio was almost equal in Cyprus, Sweden, Luxembourg and Malta (all 101 women per 100 men).

The ratio rose to 138 women per 100 men on average in the EU27 for those aged 65 and over. For this age group, there were around twice as many women as men in the Baltic countries: Latvia (208 women per 100 men), Estonia (204) and Lithuania (197), while there were around 20% more women than men in Cyprus (120 women per 100 men), Ireland (122) and Sweden (123). Malta stood at 132.3%.

The proportion of women at risk of poverty or social exclusion higher than for men in all Member States

In 2010, there were 62 million women (24.5% of all women) and 54 million men (22.3% of all men) in the EU27 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that they were at least in one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. The proportion of women at risk of poverty or social exclusion was higher than for men in all Member States. The largest differences between women and men were recorded in Italy (26.3% for women and 22.6% for men), Austria (18.4% and 14.7%) and Slovenia (20.1% and 16.5%), and the smallest in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary (all with differences of less than 1 percentage point). Malta stood at 21.5% for women and 19.7% for men.

Differences in employment rates between women and men reduce as the education level rises

The employment rate for women aged 25 to 64 was 63.8% in the EU27 in 2010, while it was 77.5% for men, a difference of 13.7 percentage points (pp). This difference diminishes as the education level increases. For those with a low education level (at the most lower secondary education), the employment rate at EU27 level was 43.3% for women and 65.2% for men, a difference of 21.9 pp. The employment rate for persons with a medium education level (at the most upper secondary education) was 66.6% for women and 79.1% for men, a difference of 12.5 pp. For those with a high education level (tertiary education), the rate was 80.6% for women and 87.4% for men, a difference of 6.8 pp. This pattern was similar in almost all Member States.

Internet purchases of clothes more common among female e-shoppers, electronic equipment among males

The purchase of goods and services over the internet is an increasing phenomenon. There are interesting differences between men and women when looking at the goods and services they buy over the internet. Among persons in the EU27 aged 16 to 74 who ordered goods or services over the internet in the last year (e-shoppers), it was more common in 2011 for women than for men to buy clothes over the internet (58% of female e-shoppers and 45% of male e-shoppers) as well as food (17% of female e-shoppers and 13% male e-shoppers). It was more common for men than for women to buy electronic equipment (17% for women and 32% for men), while for booking travel and holidays there was no difference between women and men (both 52%).

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