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25 August, 2021

How Consumer Prices Have Changed In Europe Over The Last 10 Years

Eurostat surveys prices of goods and services in EU countries on a monthly basis. The survey reports are published on the service's website. On average, prices in the region have risen by 15% over the last 10 years and by 2% at the end of 2020. Here's a look at how different the prices of living in European countries will be in 2020.

Residence permits by investment in the EU: consumer price trends in 2021
Photo: Adobe Stock

The Consumer Price Index, or Consumer Price Index, is an important statistical indicator that helps to measure inflation in EU countries. Eurostat has also calculated an annual index for Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, which have not signed the agreement.

How Eurostat compiles the index

Eurostat calculates the index for each state separately: the purchasing power of citizens is divided by the current exchange rate. The index is then compared with the European average, which is taken as 100.

If the index is higher than 100, the cost of living in the country is expensive. If less, the country's prices are lower than the EU average.

Consumer price index in European countries

CategoryHighest prices in the EULowest prices in the EU
FoodSwitzerlandindex 168.2Romania
index 65.3
Alcohol and tobaccoNorway
index 219.7
index 60.8
Clothing and shoesGermany
index 130.9
index 75,6
Housing costsSwitzerland
index 193.6
index 37,8
index 129.4
index 55,2
Personal transportGermany
index 137.3
index 80,2
Public transport costsNorway
index 166.3
index 50,6
index 180,1
index 45,9
Leisure and recreation expenditureSwitzerland
index 151,9
index 61,3
Restaurants and hotelsSwitzerland
index 169
index 46,4

In 2020, the most expensive countries to live in were Switzerland, Norway, and Germany. Consumer prices in these states are on average 50-60% higher in various categories of goods and services. For example, alcohol and tobacco in Norway are twice as expensive as in the EU.

The index shows that the most affordable prices for living in Bulgaria and Romania: goods and services are 30-50% cheaper in all surveyed categories.

To see country-specific price indices for each category of goods and services, visit the Eurostat website.

Residence permit in the EU countries: consumer price index
Living in Bulgaria is much cheaper than in Europe. The country has a comfortable climate, beautiful nature and friendly people

What are the prices of goods and services in countries with investment programs

The six countries surveyed by Eurostat have investment programs in place. Malta also offers special merit citizenship to foreign investors.

When investors choose which country they want to become residents, they also ask about the cost of living. The Consumer Price Index gives a more complete picture of the cost of living in the country as a whole and separately by category.

Consumer price index in countries with investment programs

CategoryHighest prices in the EULowest prices in the EU
index 168,2
index 95,9
Alcohol and tobaccoSwitzerland
index 132,5
index 90,2
Clothing and shoesSwitzerland
index 123,2
index 95,3
Housing costsSwitzerland
index 196,2
index 59,9
index 117,5
index 95,7
Personal transportPortugal
index 107,9
index 85,5
Public transport costsSwitzerland
index 140,7
index 75,2
index 173
index 100,8
Leisure and recreation expenditureSwitzerland
index 151,9
index 87
Restaurants and hotelsSwitzerland
index 169
index 73,1

The prices of consumer goods in the countries with investment programs are at or below the EU average, or 10-30% lower. For example, hotel accommodation in Portugal is more likely to be cheaper than in other countries. Prices for public transport tickets are lower in Greece, and the cost of maintaining a private car or motorbike is lower in Cyprus.

The lowest prices for rent, utilities, and home maintenance are found in Malta. Greece, on the other hand, has the highest communication costs: internet, mobile phones, home telephones, and postal services.

Looking at the table, Switzerland has the highest price index: the cost of seven categories of goods is significantly higher than the EU average.

Residence permit in Switzerland for investment: consumer price index
Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. It attracts wealthy people with a stable economy, security, high level of medicine and quality education.

The Swiss residence permit for financially independent persons is issued without the right to work in the country. The investor enters into an agreement with the cantonal administration and pays a lump sum tax of ₣ 450,000.

A residence permit in Austria for financially independent persons is issued according to quotas. The investor proves that he or she and his or her family have enough money to live in the territory.

A residence permit in Portugal is granted for an investment of €250,000 or more. The program offers eight options: buying real estate or securities, opening a deposit in a local bank, investing in a business, scientific activity, or the country's cultural heritage.

A residence permit in Malta is granted to an investor who:

  1. Buys or rents a home - from €300,000 or €10,000
  2. Pays the administrative fee of €40,000
  3. Pays the government fee of €28,000 or €58,000 and a contribution of €2,000 to a Maltese non-governmental organization
  4. Confirms that he has assets with a value of €500,000 or more

Malta also offers investors the possibility to obtain citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment. The investor first receives a residence permit and after a year or three years can apply for citizenship. Investors undergo stringent due diligence and meet the mandatory conditions of the Maltese citizenship law:

  1. Make a contribution to the country's economy - from €600,000
  2. Rent or buy real estate - from €16,000 or €700,000
  3. Make a charitable donation to any non-governmental organization in Malta - from €10,000

A permanent residence permit in Cyprus is granted by investment of €300,000 or more. The investor can choose from three options: buying real estate, shares in local companies, or units in investment funds.

A residence permit in Greece is granted by purchasing real estate or shares in local companies, opening a deposit in a Greek bank. The minimum investment is €250,000.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent who helps you obtain citizenship and residence permits in European countries. If you would like to obtain a residence permit or citizenship in a European Union country, seek advice from experts in investment programs.

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How Consumer Prices Have Changed In Europe Over The Last 10 Years

Author: Mary Cube