Eurostat: 4 out of 10 Bulgarians live in an overcrowded home
About 41 percent of Bulgarians, or 4 out of 10 Bulgarians, live in overcrowded housing, according to Eurostat's analysis of the housing stock in the EU in 2017. The average overcrowding in the EU is about 17 percent, according to European Statistics .
Nearly 1.1 million Bulgarians, or about 15 percent of the population in Bulgaria, live in homes that are shared by more than one family, that is, the doubling of households in one apartment, it is quite common among lower-income Bulgarians in urban environment. It is common for 3 generations, or about 6-9 members of a household, to inhabit a 60-70 square-meter dwelling.
In addition, about 80 percent of children under 18, and about 60 percent of young people aged 16-29, are a group living in overcrowded housing.
The percentage of overcrowded homes in the big cities is about 48 per cent (18 per cent for the EU), in small towns and suburbs - about 40 per cent (15 per cent for the EU) and in rural areas - 33 per cent compared with 17 per cent for the EU), Eurostat data show.
Against the backdrop of the overcrowding of the housing stock in Bulgaria, the analysis also reveals a significantly high percentage of vacant dwellings in cities and villages - out of a total of 3.9 million units in Bulgaria - about 1.2 million or 31 per cent - are uninhabited and unoccupied.
In urban areas, more than 650,000 (25% of urban housing) are vacant homes, and in rural areas the unoccupied homes are over 560,000 or 43% of the countryside. Only in the capital and Sofia-region the unoccupied homes are about 250 thousand.
These disproportions are explained both by the decrease of the number of the population in Bulgaria in the last years and by the emigration of the Bulgarians abroad or the internal migration from the villages to the towns, which empties many homes and makes them uninhabited.
Of the 28 EU Member States, the highest overcrowding is registered in Romania - nearly 50 per cent, according to Eurostat's analysis. Other countries with significant overcrowding of households are: Latvia - 43 per cent, Bulgaria - 41 per cent, Poland and Hungary - 40 per cent, Slovakia - 38 per cent, and others.
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest levels of overcrowding were reported in Cyprus - 2.4 per cent, Malta - 2.9 per cent, Ireland - 3.2 per cent, Belgium - 3.7 percent and the Netherlands - 4 percent. Overcrowding was also a problem for less than 10 percent of the population in Finland - 6.6 percent, Germany - 7.2 percent, France - 7.7 percent, Britain and Luxembourg - 8 percent.
High levels of overcrowding are also recorded for our neighbors - Greece - 40 per cent, Serbia - 64 per cent, Macedonia - 68 per cent and Turkey - 73 per cent.
Last year, about 42 percent of EU residents inhabited apartments (or 4 out of 10 Europeans), a quarter (25 percent) had family houses, and one third - 33 percent - had separate houses.
About 42 per cent of Europeans have lived in their own home without a loan or mortgage, while another 27 percent resided in a home with a loan or a mortgage, according to Eurostat. Another 20 percent of Europeans lived in a dwelling paying rent.