Household finance and consumption (HFCN)

The results of first wave of Eurosystem Households finance and consumption survey

The results of the second wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), conducted in 2014, will be published in autumn 2016.

The European Central Bank (ECB) published the results of the first wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), a joint Eurosystem project, supported in three cases by the national statistical institutes. The reference year for most country surveys is 2010. In Slovenia the survey was conducted in 2010. The results are related mostly to the last 12 month, except for the income, which refers to the year 2009.

The survey is the topic of the first two issues of a new Statistics Paper Series launched by the ECB.

Key results of the survey are:

  • 60.1% of households in the euro area own their main residence – 40.7% outright and 19.4% with a mortgage. The median value of the main residence for the owners is €180,300. [1] In Slovenia there were 81.8% owners of main residence in the 2010 – 12.5% with a mortgage and with median €100,900.
  • 23.1% of households own other real estate property; the median value of other real estate property is €103,400. The numbers for the Slovenia are 23.2% and €52,400.
  • 75.7% of households own vehicles; the median value of vehicles is €7,000. In Slovenia 80.4% of households have vehicles; the median value is €3.000.
  • 96.4% of households own deposits - sight or saving accounts (Slovenia 93.6%), while voluntary private pensions/whole life insurance is held by 33.0% of households (Slovenia 18.3%); all other financial assets are owned by less than 15% of households.
  • Ownership of financial assets other than deposits depends strongly on income; in the highest income quintile [2], 26.5% of households hold mutual funds, while 24.4% hold publicly traded shares.
  • 43.7% of households in the euro area have (some type of) debt; 23.1% have mortgage debt, while 29.3% have non-mortgage debt. Among the indebted households, the median value of mortgage debt (€68,400) substantially exceeds the median value of non-mortgage debt (€5,000).
  • In Slovenia there were 44.5% indebted households in 2010; 14.1% mortgage and 38.9% other debts. The median value for mortgage was €6,600, for non-mortgage €3,100.

The survey results will contribute to the Eurosystem’s knowledge about the economic and financial structure of the euro area economy. Information about the distribution of wealth, debt and income is particularly important for gaining a better understanding of the monetary transmission mechanism and the impact of macroeconomic shocks on financial stability.

A key feature of the HFCS is that it provides individual household data collected in a harmonised way in 15 euro area countries for a sample of more than 62,000 households. Until now, distributional information on household assets and liabilities had been scarce and rarely comparable across euro area countries.

One report presents the survey methodology (covering the questionnaire, sample, weighting, importance of non-response and method of correcting for non-response), while the other report presents an overview of the main results of the first wave of the HFCS. The reports in English can be found at:

[1] The median is the numerical value that separates the higher half of a sample from the lower half. The advantage of median over mean is that outliers have less affect on the value.

[2] That is: in upper fifths.