Latvians spend more than Estonians, Lithuanians and Finns, and are only just behind Swedes, in terms of how much of their income is spent on communications, according to new data from Eurostat published December 3.
Latvia is in ninth place on communcations spending among European Union member states during 2018.
Of all the main items of household expenditure, communications was the item that saw the most significant decrease in spending over the last decade in the EU. It fell from 2.8% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 2.3% in 2018 (or -0.5 percentage points (pp)).
However, Latvians spent more than the average on their communciation needs, recording a figure of 2.9%. In total Latvian households spent 498.5 million euros on communications in 2018, up from 445.4 million euros in 2017. Back in the crisis years of 2009 and 2010, just 399.2 million euros and 376.2 million euros were spent, respectively.
In 2018 Estonians spent 316 million euros on communications and Lithuanians spent 742 million euros.
Between 2008 and 2018, the share of total household expenditure on communications decreased in most EU Member States. The largest decrease was recorded in Estonia (from 3.8% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 2.5% in 2018, or a fall of 1.3 percentage points (pp)). Estonia was followed by the Netherlands (-1.1 pp), Poland (-1.0 pp), France (-0.8 pp), Ireland (-0.7 pp), Czechia, Portugal and Bulgaria (all -0.6 pp).
However, communication spending increased in four EU Member States: Romania (from 2.1% in 2008 to 4.1% in 2018, or an increase of 2.0 pp), ahead of Lithuania (+0.5 pp), Sweden (+0.4 pp) and Croatia (+0.2 pp).