UK standard of living was EU’s highest in 2010

HOUSEHOLDS in Britain consume more goods and services on average than any others in the EU besides Luxembourg, according to figures out yesterday from Eurostat.

Actual individual consumption (AIC) -- a measure of the standard of living -- was 21 per cent higher in the UK than the EU average in 2010.

The measure takes into account all goods consumed, whether or not the household pays directly for them, and so includes factors like education and healthcare that may be missed by other measures like GDP per capita.

Luxembourg came top with AIC of 50 per cent above average.

Yet statisticians believe its figures are not directly comparable with the UK’s because a large number of workers live in the surrounding countries, contributing to Luxembourg’s GDP but not being counted in GDP per capita.

Meanwhile Germany came third at 17 per cent above. Bulgaria’s consumption is lowest at 58 per cent below average.

However the UK has lost ground slightly, with AIC down from 24 per cent above the EU average in 2008, while Germany has risen from 13 per cent above average over the same time period.