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Standard of living in UK rises to joint fourth highest in Europe

Published by Mark Pack on December 15, 2014 – 4:55 PM

Apologies for the boring interlude of evidence once again:

In 2013 the standard of living in the UK (measured using Actual Individual Consumption – AIC – per head) rose to joint fourth highest in the European Union (along with Denmark, Sweden and Finland), up one place from last year, according to new figures recorded by ONS.

This measure is about more than simply people’s incomes:

AIC (a measure of personal consumption of goods and services) in the UK was 15% higher than the EU28 average, the same as in 2012. AIC in Luxembourg was again the highest in the European Union (36% above the EU28 average), with Bulgaria again the lowest (51% below the EU28 average). AIC per head is often used as a measure of households’ standard of living as it incorporates all goods and services that a household consumes, including benefits-in-kind, such as health and education services.

Although of course that leaves out important if at times highly contentious factors such as equality (of outcome or opportunity), Britain’s relatively good performance isn’t one that features much in the usual stories about standards of living even when they too heavily emphasis money and services.

There’s some further analysis in The Guardian.