Romania, among the countries with the most households facing arrears on utility bills

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Households in Romania top a EU ranking on the difficulties in paying utility bills, a recent Eurostat survey reads. In 2018, almost 7% of households in the European Union had been unable to pay utility bills (heating, electricity, gas, water, etc.) on time, due to financial difficulties. However, this share has fallen steadily in the EU as a whole, from over 10% of households in 2013.

Among households, in particular those with dependent children faced difficulties in paying utility bills on time. In the EU, just below 14% of households consisting of a single adult with dependent children faced such difficulties in 2018, compared to less than 3% of households consisting of two adults (with at least one of them 65 years or older). Among households with two or three adults and dependent children, this share was around 11%.

In 2018, more than a third of households in Greece (36%) had experienced problems paying their utility bills on time during the last 12 months, with many households facing such problems also in Bulgaria (30%). Croatia comes third on citizens’ struggling to pay the utility bills (17.5%), while Romania ranks fourth (14.4%).

In contrast, few households had been unable to pay their utility bills on time in the Netherlands, Czechia, Sweden and Austria (all around 2%).

These data were collected as part of the annual EU survey on income and living conditions (EU-SILC).

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