Social Housing

Social rental housing per country as a percentage of the total housing stock.


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Map of Europe showing social rental dwellings as a percentage of the total housing stock.

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Social housing is any rental housing that may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organizations, or by a combination of the two. Social housing is usually aimed at providing affordable housing and can be regarded as a potential remedy for housing inequality.

Social housing is generally rationed through some form of means-testing or through administrative measures of housing need.

This map gives in interesting look at the share of social housing in each country. At first glance, it seems like there is no clear geographical pattern. However, it does get interesting when we compare it with the home ownership rate. Most of the countries with a low share of social housing, have a high home ownership rate. Especially the eastern European countries . However, this is not the case with every country. Germany has a very low share of social housing, but also one of the lowest rates of home ownership.

The amount of social housing varies a lot per country throughout Europe. The Netherlands has by far the largest share of social housing with 32%. Other countries with a high share of social housing are Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden and the UK.

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