One-third of Irish ‘could not afford’ week’s holiday away from home in 2017

EU report finds European average of 28 per cent and just 9.7 per cent of Swedes could not afford seven days away

Holidays are becoming more affordable for an increasing number of Europeans

More than one-third of Irish people could not afford a one-week break away from home in 2017, according to EU research.

Eurostat’s 35.5 per cent figure for Ireland for that year is above the EU average in 2018 of 28.3 per cent of people over 16 who could not afford a one-week annual holiday away from home.

However, holidays are becoming more affordable for an increasing number of Europeans – in 2013 some 39.5 per cent of Europeans could not afford a one-week break.

The only exception has been Greece where the proportion of those unable to afford a one-week holiday increased to 51 per cent in 2018.


Among the 28 EU member states in 2018, those with the highest proportions who could not afford to take the week’s holiday were Romania (58.9 per cent), Croatia (51.3 per cent, provisional data), Greece (51 per cent) and Cyprus (51 per cent, provisional data).

Ireland came 20th in the affordability stakes while Sweden came first. Just 9.7 per cent of the population aged over 16 in Sweden said they couldn’t afford a one-week holiday in 2018, with Luxembourg next lowest (10.9 per cent, 2017 data). The UK was in tenth place with 22.5 per cent.

The statistics from the EU allow people to make comparisons on their living conditions with others in the same country or in the EU as a whole.

The interactive comparisons are available on the Eurostat site.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist