New data from the European Commission shows that in 2016, almost a quarter (24.1%) of people aged 16 and over living in the European Union (EU) reported that they had problems carrying out their usual activities due to long-standing health problems. Of these, around one in six people (16.7%) reported that they had some long-standing health-related limitations, while around one in 14 (7.4%) said that they had severe long-standing limitations.
The highest share of people who said health issues limited their ability to carry out their usual activities was in Latvia (37.4%) and Austria (34.2%). Portugal (33.0%), Finland (32.8%), Estonia (32.3%), Croatia (both 32.3%) and Slovenia (31.2%) all had shares over 30 per cent.
The lowest share of people reporting long-standing limitations to their lives due to health problems was recorded in Sweden (12.5%) and Malta (12.9%), ahead of Cyprus (16.0%), Bulgaria (16.2%) and Ireland (16.5%).
The data showed that higher individual income was associated with less health-related limitations. Over 30 per cent of the EU population with the lowest income reported long-standing limitations. This share reduced to 17 per cent among the population with the highest income.