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Constructing a housing precariousness measure for Europe

Clair, Amy, Reeves, Aaron, McKee, Martin and Stuckler, David (2018) Constructing a housing precariousness measure for Europe. Journal of European Social Policy. ISSN 0958-9287

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0958928718768334


There are concerns that the recovery from the Great Recession in Europe has left growing numbers of people facing precarious housing situations. Yet, to our knowledge, there is no comparative measure of housing precariousness in contrast to an extensive body of work on labour market precariousness. Here, we draw on a comparative survey of 31 European countries from the 2012 wave of European Union Survey of Income and Living Conditions to develop a novel housing precariousness measure. We integrate four dimensions of housing precariousness: security, affordability, quality and access to services, into a scale ranging from 0 (not at all precarious) to 4 (most precarious). Over half of the European population report at least one element of housing precariousness; 14.7  percent report two dimensions and 2.8  percent three or more (equivalent to ~15  million people). Eastern European and small island nations have relatively greater precariousness scores. Worse precariousness tends to be more severe among the young, unemployed, single and those with low educational attainment or who live in rented homes and is associated with poor self-reported health. Future research is needed to strengthen surveillance of housing precariousness as well as to understand what policies and programmes can help alleviate it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Research centres and groups > International Inequalities Institute
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 09:13
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 06:49
Projects: 313590-HRES
Funders: European Research Council, Wellcome Trust Investigator Award

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