× What is this?
  • Each bubble is a country. The x, y and radius of the bubbles represent debt, deficit/surplus and GDP, respectively.
  • The data is from 1995 to 2010. Use the slider, previous and next buttons below to change the year or click play to show animation.
  • Move cursor over a country flag or bubble for more detail. The highlighted path is data of the selected country from all years.
  • Solid lines and dotted lines show values of EU and Eurozone, respectively.
Close and enjoy! (You can open this guide again from the menu.) or See Sample findings
× Sample findings
Here are some ideas to help you start.
  • Which country has the biggest GDP? Find the biggest bubble and move mouse cursor over it.
  • Move cursor over Ireland and look at the highlighted path on the chart. How has its economy changed recently?
    The bubble moves down indicates increased deficit, moves right indicated increased debt. Also try Greece and Italy.
  • Click on Play to see how these countries change over time. Can you tell which year the economy was bad?
    Try to find when bubbles move towards the bottom right.
  • Change the year to 2008 and click on Next year to see what happened after the economic crash in 2008.
Close and explore more on your own! (You can open this guide again from the menu.)

Financial Information of European Union (EU) Countries in



Bond yield (2010):
Unemployment (2010):
Unemployment 15-24 (2010):

European Union (EU) Eurozone

GDP (bubble size)

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure for the economic activity. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation.

In this visualization, the GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) is used. This index is expressed in relation to the European Union (EU-27) average set to equal 100. If the index of a country is higher than 100, this country's level of GDP per head is higher than the EU average and vice versa.

Note The index, calculated from PPS figures and expressed with respect to EU27 = 100, is intended for cross-country comparisons rather than for temporal comparisons.

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Government Debt (x)

As a whole, Europe owes €10,125,117,000,000 - or €10.1 trillion. But it's more meaningful to look at the number as a percent of GDP. So, we want to see how much that debt is as a proportion of the whole economy - kind of equivalent to measuring your mortgage compared to the whole economic value of your household.

There's nothing inherently bad about having a huge debt - it depends who you owe it to and whether you can manage the payments. Bigger countries are also in a better position: essentially, if you owe the bank £50,000, you've got a problem; if you owe the bank £50,000,000, the bank's got a problem.

Note Debt information before 1999 is not available for EU and Euro area. The debt from 1999 is used instead.

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Deficit/Surplus (y)

If the gross debt is equivalent to your mortgage, the deficit is the overdraft, the running gap between your outgoings and ingoings. Big deficits mean more borrowing, and then running it up all over again to cover the costs of that borrowing.

Again, the best way to look at these is as a percentage of GDP, and Eurstat shows which countries are worst affected, this time from the end of 2010, which is the latest available data. It shows Ireland had the worst deficit then at 31.1% followed by Greece at 10.6% and the UK at 10.3%. Compare that to Germany at 4.3% and you can see the relative strengths of the economies.

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