Household incomes are lower in the European Union than in the United States, but the families save more of their earnings, according to studies conducted by the Swedish Statistics Bureau (SCB) covering the dozen years from 1995-2007.

In 2007, household income per capita, after correcting for price differentials across countries, was around 50% higher in the US than in the area that presently has adopted the Euro as a monetary currency. It was about 66% higher in the U.S. than in the European Union as a whole.

Total income in Europe is being drastically reduced by taxes on income and wealth. High shares of such taxes were observed in Nordic countries: heaviest taxed of all was Denmark (36.7%) followed by Sweden (21.2%), Finland (19.9%) and Norway (18.2%). Lowest shares of taxes were found in Slovakia (4.8%), the Czech Republic (7.0%), Poland (7.2%) and Portugal (7.3%).

Households saved a bigger proportion of their disposable income in the Euro area and, to a lesser extent, in the EU than in the U.S.. The highest saving rates were recorded in Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Austria and France. The lowest were observed in the Baltic countries and in the UK.

In 2007, EU families invested mainly in homes. In the Euro zone and general EU, a higher portion of disposable incomes went to home investments than in the US. Among European countries, where average home investments were recorded at around 10-11%, the highest household investment rate was recorded in Ireland (24.7%) and the lowest in Sweden (5.7%).