Residential Insecurity, Socio-Demographic Heterogeneity and the European Housing Systems

Alda B. Azevedo, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa
Julián López-Colás, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics
Juan A. Módenes, Dept. of Geography, UNIV. AUTÒN. DE BARCELONA

More than 11.7 million households in the European Union were afraid of losing their homes in the next six months because they could not afford them, according to the European Quality of Life Survey of 2012. This figure represents 5.5 per cent of all households. Obviously, this concern is closely related to be committed to regular payment (mortgage or market rent): 9.1 per cent of these households thought they were at risk of losing their home. This worry, even anxiety, is one, quite subjective, expression of the so-called “residential insecurity”.
There are major differences across countries in this risk indicator, from Greece (13.3 per cent) to the Netherlands (2.1 per cent). This heterogeneity is explained, firstly, because their populations have unequal socio-demographic compositions, but also because they have divergent intrinsic risks. The basic level of housing insecurity of every country could be related with a welfare housing system framework. Our main purpose is to determine if regional housing systems present different intensities of the basic subjective risk of losing home or, in other words, different levels of protection as perceived by the population, as an additional feature of these systems.
Preliminary results confirm the growing gradient from North to South Europe in terms of subjective residential insecurity. The risk of losing home is, as expected, higher among renters, households with no social support, young households and low-income households. Southern European countries tend to show a stronger internal heterogeneity between socio-demographic groups than Northern European ones. That is, differences between Southern and Northern housing systems are mostly explained by the risk perceived by their most fragile groups.
The data source is the European Quality of Life Survey, wave 2012, produced by the Eurofound. Logistic regressions in association with interaction models have been developed to ensure inter-country comparability of results.

Presented in Poster Session 2