Nov 27, 2023
The Eurostats website published an interesting article that emphasizes the increasing importance of digital skills in response to technological advancements. It discusses how the EU aims for at least 80% of adults to have the minimum basic digital skills by 2030.
It also describes how even if around 90% of EU citizens are using the internet weekly, only 54% in average had basic or above basic digital skills in 2021. Finland and the Netherlands led with 79%, followed by Ireland (70%) and Denmark (69%), highlighting disparities in digital proficiency across EU countries.
As more and more of our traditional activities move even further online, investing the digital skills education since early age would seem to be wise decision. I hope the EU goverments will prioritise it.
Nov 22, 2023
On the past Saturday, I started the day very early since I had to catch a train to Freiburg. As I was cycling towards Badischer Banhoff station and approaching the Mitterebrücke bridge over the Rhine River, I noticed that the sky was really beautiful with its pink multicolor hues. I had to stop suddenly to capture the photo you see above. When I was about to take out my phone, I turned to the right, and there was another cyclist who had done exactly the same thing. With a smile, she said, "We have to take a photo of this, right?" and smiling back, I said, "Yes, indeed, it's a must!"
May 20, 2023
Apr 13, 2023
Jul 19, 2022
These days I had the opportunity to visit the city of Cubelles, a catalan tourist town near Barcelona. I was very lucky to find an apartment very close to the beach and I have spent almost every day enjoying the sea, constantly refreshing myself.
But every time I watch the news I realize that I was lucky to spend my days there during the heat wave that is hitting Europe. There are roaring fires in many places in southern Europe, and on the other hand places where the summer is not particularly strong like the UK are experiencing record temperatures.
No comments. The Climate Change problem is already here :/
Jun 1, 2022
A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit Berlin again and I spent some very pleasant days in the company of my dear friend C. In those days I remembered why the German capital is one of my favorite cities in Europe, and although I am satisfied with my life at the moment, I will always miss that very interesting place!
One of the things I was always curious about before leaving Berlin was what had happenned with the famous Humboldt Forum. I remember the first time I visited that space in 2015: At that time it was atemporary construction, created by the Humboldt foundation, that served as an exhibition space and viewing platform for the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum reconstruction project.
Well 7 years later, this project is finished and the palace is back to his former glory (at least the exterior facade) and it has some interesting expositions inside. Above you can find a picture on how it looks like nowadays. bis (hoffentlich) bald, Berlin
Feb 28, 2022
Feb 25, 2022
Feb 23, 2022
Feb 20, 2022
Last Friday I learned that the day before the federal council of Switzerland had reached an agreement to relax the covid measures, so that the use of masks is limited to public transport and health institutions only. This morning I was reading that also in other European countries, these measures are being adopted also in other countries like the UK, Norway, France, Germany and Austria.
It is true that vaccination rates have reached important levels in most of these countries, that covid cases have decreased significantly and that fortunately omicron-related cases have been milder than previous variants; but in any case it feels a bit surreal to enter stores and restaurants without having to wear that mask that has been part of the essential accessories during these long months of pandemic.
Fingers crossed that the situation continues to evolve so positively!.
Feb 8, 2022
Sometimes you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to capture an interesting photo. This is what happened last weekend in Ouchy, Lausanne: We were relaxing by the fountain in the main square and as the sun was setting, illuminating the bridge and the water, people were passing by, including this cyclist who was captured in the image.
Feb 1, 2022
Last weekend when I was walking home after getting a PCR test (which is part of the routine in this pandemic era), I passed by markplatz where I have walked thousands of times, but from the angle where I was, looking at the clear sky, with the Rathaus in the background, I said to myself: wow it really looks beautiful!
Nov 14, 2021
Yesterday I met a couple of colleagues from the university here in Basel and we discussed various topics. One of my colleagues is an epidemiologist and the topic of increasing hospitalization rates due to covid-19 was part of our conversations. One of the causes of this phenomenon is that vaccination rates in Europe are still low. According to the ECDC the cumulative complete vaccination rate in Europe is 64.9%, with Portugal being the country with the highest rate (81.3%).
Countries like Germany and the Netherlands, which are breaking daily records with the number of cases, have relatively low vaccination rates (67.1% and 64.8% respectively). We cannot let our guard down and more work must be done to prevent the continent from becoming again, the epicentre of this never-ending pandemic.
Sep 30, 2020
A friend of mine who works at the European Union, shared an interesting articule about the Life Expectancy in the different EU regions.
The last data available from 2018, shows that Swtizerland (83.8), Spain (83.5) and Italy (83.4) had the highest life expectancy, as you can see on the map above.
Sep 20, 2020
According to the EDCD website, in many countries across the EU/EEA and the UK, an increase of COVID-19 cases is being observed following the lifting of lockdowns and the relaxation of preventive measures such as physical distancing.
This new "wave" has been reported regarding countries such as Spain and France where the timeseries graph of confirmed cases shows a clear sigmoid curve. I personally understand the "COVID-19 Fatigue", but the virus is still there, and it's not possible to forget about it.
Aug 03, 2020
A couple of days Eurostat released a preliminary report of the GDP growth rate in the EU and Euro zones. It's not not surprising but the COVID-19 situation and the required mitigation measures have taken a toll in the economy in Europe. The report discussed how "Seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 12.1% in the euro area and by 11.9% in the EU, compared with the previous quarter," The graph above shows this dramatic trend.
Apr 13, 2020
Mar 14, 2020
According to the WHO, Europe has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic as the deadly coronavirus runs through Italy and nearby countries including Germany, Switzerland and France. It's the same situation in Spain where the total number of cases increased dramatically during the last 2 days, leading the goverment to set in place drastic measures for force slowing down the transmission of the virus.
Feb 24, 2020
The 2008 Crisis, with the collapse of Iceland’s banking system, spread primarily to Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain in 2009. 10 years later most of this countries have bounced back, but still unemployment is high in countries like Greece and Spain, compared to points before the crisis started.
Jul 15, 2019
Jun 09, 2019
Apr 18, 2019
I have been tracking the unemployment in Ireland using data from the central office of statistics in Ireland website cso.ie for some time and the changes are remarkable compared to the peak of unemployment in 2012. Currently the figure stands in 5.4% for the month of March 2019.
Mar 18, 2019
The map above shows the countries with a large population of people that claim Irish Heritage, based on the mapa available in Wikipedia . Assuming the data is correct, the highest population of Irish descendants is located in the U.S. (~33 Million). There are also considerable number of people with Irish ancestry in the UK, Australia and Canada. To all of you ... belated Happy St. Patrick's day.
Feb 28, 2019
The official FX Data from the bank of england site, shows the changes related to the whole Brexit process. Yesterday it was reported that MPs have voted overwhelmingly to hold Theresa May to her commitment to give them a vote on delaying Brexit if her withdrawal agreement fails to win a majority within the next two weeks.. It's interesting how everytime Brexit seems to be further away ... the better the British currency performs.
Jan 07, 2019
Eurostats published recently a report about the alcohol consumption in Europe. The report that in In 2017, households in the European Union (EU) spent 1.6% of their total consumption expenditure on alcoholic beverages. As you can observe on the map above the baltic states have the highest percentage of expenditure related to their GDP.
Oct 14, 2018
Aug 19, 2018
Feb 09, 2018
Dec 04, 2017
At the end of last month Eurostats published a report with the updated unemployment rate figures across the Euro Area. The overall unemployment was 8.8% and even if the highest rates are still observed in Greece (20.6% Aug. 2017) and Spain (16.7%), they have the decreased compared to the previous year.
The lowest rates on the other hand were observed in October 2017: Czechia (2.7%), Malta (3.5%) and Germany (3.6%).
Nov 13, 2017
Aug 06, 2017
Currently there is a heat wave named Lucifer that's brining scorching hot temperatures to sourthern and central europe. Maybe that's the reason why Eurostat published some days ago statistics about the largest producers of Ice cream in the continent. It's not surprising that the "Gelato" country is on top of the list, but I was surprised to learn Germany was the second one in the rankings.
Jun 05, 2017
At the end of last month Eurostat published a report related to the Unemployment Rate in Europe. This reports shows how Germany, Malta and Czechia had the lowest rates, whole Greece and Spain still have the highest. Still it's remarkable how it has decrease both in Spain and Ireland.
May 23, 2017
A couple of days ago Eurostats published a report describing the annual inflation rate in the EU area and some other non-EU european countries. As you can observe in the map above the baltic countries had the highest inflation rates (Estonia: 3.6%, Lithuania: 3.5% and Latvia: 3.3%), While Romania (0.6%), Ireland (0.7%) and Slovakia (0.8%) had the lowest ones.
Apr 30, 2017
Apr 05, 2017
Apr 01, 2017
Eurostats offers a balance of trade dataset showing the trade surplus and deficit of each one of the European Union members. Germany is still the country with the highest surplus, compared to France and the UK that have the highest deficits:
Mar 26, 2017
Eurostats has an interesting dataset showing the percentage of the population experiencing depression in Europe. The map above shows that Hungary, Portugal and Sweden and the countries with a higher percentage of population experiencing depressive symptoms.
A breakdown by Sex shows that Portugal is the contry with the highest percentage of female population experiencing depression.
Mar 23, 2017
Yesterday when I was working, I recieved a news notification related to a London Attack, where five people were killed and many other were injured after an attacker drove a car along a pavement near to the Parliament. I always enjoyed visiting London and Westmister near to the Thames river is beautiful. As I say when it happened in Berlin: I will keep visiting this amazing city and no terrorist is going to change that.
Mar 22, 2017
Mar 10, 2017
A couple of days ago, on march th 8th, it was the international women's day. I was chatting with some family member about this day should exist at all (there were arguing that the day should be everyday). I was checking the pay gap between Man in Women in the European countries and I think there is still a reason to celebrate this day.
Mar 8, 2017
One of the most interesting parts of the Basel Fasnacht is the big latterns that participate on the parade on Monday morning. On tuesday they were exposed in Munsterplatz and this year there were a lot political motives related to politics and the far right trends. One of the most descriptive ones was this one.
Mar 5, 2017
Eurostats has an interesting dataset with the time spent excersising per country in Europe. It's not surprising that on the top of the list of the countries that excersises 2.5h or more are the Scandinavian countries: Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are on the top of the list. Way to go Scandinavia!
Feb 20, 2017
Jan 9, 2017
Eurostat updated its unemployment rates figures http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=une_rt_m&lang=en. Iceland has one the lowest unemployment rate in Europe (followed by the Czechia and Germany), while Greece still have the highest, followed by Spain.
Dec 11, 2016
Interesting dataset from Eurostats regarding personal transfer inflow / outflow across the European Union. On one hand France has biggest negative balance and on the other side Poland has the biggest positive one.
Dec 8, 2016
This morning I was talking to my father in law and he mentioned he wanted to check out the Synagogue in Basel. I had no idea there was such a building in the city, but I checked online and discovered there is a neo-Byzantine domed structure indeed, originally constructed in 1868 and enlarged in 1892. Above there is a picture of this Synagogue.
Nov 29, 2016
Nov 21, 2016
This morning I was checking the GDP growth data in the European nations and I found out that last year it was particularly high in Malta, Czechia, Iceland and Sweden ... but in Ireland it was insane!. An interesting article from The Irish Times, explains how despite this number being statistically correct it's due to huge multinational companies moving assets to their Irish branches, for tax reasons.
Nov 20, 2016
Sep 25, 2016
I didn't update this blog in the last week because we went with my GF to Tenerife and I decided to leave this computer back home to unplug for a while. We had a really amazing time in the biggest canary Island: The weather was warm but not scorching hot, the landscapes are really nice and quite different across the island, the seafood was so fresh and delicious and finally the people were extremely friendly. It was just great.
So of the highlights of the trip were (besides the stunning Teide you see in the picture above):
1- The nice town of La Otorava:
2- The picturesque town of San Andres where we stayed, and the nearby "Playa de las Teresitas":
3- Walking around in Santa Cruz:
4- The old town of Garachico and its natural rock swimming pools:
Sep 16, 2016
A couple of days ago we visited Lindau, a major town and an island on the eastern side of Lake Constance. We stayed at a hotel in the Island that's connected with the mainland by a road-traffic bridge. The current harbour of this island was built in 1856 and the iconic Lion sculpture and lighthouse mark the entrance of this port. An interesting fact is that this lighthouse is the only one in Bavaria!
Sep 15, 2016
Eurostat published some very interesting stats regarding the mobile internet connectivity of the EU citizens in the Information society section of the Eurostat regional yearbook publication. The map above shows the countries with the largest and smallest percentage of users browsing the internet through mobile devices in cities. It was not surprising to see the nordic countries at the top of the list, but I wasn't aware Italy was at the bottom.
Here is a barchart with the countries sorted by percentage:
Sep 14, 2016
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria and I learned about the interesting history behind this castle. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, as a refuge from his constitutional monarchy duties, in order to revive his romantic dreams of the medieval king figures. The guide described how the king was deemed insane, he was arrested and died mysteriously. We were discussing yesterday with my GF that insane or not but he brought good fortunes to this region of Germany for sure!.
Sep 13, 2016
Eurostats have a very interesting article and dataset about tourism in the different European cities. The chart above, shows the most visited European cities in terms of millions of nights spent by tourists, next to the percentage of those related to the local population.
Aug 30, 2016
In the last days I had the fortune to visit Iceland for the first time and I loved the country. The people are very friendly and the landscapes are just stunning. The capital Reykjavik has also very cool atmosphere and it can quite picturesque as you can observe in the picture above taken at the lake Tjörnin with the city hall in the background at the left corner.
Also look at the Geyser blowing off steam every couple of minutes.
And finally the Þingvellir National Park has some beautiful landscapes.
Aug 20, 2016
If you have never seen a picture with a soldier like the one in the statue above then you don't know who is the soldier depicted in this piece, then you don't know who is Comrad Schumann. This soldier from the East is one of the first and most famous defectors to West Germany when the border was being built and it was just a line of barbed wire. This is statue is located in a building near Bernauer Straße
Aug 19, 2016
Aug 17, 2016
Aug 10, 2016
I have walked by the Chapel of Reconciliation in Bernauer St. many times, but yesterday I noticed for the first time the sculpture you see above. It's called Reconciliation and it was created originally by Josefina de Vasconcellos, an english artist of Brazilian ancestry and placed at the University of Bradford. According to wikipedia there are copies of this original work in the ruins of the Coventry Cathedral, the Hiroshima Peace Park and this one here in the Berlin Wall Memorial.
Aug 9, 2016
Aug 7, 2016
Aug 5, 2016
Eurostats have an interesting dataset showing the population change across Europe including both the natural change and the net migration contribution. The graph above shows how the rapid decline trend is slowly reversing, but how migration is the main component of this change.
Aug 4, 2016
According to the central statistics office of ireland, the adjusted unemployment rate in the country during the last 2 months has been 7.8%. The trend is definitively going down. I blogged about it in January and it was more than 8% back then.
Jul 26, 2016
I have been living in Berlin for more than a year now and last weekend on a sleepless night I setup the site pics.inberl.in to check the different pictures I have been taking in the city. When I was browsing through my collection I found this cool photo I took in my first weeks in Berlin at the Lustgarten. I'm proud of the composition.
Jul 17, 2016
Jul 11, 2016
Jul 5, 2016
The charts above contain unemployment data extracted from the Eurostat data sources. Even if the trend is going down it still quite high in countries such as Spain and Greece.
Jul 3, 2016
Jul 2, 2016
Jun 29, 2016
I was reading on the news that at least 36 people were killed in suicide attack at Istanbul airport. It's pretty sad that this amazing city has been hit by different terrorist attacks this year: the March suicide bombing in Beyoğlu district, the January bombing in the Sultanahmet district and now this attack at the airport. I had the chance to visit the city in 2013 and I loved it.
Jun 28, 2016
Jun 27, 2016
In the aftermath of the UK referendum on the European Union, the news media were discussing how there was a "regret" feeling and how the biritish people were trying to understand what they have voted for. If you look at the wikipedia trends about the UK Brexit and Irish Passport articles it seems to confirm this point.
Jun 26, 2016
Jun 24, 2016
Jun 22, 2016
The UEFA European Championship is being played now in France and I was asking myself this morning what are the teams that have won this cup and how many times. The answer is Germany and Spain with 3 titles each. I didn't know but the winner of the first tournament of this type was the Soviet Union in 1960. You can check this map here
Jun 21, 2016
According to this wikipedia article that tracks all the polls related to the British referendum on the European Union membership (Brexit), it's going to be a close call even if the remain vote has been gaining ground in the last days.
In the last episode of last week tonight, John Oliver summarised quite nicely why [leaving the European Union](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAgKHSNqxa8) would such a bad deal for the United Kingdom. Crossing the fingers.
Jun 13, 2016
Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the most bike friendliest cities in the World based on the Copenhagenize Index
Jun 12, 2016
Jun 11, 2016
Jun 10, 2016
Jun 8, 2016
Eurostat has a dataset with statistics on causes of death in the European Union (EU). The highest rate happened in the baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania and Heart disease is the leading cause of death across Europe.
Jun 5, 2016
May 29, 2016
May 25, 2016
The european union statistical office has an interesting article related to the impact of demographic ageing within the European Union (EU). One of the data tables shows the breakdown of the population in the ages 0-14 years, 15-64 and more than 65. The previous chart shows this breakdown by country in the 0-14 and +65 brackets. It's interesting how Ireland is the youngest country by far.
May 18, 2016
Graph with the busiest airports in Europe based on the passenger totals. Data from: Air Passenger Transport Statistics
May 17, 2016
May 16, 2016
May 12, 2016
Yesterday at Jobspotting, the company where I work, we published the very interesting Berlin Salary Report with data and analysis related to the wages in the German capital city. One of the most interesting charts of the report is the treemap above that summarises the salary median based on the years of experience and the area of work.
As you can see on the graph the people working in Management and Software Development, have the highest salaries in the scale, and this is related with the years of experience. Interesting. #BerlinStartupSalaries
May 10, 2016
May 7, 2016
May 5, 2016
The Hanseatic League was a confederation setup by different merchant guilds and the market towns where they operated with the purpose of mutual defense and commercial trading. Between 1400–1800 it dominated the trade in the northern coasts of Europe. The German city of Stralsund was one of the most import cities from this confederation.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the city where I took this picture.
May 3, 2016
Apr 23, 2016
Apr 22, 2016
Eurostats have a dataset with the average rating of life satisfaction by income quintile, household type and degree of urbanisation. The overall data shows the Scandinavian countries are the most satisfied, while Bulgaria and Serbia are the less satisfied.
Apr 14, 2016
The European Union Stats office offers a dataset with the population density per country. The map above shows the latest data available from 2014. It's not surprising that Netherlands and Belgium have the highest density in continental Europe.
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 4, 2016
Apr 2, 2016
The european union stats office publishes interesting statistics related to the acquisition of citizenship in the EU. Yesterday it was the anniversary of my Irish one, so I pulled out some stats related to the green island.
The first chart shows the increase in the number of new citizens from 2011, when the goverment streamlined the process of reviewing the applications, cutting a very important backlog.
The data has some additional information about the origin of the naturalised citizens both from the EU and Non-EU countries:
Living in Europe with an European passport defintively makes life way easier, so thank you very much Ireland.
Mar 27, 2016
Mar 25, 2016
Mar 19, 2016
Mar 18, 2016
Last thursday it was Saint Patrick's Day and the Irish pubs were celebrating the occasion in Berlin. I remembered last year I also celebrated it in Dunedin NZ. The Irish TImes published a couple of years ago an article with data about where the Irish emigrants live in the world:
The usual suspects are on top of the list: United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Mar 16, 2016
Mar 12, 2016
Mar 11, 2016
Some weeks ago I wrote about the percentage of foreigners living in Berlin. The office for Statistics for Brandenburg Berlin offers an interesting dataset related to tourism and the foreigners visiting the city. The last data available is from January 2016 and it shows how the highest number of European tourists come from the UK:
Mar 10, 2016
A couple of days ago it was celebrated the International Women's Day. Even if some friends get offended by this day, I believe it's important to highlight how unfortunately there are differences between men and women as reported by the WEC Genger Gap Report:
It's nice to see how this index is really good in Europe, particularly in the Scandinavian countires. Kudos to Iceland.
Mar 7, 2016
Asylum is defined as the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee, mainly for fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. The raging conflict in Syria there has been sharp increase in the number of refugees coming to Europe.
The last quarterly data report by Eurostat demonstrates this upwards trend. Germany and Sweden have been the countries who have welcomed the highest number of asylum seekers.
Feb 29, 2016
Last Thursday the Eurostats Office published the inflation data for January 2016. Even if those numbers are definitively better than the hyperinflation happening in other regions of the world (cough ... Venezuela), there is always the risk on deflation:
Now it's remarkable how the highest rate in Europe was Norway, a pretty expensive country already. I'm sorry for my Norwegian friends.
Feb 27, 2016
This weekend I wanted to do a smal city break and I realised visiting Prague by train was relatively easy (it's only 4.5h by a direct train). I went there, met and chatted with a Czech friend and spend the rest of my visit walking around and taking pictures. One the most interesting ones I was able to get contains a street performer making huge soap bubbles. Here the colorful bubble make a nice contrast with the people staring and walking around.
Feb 25, 2016
Last week I provided at work a couple of my pictures for the article The Lowdown on Living and Working in Ireland . One of the pictures I selected was one of my favorite ones. A completely empy O'Connell street in a Monday morning:
I love this picture not only for the beatiful colors in the sky and the nice contrast they do with the shadows of some of the Dublin landmarks (The General Post Office and the Spire), but also because of the strange feeling of seeing one of the busiest spots in Dublin completely empty.
Feb 23, 2016
Yesterday at the office we were discussing the issue about the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union. Actually we wrote in our company blog, what this brexit would mean for European workers, some time ago. But with all this brexit discussion, we forget the UK is actually one of the oldest members of the European Union (1973).
You can check this map in detail here
Feb 18, 2016
Last december I have a slight problem with my ear and unfortunately I wasn't able to fly for a little while. I was glad there is an amazing train system in Europe, so I had alternative to travel from an to Berlin. Here is a chart with percentage of train transportation percentage by country in Europe, coming from a dataset published by the European Stats office:
I have been lucky enough to use the trains on all those countries.
Feb 4, 2016
I wanted to wrap up this series of post I have been writing about the people living in Berlin, using data provided by the Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg, with a final post about EU foreign citizens living in the city.
A couple of days ago I was discussing how Poland, Italy and Bulgaria where the EU countries with the highest number of expats living in the Berlin, but the data also contains a very interesting breakdown per district (berzik).
I put the totals in a density map:
I also used the specific countries data to create a matrix heatmap using an the tutorial on how to create a heatmap with jQuery and Tables. See the resulting table below:
There a couple of interesting conclussions from the data: Polish are definitively the highest minority from the EU countries and this can be observed in every district. Mitte is definitively the most popular district for most of the EU citizens and finally Marzahn-Hellersdorf is the least popular overall.
Feb 3, 2016
Feb 1, 2016
Following my post yesterday I kept digging in the data published by the Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg. I wanted to discover where most of the "Foreign" Europeans living in Berlin come from. Since the European Union agreement allows the free movement of people across the state members I was expecting that the number 1 slot was going to be taken by a country within the EU borders. Actually it's Turkey the place with most immigrants living in Berlin with almost 100k people:
Now the second and third positions are from countries from the European Union: Poland and Italy. This is followed by one of the newcomers in the union: Bulgaria.
Jan 25, 2016
The central office of statistics in Ireland website cso.ie has some interesting data tables that can downloaded, so yesterday I decided to pull out the unemployment data and plot it.
I was curious because when I arrived to the country the economy was doing really good, but I saw the changes during the crisis of 08. I thought it would be interesting to see what happened in the last years. Even if the unemployment level hasn't reached yet the numbers of 2005, I think the trend is definitively positive.