A systematic approach to understanding and quantifying the EU’s bioeconomy

Tévécia Ronzon, Stephan Piotrowski, Robert M’Barek, Michael Carus


In 2014, approximately 18.6 million people in the European Union (EU) were employed in the bioeconomy, generating annual turnover of around EUR 2.2 trillion. And over the period 2008-2014, almost all sectors of the bioeconomy in the EU experienced labour productivity gains (in terms of turnover per person employed). Agriculture and the manufacture of food, beverages and tobacco accounted for three quarters of the jobs and two thirds of the turnover of the European bioeconomy, while, among different sectors, the highest levels of labour productivity were achieved in the manufacture of bio-based chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and rubber, as well as the production of bioelectricity. This EU bioeconomy overview has been compiled after estimating (using Comext codes) the bio-based content of hundreds of products produced and manufactured in the bioeconomy sectors. Using official statistics, such quantification is easy to replicate and update. It also allows us to highlight similarities and diversities in national bioeconomy patterns within the EU, and to discuss how analysis can support the development of bioeconomy strategies in EU Member States.


bioeconomy; Europe; jobs; turnover; statistics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/BAE-20567

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