Cyprus was the country with the second largest share of firefighters in its overall workforce in 2021 in the EU, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union on the occasion of the large increase of fires in multiple member states due to increased temperatures and the effects of climate change.
Also, according to data regarding government spending on fire protection services in 2020, Cyprus spent about 0.4% of its government expenditure, which was lower than the EU average for that year (0.5%).
1,622 firefighters in Cyprus in 2021
Estonia, Cyprus, Romania, and Slovakia (all around 0.4% of total employment) registered the highest share of firefighters in their respective workforces in 2021.
The percentage for Cyprus was about 0.38%, corresponding to 1,622 firefighters out of a total of 431,716 workers.
About 365 thousand people were employed as professional firefighters in the EU, representing 0.2% of total EU employment.
In terms of age, most of the firefighters are relatively young, with the age groups 35 - 39 years and 40 - 44 years having the highest numbers of people, around 61,000 each.
In broader age groups, there were 50,300 firefighters older than 55 years, 264,600 firefighters in the 30 - 54 age group and 50,100 firefighters in the 15 - 29 age group.
Expenditure under EU average
In 2020, general government expenditure in the 27 EU Member States on "fire protection services" amounted to 32.9 billion euro, a 6.4% increase from 2019, when expenditure was around 30.9 billion euro.
The share in general government total expenditure was 0.5% on average in the EU. Overall, in the EU, government expenditure on fire-protection services remained stable at around 0.4 – 0.5% of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2001.
Cyprus reported a 0.4% share of government expenditure dedicated to fire protection, below the EU average, along with Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Croatia, France and Slovakia reported a percentage corresponding to the EU average of 0.5%.
In 2020, Denmark reported the lowest share of expenditure on fire protection services in total expenditure at 0.1%, followed by Iceland with 0.2% and Belgium, Malta, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia with 0.3% of their general government total expenditure.
In contrast, Romania had the highest share of expenditure on fire protection services with 0.8%, followed by Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania and Luxembourg with 0.6%.