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EU had almost 360,000 professional firefighters in 2022

Southern Europe has again been ravaged by wildfires and scorching temperatures, bringing firefighters into the spotlight. In 2022, there were 359,780 professional firefighters in the EU, representing 0.2% of total EU employment. Compared with 2021, there was a decrease in the total number of firefighters of 2,800 people.

Among EU countries for which reliable data are available, Greece, Estonia, and Cyprus registered the highest share of firefighters in their national employment, with shares of above 0.4%, while the Netherlands and France had the lowest shares at around 0.1%. 

Source dataset:  Labour Force Survey extraction 

 
At EU level, in 2022, most of the firefighters were between 30 and 49 years old, with the age groups 40 – 44 years (65 730 people) and 35 – 39 years (59 810 people) having the highest numbers. There were also 45 280 firefighters between 15 and 29 years old, and 91 570 were 50 years and over.

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Methodological notes

  • Firefighters refer to the category ‘5411 Firefighters’, as defined under the ISCO-08 classification.
  • Data on firefighters in 2022 from the EU Labour Force Survey are not shown for Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Austria because of very low reliability; and are flagged for low reliability for Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia. 
  • According to the methodology of the survey, voluntary workers, such as volunteer firefighters, are not included in employment statistics based on this activity.

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