NTA methodology and variables
European NTA provide age- and gender-specific data on income, transfers, consumption and saving. The estimation
approach is similar for most of the variables:
1. In a first step the European System of Accounts and related data to estimate the
aggregate values, i.e. the quantities of income, transfers, consumption and saving for the economy as a whole.
2. In a second step, the
distribution of these variables over age groups and genders is estimated using survey data and administrative data.
In the following
description of the variables, we give an intuitive interpretation of each variable, including a short description of the aggregate
values and the method of estimating the distribution over age groups. For more details please consult the manuals.
NPISH: Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households.
NA: National Accounts.
NTA: National Transfer Accounts.
NTTA: National Time Transfer Accounts.
EU-SILC European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions.
COFOG: Classifications of the functions of government.
COICOP: Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose.
HBS: Household Budget Survey.
Central NTA variables
Labour income (YL)
Total income (labour- and asset income) in NTA corresponds largely to Net National Income at basic prices in NA.
NTA labour income is the part of total income that can be attributed to labour as a production factor. It can be interpreted as the return to
work effort. It includes the compensation of employees (including gross earnings and employers' social contributions) as well as the labour
component of mixed income (self-employment labour income). The age distribution of labour income is estimated using the information on the
income of employees and the income/losses from self-employment in the EU-SILC cross-sectional data from 2011, where 2010 is the income reference
period in most of the countries.
Asset income (YA)
Asset income is the return to capital, the part of Net National Income that can be attributed to capital as a
production factor. It consists of net operating surplus, the capital share of mixed income and net property income from the rest of the world.
The age distribution is estimated using data on asset income from the EU-SILC cross sectional data from 2011.
Consumption, private (CF)
Private consumption is the consumption expenditure of households and NPISH at basic prices. The basic price of a
good is the amount that the producer receives from the purchaser, i.e. less the taxes on products such as VAT. Rents for owner occupied housing
are imputed. The distribution over age groups is mainly estimated using EUROSTAT Household Budget Survey from 2010.
Consumption, public (CG)
Public consumption corresponds to the final consumption expenditure of the public sector. In NTA public
consumption is treated as transfer from the taxpayers to the beneficiaries of these services and goods. Among the most important components
are public education (CGE) and health services (CGH). Collective public consumption (most of CGX) such as defense, expenditure for the police
or administration are assigned to individuals independently of their age, since everybody is assumed to consume the same share.
The estimation of individual public consumption, such as health and education, is based on various sources - see the specific explanations below
for CGE, CGH and CGX.
Net transfers, private (TF)
Net transfers are defined as transfer inflows (transfers received by individuals) minus transfer outflows
(transfers paid by individuals). Private transfers consist of two components, transfers between households and transfers within households.
The level of transfers within households, particularly the transfers from parents to children, are much higher than the transfers between
households. They are not captured in NA. Therefore, their estimation is based on assumptions about the consumption of children and on age- and
gender-specific data on income.
Net transfers, public (TG)
Net public transfers is the differences between the inflows (benefits) and outflows (contributions) of
transfers that are mediated by the public sector. The most important public transfer inflows are pensions, education, health services and
general public services. The outflows consist mainly of taxes and social contributions.
Saving measures correspond to saving in NA. In NTA, age-specific saving is estimated as difference
between disposable income and consumption.
Additional NTA variables
YLE, labour income, employees
NTA distinguishes between labour income of employees and the labour income of self-employed persons. The income of employees corresponds to the
compensation of employees in NA, the age distribution is based on EU-SILC micro data.
YLS, labour income, self-employed
Income of self-employed persons contains the return to the invested capital and the return to the labour. In NTA the labour component is assumed
to be 2/3 of total mixed income in NA. The age distribution is based on EU-SILC data.
YAF, asset income, private
Private asset income is the return on capital owned by domestic institutional units. NTA asset income corresponds largely to net operating
surplus, net property income from the rest of the world and the asset part of mixed income (1/3 of mixed income). It is important to note that
only part of NTA asset income is received by households and ready to be used for consumption or transfers. The firms retain a large part of
the operating surplus for investments. In NTA, this part shows up as asset income and saving of individuals. The age distribution of private
asset income is based on EU SILC data.
YAG, asset income, public
The public sector receives returns on its assets and pays interest on liabilities. In 2010 public asset income was negative in all included
countries except Luxembourg and consist mainly of interest payments on public debt. The age distribution of public asset income is based on
the age profiles of taxes and social contributions.
CFE, Consumption, private, education
Private consumption expenditure for education includes mainly fees for classes and courses. The aggregate value is calculated using consumption
expenditure according to COICOP from Eurostat. The age distribution is based on HBS data.
CFH, Consumption, private, health
CFH contains the private consumption expenditure for health. The aggregate value is calculated using consumption expenditure according to COICOP
from Eurostat. The age distribution is based on HBS data and takes into account the higher health expenditure of older household members.
CFX, Consumption, private, other
CFX includes all other components of private consumption other than health and education. The age distribution
is mainly based on HBS data.
CGE, Consumption, public, education
Public consumption expenditure for education consists of consumption expenditure for formal education, but also of the expenditure for general
educational programmes. The aggregate value is based on COFOG. The age distribution is estimated using data on level-specific enrollment by age
and by gender and level-specific expenditure.
CGH, Consumption, public, health
Public health care consumption expenditure is among the biggest components of public consumption. The aggregate value is based on public
consumption expenditure according to COFOG. The age-specific data are provided by the Ageing Working Group of the European Commission
(The 2012 Ageing Report). For some countries the average age profile is used as an approximation.
CGX, Consumption, public, other
Other public consumption consists of expenditure not for health or education. Only a small component of this expenditure is individual
consumption. The collective consumption is equally distributed among individuals. It is assumed that each person consumes the same amount,
independently of age and gender.
TFB, net transfers between households
Net transfers between households (also called inter household transfers) contain all transfers between households that are mediated by
the private sector: households, firms and NPISH. These transfers include alimony payments, remittances, support of children living in another
household, transfers through NPISH as well as non-public social contributions and benefits. The age distribution is based on EU-SILC.
TFW, net transfers within households
In order to estimate transfers within households (also called intra-household transfers), it is assumed that household members that who
are not able to finance their consumption with their own labour income or public transfer benefits are supported by other household members
and the household head (e.g. parents financing the consumption of their children). A detailed description of the method is provided in the
TGI, transfer inflows, public
TGI include benefits from public transfer programmes. Public transfer inflows include public consumption as well as cash transfers, such as
TGO, transfer outflows, public
TGO consist of the contributions to the public transfer system, mainly in form of taxes and social
SF, saving, private
Private saving is estimated as the difference between consumption and disposable income. Disposable income is calculated as sum of labour
income, asset income and net transfer benefits.
SG, saving, public
Saving of the public sector is assigned to individuals according to their age- and gender-specific contributions to the transfer system.
C, consumption, total
C is total consumption, the sum of public and private consumption.
LCD, life cycle deficit
The life cycle deficit is defined as the difference between total consumption and labour income. It equals total age reallocations in the
form of transfers and asset-based reallocations.
RA, age reallocations
Age reallocations are defined as transfers and asset-based reallocations.
T, transfers, total
T stands for the sum of net public and private transfers.
NTTA are based on time use surveys and contain information of age- and gender-specific production, transfers and consumption of services
produced through unpaid work. NTTA capture production activities that are not recorded in NA. It mainly consists of services that are produced
by households for their own use, or provided to other households free of charge. NTTA are measured in minutes per day as well as in monetary
terms with base year 2002.
Production, total (PT)
Total time use for unpaid production of households that is not captured in NA.
Production, housework (PHW)
The biggest components of housework are food preparation/cooking, cleaning, shopping and doing the laundry.
Production, childcare (PCH)
All childcare activities are included in childcare production, including basic care, health care, learning with the child and playing with the
Production, inter-household (PIH)
Production done for other households are included in the inter-household category. This amount is very small compared to unpaid labour done
for own households.
Consumption, total (CT)
The sum of housework, childcare and inter-household production.
Consumption, housework (CHW)
Assuming that each household member consumes the same share of housework services, the consumption of housework is distributed using equal
Consumption, childcare (CCH)
Production of childcare is distributed to the children within the household, assigning a larger share of
childcare to younger children.
Consumption, inter-household (CIH)
Consumption of services provided to other households free of charge is distributed by age and gender according to the consumption pattern of
services produced and consumed within households.
Other time use variables
The category paid work includes the time use associated with paid work, including commuting and breaks at work.
Unpaid work consist mainly of household maintenance and childcare.
All type of leisure activities, including sport, social activities, hobbies.
Personal care includes sleeping, eating, personal hygiene, getting dressed.