The ACE Sector Study is a biennial survey that collects and analyses statistical, sociological and economic data on the European Architects, the architectural market and the architectural practices. 

Based on responses from 27.000 Architects in 27 European countries, the fifth edition of the Study, carried out in 2016, was enriched with new research areas, making it, without doubt, the most comprehensive study on the architectural profession in Europe and an essential reference tool for all those interested in the architectural profession and the built environment.

The Study allows to draw insightful comparisons between the European countries and thus to shed a new light on national situations. It helps to better understand how the profession has been affected and transformed by the economic crisis and offers a detailed picture of the new reality the architectural profession must face. 

Click here to download the full Sector Study 

You can also download the chapters individually:


Table of contents, ACE President Foreword, Introduction and Key figures

Download in PDF the Table of contents, the ACE President Foreword, the Introduction and Key figures.


Chapter 1: Architects in Europe

The research confirms that architecture is a growing profession – the number of architects in Europe-31 is estimated to be around 600.000, an increase of 4% since 2014. The gender and age profile of architects is very similar to that in previous survey: half of architects are aged under 50; 62% of the profession is male. Just over three quarters of the profession is working full-time.

Click here to download the Chapter One fileadmin/New_Upload/7._Publications/Sector_Study/2016/CH_1.pdf


Chapter 2: Architecture - The Market

While there is clearly some way to go until the profession’s health returns to its pre 2008, the various indicators are moving in a positive direction: construction output is starting to edge up across Europe and the total value of the architectural market has increased (+ 12% since 2014). Architects themselves see a positive future: a majority of architects expect an increase in their workloads, or no change. Architects’ work is weighted towards refurbishment (59% of work is refurbishment, compared with 41% new build) – Private housing, and in particular one-off housing, still dominates the market.

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Chapter 3: Architecture - The Practice

The survey reveals a big fall in the number of independent architects, in favour of partnerships and limited companies. Similarly, the number of sole principals is the lowest since 2010. These trends suggest architects are returning to more formal employment within practices, rather than practising alone.

Compared with the previous survey, average practice revenue has increased in all size groups up to 30 staff. Some 4% of practice revenue is generated from work undertaken outside the country in which the architectural practice is based. Average hourly rates this year are the highest recorded in any of the years this survey has been running.

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Chapter 4: Architects - The Individual

The Study shows that the profession may be returning to something nearer normality, after the 2008 economic crisis: Average earnings overall are 10% higher than in 2014 – this is the first time that average earnings have increased since the survey began in 2008.

In the last 12 months, 5% of architect respondents have worked in another European country – This is the same proportion as in the last survey. Nearly half of respondents think that practical, relocation or personal issues are the main concerns about working in another country. Other significant concerns are not having sufficient knowledge of planning or building regulations and having insufficient language skills.

This Chapter also looks at hours worked, career satisfaction, CPD and building to nearly zero energy standards.

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Country Profiles

This section brings together all statistical data available for each country surveyed: construction output, number of architects (male/female, age), number of architectural practices, size of the architectural market, average revenue per practice, field of employment, earnings.

Click here to download the Country Profiles
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