Over 40 percent of German families own the house or apartment in which they live. But the majority live in rented apartments – more than in all other European countries. Particularly in big cities, more than one third of the apartments house only one person. These are often older people, singles, or those who live alone for professional reasons. The average number per household is 2.2.
In a rented apartment, you have to pay a monthly rent and additional costs, like electricity, heating, water, and trash collection. In cities with universities, students often share an apartment, called a "Wohngemeinschaft" or "WG" for short. Lots of Germans have house pets, especially cats or dogs.