The Risk of Poverty Pervades Every Fourth Citizen of the EU

Almost 25% of the European Union’s population or 122.6 million people were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013, according to Eurostat data. The risk of poverty is most threatened to the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, and least to those in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. At the same time, every tenth citizen of the EU lives in scarcity and does not have enough money to pay bills or extraordinary expenses, no cars, a TV or a telephone. The same percentage lives in households where adult members are mostly unemployed.

The share of the population affected by poverty or social exclusion in the total of 24.5% in 2013 was slightly lower than in 2012 (24.8%) but also higher than in 2008 (23.8%).

In 2013, in five EU Member States, more than a third of citizens were at risk of poverty or social exclusion – Bulgaria (48%), Romania (40.4%), Greece (35.7%), Latvia (35.1% ) and Hungary (33.5%).

The smallest share of citizens who are at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the total population is registered in the Czech Republic (14.6%), the Netherlands (15.9%), Finland (16%) and Sweden (16.4%).

Between 2008 and 2013, only 7 EU Member States registered a decrease in the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion – Poland (from 30.5% of the total population to 25.8%), Romania (from 44.25 to 40, 4%), Austria (from 20.6% to 18.8%), Finland (from 17.4% to 16%), Slovakia (from 20.6% to 19.8%), Czech Republic (from 15.3 % to 14.6%) and France (from 18.5% to 18.1%), while in Belgium their share stagnated.

Every tenth is deprived of a lot of things

For 9.6% of the EU population, they are considered to live in a difficult financial situation, which means they barely pay bills, rarely eat meat and can not spend a week off resting. In 2012, in a very difficult financial situation, 9.9% of EU citizens were present, but in 2008 they were less – 8.5%.

The percentage of people in material poverty differs from country to country and goes from 43% in Bulgaria, 28.5% in Romania and 26.8% in Hungary to less than 2% in Sweden (1.4%) and Luxembourg (1, 8%).

Compared to 2008, the share of people suffering severe material deficiencies increased in 15 EU member states, in Slovenia and Sweden it was stable and in nine countries it was reduced.

When it comes to work intensity, in the EU, 10.7% of people aged 59 and over live in households where adults work less than 20% of the time they can work for over a year. The share of these has been growing since 2008.

The largest share of those living in homeless households was Greece (18.2%), Croatia (15.9%), Spain (15.7%), Belgium (14%) and Great Britain 13.2%) and the smallest in Romania (6.4%), Luxembourg (6.6%), the Czech Republic (6.9%), Sweden (7.1%) and Poland (7.2%).

Compared to 2008, the proportion of people living in low-intensity households increased in almost all EU member states, except in Romania, where it fell from 8.3% to 6.4%, Germany (from 11.7% to 9 , 9%), France (from 8.8% to 7.9%), Poland (from 8% to 7.2%) and Czech Republic (from 7.2% to 6.9%).

The European Statistical Service has set the poverty risk threshold or the relative poverty line to 60% of the middle income (50% of the population is 50% less than the average income).

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