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News Story:

Poverty in Europe

 

In 2011, 119.6 million people, or 24.2% of the population, in the EU27 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared with 23.4% in 2010 and 23.5% in 2008. This means that they were at least in one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. The reduction of the number of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU is one of the key targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.

In 2011, the highest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Bulgaria (49%), Romania and Latvia (both 40%), Lithuania (33%), Greece and Hungary (both 31%), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (15%), the Netherlands and Sweden (both 16%), Luxembourg and Austria (both 17%).

These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union and are based on data from the EU-SILC survey.

 

17% of the population in the EU27 at risk of income poverty…

Looking at each of the three elements contributing to being at risk of poverty or social exclusion, 17% of the population in the EU27 in 2011 were at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers, meaning that their disposable income was below their national at-risk-of-poverty threshold1. The highest at-risk-of-poverty rates were observed in Bulgaria, Romania and Spain (all 22%) and Greece (21%), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (10%), the Netherlands (11%), Austria, Denmark and Slovakia (all 13%). It is important to note that the at-risk-of-poverty rate is a relative measure of poverty and that the poverty threshold varies greatly between Member States. The threshold varies also over time and in a number of Member States it has fallen in recent years due to the economic crisis.

…9% severely materially deprived…

In the EU27, 9% of the population were severely materially deprived, meaning that they had living conditions constrained by a lack of resources such as not being able to afford to pay their bills, keep their home adequately warm, or take a one week holiday away from home. The share of those severely materially deprived varied significantly among Member States, ranging from 1% in Luxembourg and Sweden to 44% in Bulgaria and 31% in Latvia.

…and 10% living in households with very low work intensity

As regards the indicator on low work intensity, 10% of the population aged 0-59 in the EU27 lived in households where the adults worked less than 20% of their total work potential during the past year. Belgium (14%) had the largest proportion of those living in very low work intensity households, and Cyprus (5%) the lowest.


At risk of poverty or social exclusion, 2011

 

Persons at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers

Persons severely materially deprived

Persons aged
0-59 living in households with very low work intensity

Persons falling under at least one of the three criteria (at risk of poverty or social exclusion)

% of the total population

% of total population

In millions, 2011

2008

2010

2011

EU27*

16.9

8.8

10.0

23.5

23.4

24.2

119.6

Belgium

15.3

5.7

13.7

20.8

20.8

21.0

2.3

Bulgaria

22.3

43.6

11.0

38.2

41.6

49.1

3.7

Czech Republic

9.8

6.1

6.6

15.3

14.4

15.3

1.6

Denmark

13.0

2.6

11.4

16.3

18.3

18.9

1.0

Germany

15.8

5.3

11.1

20.1

19.7

19.9

16.1

Estonia

17.5

8.7

9.9

21.8

21.7

23.1

0.3

Ireland

:

:

:

23.7

29.9

:

:

Greece

21.4

15.2

11.8

28.1

27.7

31.0

3.4

Spain

21.8

3.9

12.2

22.9

25.5

27.0

12.4

France

14.0

5.2

9.3

18.6

19.2

19.3

11.8

Italy

:

:

:

25.3

24.5

:

:

Cyprus

14.5

10.7

4.5

22.4

22.9

23.5

0.2

Latvia

19.3

30.9

12.2

33.8

38.1

40.1

0.9

Lithuania

20.0

18.5

12.3

27.6

33.4

33.4

1.1

Luxembourg

13.6

1.2

5.8

15.5

17.1

16.8

0.1

Hungary

13.8

23.1

12.1

28.2

29.9

31.0

3.1

Malta

15.4

6.3

8.3

19.6

20.3

21.4

0.1

Netherlands

11.0

2.5

8.7

14.9

15.1

15.7

2.6

Austria

12.6

3.9

8.0

18.6

16.6

16.9

1.4

Poland

17.7

13.0

6.9

30.5

27.8

27.2

10.2

Portugal

18.0

8.3

8.2

26.0

25.3

24.4

2.6

Romania

22.2

29.4

6.7

44.2

41.4

40.3

8.6

Slovenia

13.6

6.1

7.6

18.5

18.3

19.3

0.4

Slovakia

13.0

10.6

7.6

20.6

20.6

20.6

1.1

Finland

13.7

3.2

9.8

17.4

16.9

17.9

0.9

Sweden

14.0

1.2

6.8

14.9

15.0

16.1

1.5

United Kingdom

16.2

5.1

11.5

23.2

23.1

22.7

14.0

Iceland

9.2

2.1

6.2

11.8

13.7

13.7

0.0

Norway

10.5

2.3

7.1

15.0

14.9

14.6

0.7

Switzerland

15.0

1.3

4.7

18.6

17.2

17.3

1.3

Croatia

21.1

14.8

17.0

:

31.3

32.7

1.4

*                  2011 data estimated

:                  Data not available

0.0                  Less than 0.05 million


 

Persons at-risk-of-poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers). The equivalised income is calculated by dividing the total household income by its size determined after applying the following weights: 1.0 to the first adult, 0.5 to each other household members aged 14 or over and 0.3 to each household member aged less than 14 years old.

Severely materially deprived persons have living conditions constrained by a lack of resources and experience at least 4 out of the 9 following deprivation items: cannot afford 1) to pay rent/mortgage or utility bills on time, 2) to keep home adequately warm, 3) to face unexpected expenses, 4) to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, 5) a one week holiday away from home, 6) a car, 7) a washing machine, 8) a colour TV, or 9) a telephone (including mobile phone).

People living in households with very low work intensity are those aged 0-59 who live in households where on average the adults (aged 18-59) worked less than 20% of their total work potential during the past year. Students are excluded.

The total number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion is lower than the sum of the numbers of people in each of the three forms of poverty or social exclusion as some persons are affected simultaneously by more than one of these situations.


For more information on the Europe 2020 strategy: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm.