Magazine article European Social Policy

Living Conditions : Almost a Quarter of Europeans Affected by Social Exclusion

Magazine article European Social Policy

Living Conditions : Almost a Quarter of Europeans Affected by Social Exclusion

Article excerpt

In 2008, 116 million people - ie almost a quarter of the population - in the EU27 were affected by at least one of three forms of social exclusion: income poverty, severe material deprivation and very low work intensity. This is highlighted in a report entitled Income and living conditions in Europe'(1) published on 13 December 2010by Eurostat on the occasion of the closing conference of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, to be held in Brussels on 16-17 December.

One of the headline targets in the Europe 2020' strategy is to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million in the EU27. Progress towards this target is measured by using a combination of three indicators, which are the subject of the report:

- As regards income poverty, 81 million persons (or 17% of the population) in the EU27 in 2008 were at risk of poverty after social transfers, meaning that their disposable income was below their national at-risk-of-poverty threshold. Latvia (26%), Romania (23%) and Bulgaria (21%) had the highest at-risk-of-poverty rates, and the Czech Republic (9%), the Netherlands and Slovakia (both 11%) the lowest.

- In the EU27, 42 million (or 8% 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, own a car or a telephone, etc. …

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