Living Conditions : 17% of Eu Population at Risk of Poverty

European Social Policy, February 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

Living Conditions : 17% of Eu Population at Risk of Poverty


In 2008, 17% of the population in the EU27 were at risk of poverty. This means that their income after social transfers was below the povertythreshold(1). Since 2005, the at risk of poverty' rate in the EU27 has been nearly stable, varying between 16% and 17%, according to data published by Eurostat, on 18 January, on the occasion of the opening conference of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, organised by the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the EU, which takes place in Madrid on 21 January. The statistical office points out that the at risk of poverty' rate is a relative measure of poverty, and that the poverty threshold varies greatly between member states.

In 2008, the highest at risk of poverty' rates were found in Latvia (26%), Romania (23%), Bulgaria (21%), Greece, Spain and Lithuania (all 20%), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (9%), the Netherlands and Slovakia (both 11%), Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden (all 12%).

In 20 member states, child at risk of poverty' rates were higher than for the total population. In 2008, the rate for those aged up to 17 years was 20% in the EU27. Elderly people also face a higher risk of poverty than the total population. …

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