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More Than 120 Million Persons in the European Union at Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion in 2013

Almost a quarter of the entire population of the European Union lives under the threat of poverty or social exclusion in 2013. Image extracted from video below.
Almost a quarter of the entire population of the European Union lives under the threat of poverty or social exclusion in 2013. Image extracted from video below.

This video presents Quarter of Europeans face poverty.

  • Over 124 million people in the European Union (EU) — or almost a quarter of its entire population – live under the threat of poverty or social exclusion, a report by EU’s statistical office has revealed.

Europe 2020 is the European Union’s (EU’s) ten-year growth and jobs strategy that was launched in 2010.

  • Five headline targets have been set for the EU to achieve by the end of 2020.
  • These cover employment; research and development; climate/energy; education; social inclusion and poverty reduction.

The 5 targets for the EU in 2020

  1. Employment
    • 75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed
  2. R&D
    • 3% of the EU’s GDP to be invested in R&D
  3. Climate change and energy sustainability
    • Greenhouse gas emissions 20% (or even 30%, if the conditions are right) lower than 1990
    • 20% of energy from renewables.
    • 20% increase in energy efficiency
  4.  Education
    • Reducing the rates of early school leaving below 10%
    • At least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
  5. Fighting poverty and social exclusion

In a recent Eurostat news release as shown here, the European Commission delineated the 24.5% of the EU population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013.


Eurostat NEWS RELEASE

168/2014 – 4 November 2014

At risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU28
More than 120 million persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013
Almost 1 out of every 4 persons in the EU in this situation

In 2013, 122.6 million people, or 24.5% of the population, in the EU1 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that these people were in at least one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers2 (income poverty), severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity2. The proportion of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU28 in 2013 (24.5%) has slightly decreased compared with 2012 (24.8%), but is higher than in 2008 (23.8%). 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 strategy3.

These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union and are based on data from the EU-SILC survey4.

At risk of poverty or social exclusion 2 rate in the EU28, 2008-2013
(% of total population)

graph1

Highest at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate in Bulgaria, lowest in the Czech Republic

In 2013, more than a third of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in five Member States: Bulgaria (48.0%), Romania (40.4%), Greece (35.7%), Latvia (35.1%) and Hungary (33.5%). On the contrary, the lowest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in the Czech Republic (14.6%), the Netherlands (15.9%), Finland (16.0%) and Sweden (16.4%).

Among Member States for which data are available, the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate has increased from 2008 to 2013 in most of the Member States, the only decreases being recorded in Poland (from 30.5% in 2008 to 25.8% in 2013), Romania (from 44.2% to 40.4%), Austria (from 20.6% to 18.8%), Finland (from 17.4% to 16.0%), Slovakia (from 20.6% to 19.8%), the Czech Republic (from 15.3% to 14.6%) and France (from 18.5% to 18.1%), while the share remained stable in Belgium.

  • table
    * EU27 data for 2008; EU28 estimates for 2013.
    ** Spain: change of data source in 2013 income data; Croatia: 2008 data on At-risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers estimated from Household Budget Survey; United Kingdom: Change of provider of cross-sectional EU-SILC data: until 2012 data were collected by the ONS, from 2012 onwards they are collected by the Department for Work and Pensions.
    : Data not available


17% of the population in the EU28 at risk of income poverty…

Looking at each of the three elements contributing to being at risk of poverty or social exclusion, 16.7% of the EU28 population in 2013 were at risk of poverty after social transfers, meaning that their disposable income was below their national at-risk-of-poverty threshold2. The proportion of persons at risk of income poverty in the EU28 in 2013 (16.7%) has decreased compared with 2012 (16.9%) but is slightly higher than in 2008 (16.6%). It is important to note that the at-risk-of-income-poverty rate is a relative measure of poverty and that the threshold varies greatly between Member States. It also varies over time: in a number of Member States the threshold has fallen in recent years due to the economic crisis. In 2013, more than 20% of the population were at risk of income poverty in Greece (23.1%), Romania (22.4%), Bulgaria (21.0%), Lithuania (20.6%) and Spain (20.4%). The lowest rates were observed in the Czech Republic (8.6%) and the Netherlands (10.4%). Compared with 2008, the proportion of persons at risk of income poverty has increased (based on EU-SILC data) in sixteen Member States and decreased in ten.

…10% severely materially deprived…

In the EU28 in 2013, 9.6% 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 home2. The proportion of persons severely materially deprived in the EU28 in 2013 (9.6%) has decreased compared with 2012 (9.9%) but is still higher than in 2008 (8.5%). The share of those severely materially deprived
in 2013 varied significantly among Member States, ranging from more than a quarter of the total population in Bulgaria (43.0%), Romania (28.5%) and Hungary (26.8%), to less than 5% in Sweden (1.4%), Luxembourg (1.8%), the Netherlands and Finland (both 2.5%), Denmark (3.8%) and Austria (4.2%). Compared with 2008, the proportion of persons severely materially deprived has increased in fifteen Member States, remained stable in Slovenia and Sweden, and decreased in nine.

…and 11% living in households with very low work intensity

For low work intensity, 10.7% of the population aged 0-59 in the EU28 lived in households where the adults worked less than 20% of their total work potential during the past year2. This proportion has constantly increased in the EU28 since 2008. In 2013, Greece (18.2%), Croatia (15.9%), Spain (15.7%), Belgium (14.0%) and the United Kingdom (13.2%) had the highest proportions of those living in very low work intensity households, and Romania (6.4%), Luxembourg (6.6%), the Czech Republic (6.9%), Sweden (7.1%) and Poland (7.2%) the lowest. Compared with 2008, the share of persons aged 0-59 living in households with very low work intensity has increased in nearly all Member States, except in Romania (from 8.3% in 2008 to 6.4% in 2013), Germany (from 11.7% to 9.9%), France (from 8.8% to 7.9%), Poland (from 8.0% to 7.2%) and the Czech Republic (from 7.2% to 6.9%).

Evolution of the three components of the at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate in the EU28,
2008-2013 / (% of population)

graph2The 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.

  1. EU27 data for 2008 and 2009, EU28 data for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  2. 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/mort
    gage 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.
  3. For more information on the Europe 2020 strategy: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm.
  4. The EU-SILC survey is the EU reference source for comparative statistics on income distribution, poverty and living conditions. More information can be found on the Eurostat website: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/income_social_inclusion_living_conditio/introduction.
    The reference population is all private households and their current members residing in the territory of a given Member State at the time of data collection. Persons living in collective households and in institutions are generally excluded from the target population as well as small and remote parts of the national territory amounting to no more than 2% of the national population.

Issued by: Eurostat Press Office

Vincent BOURGEAIS
Tel: +352-4301-33 444
eurostat-pressoffice@ec.europa.eu

For further information about the data:

Boyan GENEV
Tel: +352-4301-36 409
boyan.genev@ec.europa.eu

Eurostat news releases on the internet: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat
Follow Eurostat on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EU_Eurostat

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