Poverty in Europe

People at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the European Union

In 2010 the EU adopted the Europe 2020 Strategy. This strategy focuses on five targets. One of these is a poverty target which is to “lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020”.

At the same time the EU agreed a way of measuring the numbers of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This is by adding up the number of persons who are at risk of poverty, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. Persons present in several sub-indicators are counted only once.

  • Persons at risk of poverty have an equivalised disposable income below 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable median (middle) income. Equivalised is a way of dividing the income coming into a household between the adults (1.0 for the first adult and 0.66 for all other adults) and children (0.33 for each child) to come up with the amount for an individual.
  • Material deprivation covers indicators relating to economic strain and durables. This covers the share of population living in households lacking at least 4 out of the following 9 items: i) to pay rent or utility bills, ii) keep home adequately warm, iii) face unexpected expenses, iv) eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, v) a week holiday away from home, or could not afford (even if wanted to) vi) a car, vii) a washing machine, viii) a colour TV, or ix) a telephone.
  • Persons are considered living in households with very low work intensity if they are aged 0-59 and the working age members in the household worked less than 20 % of their potential during the past year.

Since the EU target to reduce poverty and social exclusion was set (based on 2009 levels) the number has grown enormously.

The following is the number of people (in thousands) experiencing poverty and social exclusion in the EU and some other countries

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
EU (28 countries) : : : 118,007 121,314 124,060 122,897
EU (27 countries) 119,360 116,584 114,560 116,686 119,930 122,676 121,626
Euro area (18 countries) 70,641 70,642 70,359 71,521 75,130 76,603 75,827
Austria 1,376 1,699b 1,577 1,566 1,593 1,542 1,572
Belgium 2,261 2,194 2,145 2,235 2,271 2,356 2,286
Bulgaria 4,663 3,421b 3,511 3,719 3,693 3,621 3,493
Croatia : : : 1,322 1,384 1,384 1,271
Cyprus 195 181b 188 202 207 234 240
Czech Republic 1,613 1,566 1,448 1,495 1,598 1,580 1,508
Denmark 905 887 962 1,007 1,039 1,057 1,059
Estonia 293 291 312 289 307 311 313
Finland 907 910 886 890 949 916 854
France 11,382 11,150b 11,200 11,712 11,840 11,760 11,229
Germany 16,760 16,345 16,217 15,962 16,074 15,909 16,212
Greece 3,064 3,046 3,007 3,031 3,403 3,795 3,904
Hungary 2,916 2,794 2,924 2,948 3,051 3,188 3,285
Ireland 1,005 1,050 1,150 1,220 1,319 1,378 1,358
Spain 10,373 11,124 11,336b 12,029 12,363 12,628 12,630
Italy 15,412 15,099 14,835 14,757 17,112 18,194 17,326
Latvia 765 740b 808 798 821 731 702
Lithuania 967 928 943 1,068 1,011 975 917
Luxembourg 73 72 85 83 84 95 96
Malta 79 81 82 86 90 94 99
Netherlands 2,558 2,432 2,483 2,483 2,598 2,492 2,648
Poland 12,958 11,491b 10,454 10,409 10,196 10,128 9,748
Portugal 2,653 2,757 2,648 2,693 2,601 2,667 2,879
Romania 9,904 9,418 9,112 8,890 8,630 8,907 8,601
Slovakia 1,150 1,111 1,061 1,118 1,112 1,109 1,070
Slovenia 335 361 339 366 386 392 410
Sweden 1,264 1,367 1,459 1,418 1,538 1,519 1,602
United Kingdom 13,527 14,069 13,389 14,211 14,044 15,099b 15,586
Iceland 38 36 36 42 41 38 40
Norway 764 701 724 716 705 681 714
Switzerland 1,304 1,333 1,338 1,291 1,308 1,350 1,271
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the : : : 972 1,038 1,038 :
Serbia : : : : : : 3,005

Source of Data: Eurostat

:=not available e=estimated b=break in time series p=provisional

 

The following is the percentages of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion in the EU and some other countries.                    

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
U (28 countries) : : : 23.7 24.3 24.7 24.5
EU (27 countries i.e. EU excluding Croatia) 24.4 23.8 23.3 23.6 24.2 24.7 24.5
Euro area 21.8 21.7 21.5 21.8 22.9 23.2 23.1
Austria 16.7 20.6b 19.1 18.9 19.2 18.5 18.8
Belgium 21.6 20.8 20.2 20.8 21.0 21.6 20.8
Bulgaria 60.7 44.8b 46.2 49.2 49.1 49.3 48.0
Croatia : : : 31.1 32.6 32.6 29.9
Cyprus 25.2 23.3b 23.5 24.6 24.6 27.1 27.8
Czech Republic 15.8 15.3 14.0 14.4 15.3 15.4 14.6
Denmark 16.8 16.3 17.6 18.3 18.9 19.0 18.9
Estonia 22.0 21.8 23.4 21.7 23.1 23.4 23.5
France 19.0 18.5b 18.5 19.2 19.3 19.1 18.1
Finland 17.4 17.4 16.9 16.9 17.9 17.2 16.0
Germany 20.6 20.1 20.0 19.7 19.9 19.6 20.3
Greece 28.3 28.1 27.6 27.7 31.0 34.6 35.7
Hungary 29.4 28.2 29.6 29.9 31.0 32.4 33.5
Ireland 23.1 23.7 25.7 27.3 29.4 30.0 29.5
Italy 26.0 25.3 24.7 24.5 28.2 29.9 28.4
Spain 23.3 24.5 24.7b 26.1 26.7 27.2 27.3
Latvia 35.1 34.2b 37.9 38.2 40.1 36.2 35.1
Lithuania 28.7 27.6 29.6 34.0 33.1 32.5 30.8
Luxembourg 15.9 15.5 17.8 17.1 16.8 18.4 19.0
Malta 19.7 20.1 20.3 21.2 22.1 23.1 24.0
Netherlands 15.7 14.9 15.1 15.1 15.7 15.0 15.9
Poland 34.4 30.5b 27.8 27.8 27.2 26.7 25.8
Portugal 25.0 26.0 24.9 25.3 24.4 25.3 27.5
Romania 45.9 44.2 43.1 41.4 40.3 41.7 40.4
Slovakia 21.3 20.6 19.6  20.6 20.6 20.5 19.8
Slovenia 17.1 18.5 17.1 18.3 19.3 19.6 20.4
Sweden 13.9 14.9 15.9 15.0 16.1 15.6 16.4
United Kingdom 22.6 23.2 22.0 23.2 22.7 24.1b 24.8
Iceland 13.0 11.8 11.6 13.7 13.7 12.7 13.0
Norway 16.5 15.0 15.2 14.9 14.5 13.7 14.1
Switzerland 17.9 18.1 17.9 17.2 17.2 17.5 16.3
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the : : : 47.2 50.4 50.3 :
Serbia : : : : : : 42.0

Source of Data: Eurostat

:=not available e=estimated b=break in time series p=provisional