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Number of people at risk of poverty in Baltics in higher than the average in EU

The ratio of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk in Baltic States is higher than the average in the European Union, according to Eurostat data compiled for 26 out of 28 member states in 2016.

According to this data, 28.5% of Latvia’s residents (550,000 people) are subjected to the risk of poverty or social exclusion. In Estonia, this proportion is 24.4% (320,000), whereas this proportion in Lithuania is 30.1% of residents (870,000).

In the EU, on the other hand, the average index for residents subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk is 23.4 or 117 million residents.

The proportion of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk is the highest in Bulgaria (40.4%), Romania (38.8%) and Greece (35.6%), as well as Croatia (28.5%), Spain (27.9%), Cyprus (27.7%), Hungary (26.3%) and Portugal (25.1%).

The proportion of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk is lower than the average in the EU in Britain (22.2%), Poland (21.9%), Belgium (20.17%), Malta (20.1%), Luxembourg and Germany (19.7% in both), Slovenia (18.4%), Sweden (18.3%), France (18.2%), Slovakia (18.1%), Austria (18%), Netherlands (16.8%), Denmark (16.7%), Finland (16.6%) and Czech Republic (13.3%).

Information is not available for Italy and Ireland.

Among the people subjected to poverty or social exclusion are those who fit at least one of the following criteria: poverty, poor economic state and low labour work intensity in the household – people living in the household and under the age of 59 had worked 20% less than their potential work time in the past year.

Material deprivation level is determined based on nine factors – the ability to handle unexpected costs, pay for a week-long vacation away from home, cover bills and debts, eat a meal every other day consisting of meat and fish or their vegetarian counterpart, financially support their home’s heating, have enough finances to afford a washing machine, television set, phone and car. If a person cannot afford at least four of those nine things, the person’s living conditions are to be defined as poverty.

In accordance with Eurostat methodology, people are considered subjected to poverty risk if they live in a household whose income is below the poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the average income in a country.


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