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Almost a quarter of people across Europe live on the brink of poverty

This comes in a new study released today by EU’s statistical information office, Eurostat.

Image: homeless man via shutterstock

A NEW REPORT has shown that last year over 120 million were at risk of poverty or social exclusion across the European Union.

The study, published today, finds that almost a quarter of all people across the EU were vulnerable to poverty or social exclusion.

To be considered in this category, people had to fulfill three categories of:

  • Being at risk of poverty after social transfers.
  • Being severely materially deprived.
  • Living in a household with a very low work intensity.


It was shown that the total number of those vulnerable to poverty or social exclusion had decreased slightly since 2012 when it was 24.8%, but had increased since 2008 when it stood at 23.8%.

Capture1 Source: Eurostat

The country with the highest rate of poverty and social exclusion was found to be Bulgaria – with 48% of citizens at risk – while the country with the lowest rate was the Czech Republic, with only 14.6%.

Across the EU 28 countries were examined. It was found that an average of 17% were at risk of income poverty. The measure used to determine this was if a person’s disposable income fell below their country’s national at-risk-of-poverty rate.

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It was also found that one in ten across the EU are severely materially deprived. This describes people who are unable to pay their bills, keep their home adequately warm and take a weeks holiday a year away from home.

In Bulgaria it was found that this applied to 43% o the population, while in Sweden, it applied to only 1.4%.

The work intensity of individuals aged between 0 and 59 across Europe was also examined. Around 11% of people across the continent were found to work less than 20% of their total working potential over the course of 2013.

Information on Ireland is was not available at the time the study was put together. It is thought it will be submitted by the end of November.

Read: Ireland will have the largest economic growth in the EU in 2014 (and 2015 and 2016)

Also: Ireland’s biggest banks are getting a new regulator today and here’s how it’s going to work

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