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AT A GLANCE

People at risk of poverty or social exclusion


This note provides an overview of the risk of poverty or social exclusion in the European Union.
This risk indicator refers to the situation of people either at risk of poverty, or severely materially
deprived or living in a household with a very low work intensity.
As part of the Europe 2020 strategy, which was adopted by the European Council on 17 June 2010,
one of the key targets is the reduction of poverty by lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk
of poverty or social exclusion between 2008 and 2020. However, this 2020 target is highly unlikely
to be met as the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion increased to 118 million
persons, or 23.5 % of the population in the EU-28 in 2016 (namely 806 thousand more than 2008).
However, this aggregated figure masks large variations across Member States.
Chart 1: People at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate in 2016, as % of the total population

Source: Eurostat, extraction date 14/12/2017; the figure for IE is from 2015.

ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE SUPPORT UNIT


Author: M. Ciucci
Directorate-General for Internal Policies EN
PE 614.487 - January 2018
People at risk of poverty or social exclusion

In relative terms, in the 2008-2016 period the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion,
expressed as a percentage of the total population, increased the most in Greece (+7.5 pp), Italy (+4.4
pp), Cyprus (+4.4 pp), Luxembourg (+4.2 pp) and Spain (+4.1 pp), and decreased the most in Poland
(-8.6 pp), Latvia (-5.7 pp), Romania (-5.4 pp), Bulgaria (-4.4 pp) and Croatia (-3.2 pp).

Chart 2: People risk-of-poverty or social exclusion, 2008-2016 variation, in % of total population


10,0
7,5
8,0
Variation, % of total population

6,0 4,4 4,4 4,2 4,1


3,4
4,0 2,6 2,3
1,8 1,8
2,0 0,4 0,0
0,0
-0,1 -0,1 -0,3 -0,4
-2,0 -0,8 -0,9 -1,0
-1,9 -2,0
-4,0 -2,5 -2,6
-3,2
-6,0 -4,4
-5,4 -5,7
-8,0
-10,0 -8,6
EL IT CY LU ES SE EE IE LT NL DK MT BE SI FR DE FI PT UK HU CZ SK AT HR BG RO LV PL

Sources: EGOV based on Eurostat, extraction date 14/12/2017; the latest IE figures are from 2015.

In absolute terms, in the 2008-2016 period, the variation of the number of people at risk of poverty
or social exclusion increased the most in Italy (+3 million), Spain (+2 million) and Greece (+700
thousand) and decreased the most in Poland (-3.3 million), Romania (-1.4 million) and Bulgaria (-500
thousand).

Chart 3: People risk-of-poverty or social exclusion, 2008-2016 variation, in millions of persons


4 3,0

3 2,0

2
0,7
0,4 0,4 0,3 0,3
1 0,1 0,1 0,1 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0

-1 0,0 0,0 -0,2-0,2-0,2-0,2 -0,2-0,2


Million

-0,3 -0,3
-0,5
-2
-1,4
-3

-4
-3,3
IT ES EL SE NL FR UK BE DK CY LU EE SI MT FI LT AT SK HR PT LV CZ HU DE BG RO PL
Sources: EGOV based on Eurostat, extraction date 14/12/2017; the latest IE figures are from 2015.

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