Bulgaria Tops EU Material Deprivation RankingBulgaria in EU | June 27, 2012, Wednesday // 19:58| views
EC statistics shows that 56% of Bulgarians are experiencing material deprivations. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
The European Commission has placed Bulgaria at the top of a ranking of citizens experiencing material deprivations in its newly published quarterly report on the EU labour market and social situation.
According to EC data, 56% of Bulgarians are experiencing material deprivations, meaning that they cannot afford at least 3 out of 9 basic goods and services
Bulgarians still have problems paying rent, mortgage, and utility bills and facing unexpected expenses.
Meanwhile, the share of Bulgarians unable to afford a meal with meat or protein every second day has increased by 7 pps to 43% since 2008.
Almost 50 % of the population cannot afford to replace worn-out clothes by new ones, 11% cannot afford two pairs of properly fitting shoes and 16% cannot buy a mobile phone.
Material deprivation rates are especially high in Bulgaria (56 %), Romania (49 %), Latvia (46 %), Hungary (40 %) and Lithuania (36 %).
Deprivation rates are at their lowest in Luxembourg (4 %), Sweden (4 %), Denmark (6 %) and the Netherlands (7 %), according to the EC quarterly report.
In all, 17.4 % of the EU population was materially deprived in 2010, following EC statistics.
The quarterly review indicates that 13 % of the EU population cannot afford to go out for a drink or meal with friends or relatives at least once a month.
This population ranges from 2-4 % in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Finland, up to 40 % in Bulgaria and 50 % in Romania.
The EC also notes that the employment rate in Bulgaria keeps falling, the country belonging to a group of Member States which experienced a dramatic continuous fall in employment over the last four quarters.
Bulgaria tops the EU ranking by NEETs, or young people who are neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET).
In the fourth quarter of 2011, 13.0 % of young people (7.5 million) in the EU fell into the NEET category, up sharply (by around 600 000) on the 11.6 % registered three years earlier.
The most notable surges were in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece (up by more than 5 pps).
According to the document, the NEET rate now varies more markedly across Member States, ranging from around 5 % in Luxembourg and the Netherlands to more than 20 % in Bulgaria, Italy and Romania.
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