Bulgaria with Highest Material Deprivation Rate in EU27 in 2011Bulgaria in EU | May 28, 2013, Tuesday // 14:27| views
People walk past a beggar at a subway stop in Sofia, Bulgaria, 22 February 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES
According to a Eurostat report on population at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion, Bulgaria had the highest share of people living in material deprivation in the EU-27 in 2011.
The proportion of people that were materially deprived was highest in Bulgaria (60.1 %), Latvia (49.2 %) and Romania (47.7 %) among the EU Member States, with more than half of the materially deprived in each of these countries experiencing severe material deprivation, according to information of the EU's Statistical Office.
In Bulgaria (49.1 %) half of the population was considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2011, while in Latvia (40.4 %) and Romania (40.3 %) the proportion accounts for approximately two fifths of the population. In Lithuania (33.4 %) the proportion exceeded a third of the population.
Those EU Member States with the lowest proportions of the population considered to be at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion in 2011 were the Czech Republic (15.3 %), the Netherlands (15.7 %) and Sweden (16.1 %); Iceland (13.7 %) and Norway (14.6 %) also reported a relatively low share of their respective population as being at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion.
About one in every six (18.2 %) members of the EU-27 population was materially deprived in 2011, with just under half of these (8.8 % of the total population) being considered as experiencing severe material deprivation.
The definition of material deprivation is based on the inability to afford a selection of items that are considered to be necessary or desirable, namely: having arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase installments or other loan payments; not being able to afford one week's annual holiday away from home; not being able to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day; not being able to face unexpected financial expenses; not being able to buy a telephone (including mobile phone); not being able to buy a color television; not being able to buy a washing machine; not being able to buy a car; or not being able to afford heating to keep the house warm. The material deprivation rate is defined as the proportion of persons who cannot afford to pay for at least three out of the nine items specified above, while those who are unable to afford four or more items are considered to be severely materially deprived.
The latest developments between 2010 and 2011 show that the proportion of the population at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion fell in Romania, Portugal, Poland, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Bulgaria, while in Slovakia and Lithuania shares remained stable. All of the remaining EU Member States reported an increase in the proportion of persons at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion during 2011.By far the largest increases occurred in Italy (up 3.7 percentage points) and Greece (up 3.3 percentage points), followed by Latvia (up 2.3 percentage points) and Spain (up 1.5 percentage points).
In absolute terms, the figures for Italy, Spain and Greece had the greatest upward impact on the number of persons considered to be at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion in the EU-27 in 2011.
These Member States reported increases of 2.3 million, 696 000 and 372 000 people respectively in terms of the number of people at-risk-of poverty or social exclusion between 2010 and 2011.
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