21% of Bulgarians Lived Below Poverty Line in 2013

Society | December 15, 2014, Monday // 15:21|  views

Photo by BGNES

In 2013, the average monthly poverty line for the country stands at BGN 285.92 per household member, according to Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute (NSI).

A total of 1 527.5 thousand people, or 21.0% of Bulgaria’s population, live below this poverty threshold.

The poverty line has increased by 2.2% on an annual basis and the share of poor people has decreased by 0.2 percentage points.

According to 2013 data, if the income from pensions is included into the household’s income and the other social transfers are excluded, the poverty level increases from 21.0 to 26.7%, or by 5.7 percentage points.

At the same time, if the pensions and the other social transfers are excluded, the poverty level increases to 41.8%, or by 20.8 percentage points.

During the reference period, the share of the poor is highest among the unemployed (47.6%) and the risk of poverty for unemployed men is higher by 0.2 percentage points than for unemployed women.

In 2013, the rate of poverty among employed persons drops by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2% on an annual basis.

The share of poor persons working part-time is 20.9%, while among those working full-time it stands at 6.4%.

At the same time,the risk of poverty among working women is 0.5 percentage points lower than among men.

The educational level, which largely determines access to better career development and better paid jobs, directly correlates with poverty among employed persons.

The share of employed persons with higher education below the poverty line amounts to 1.5%, while the share of employed persons with primary or lower education below the poverty line reaches 30.2%.

The risk of poverty for those with primary or lower education is 20 times higher compared to university graduates.

The share of working poor with secondary education is 5.0%.

Poverty estimates based on types of households show that poverty is concentrated among elderly single-person households, single parents with children, and households with three or more children.

The highest risk of poverty, at 68.1%, is registered among households with three or more children. Their share increased by 7.1 percentage points from 2012.

The lowest share of people at-risk-of-poverty is registered in households with three or more adults (10.7%) and in households with two adults under 65 years (13.8%).

NSI data indicates that the highest number of households face deprivations when it comes to going on holiday away from home (66.3%) and the ability to cover unexpected urgent expenses with own resources (urgent repair of the dwelling or car, replacement of washing machine or refrigerator, sudden illness, etc.) - 64.0%.

Apart from that, only 4.2% of Bulgarians cannot afford a telephone (including mobile), 1.7% - a colour television set, 9.5% - a washing machine, and 51.1% of the households say that they cannot afford a meal containing meat, poultry, or fish every second day.

The share of household members experiencing difficulties paying housing-related bills on time is 36.1%, while 45.0% of households cannot keep their homes adequately warm.

In 2013, 43.0% of Bulgaria’s population live in severe material deprivation (restrictions in 4 out of 9 indicators), down by 1.1 percentage points on an annual basis.

Jobless households are households where no member has been in employment over the last four weeks, i.e. all members of the household aged 16+ have been either unemployed or inactive.

Low work intensity of the household refers to the ratio between the number of months that all household members aged 18 - 59 have been working during the reference year and the total number of months that could theoretically have been worked by the same household members.

For those who declare that they work part-time, the number of months is converted to full-time based on the number of hours worked.

People living in households with very low work intensity are defined as people aged 0 - 59 years living in households where the adults (aged 18 - 59, excluding students aged 18 - 24) worked less than 20% of their total potential during the reference period.

Following this definition, a total of 482.1 thousand persons aged 18 – 59 can be considered as living in households with very low work intensity in 2013, or 11.6% of the population. Their share increases by 0.4 percentage points from 2012, with the share of men being 12% and that of women 11.1%.

According to 2013 statistics, 28.4% of children (aged 0 - 17) in Bulgaria are at-risk-of-poverty, compared to 17.1% of adults (18 - 64), and 27.9% of the elderly (65+).

In 2013, the lowest poverty threshold is observed in the districts of Pazardzhik and Kardzhali, at BGN 185 and BGN 189, respectively, while the highest poverty threshold is registered in Sofia district with BGN 448, followed by Pernik district with BGN 388.

The highest share of persons at-risk-of-poverty is registered in the districts of Sliven - 31.6%, Vidin - 31.2%, and Pazardzhik - 30.8%, while the lowest share of persons at-risk-of-poverty is observed in the districts of Smolyan - 14.1%, Kyustendil - 14.6%, and Razgrad - 14.7%.

The district of Kyustendil has the lowest share of poor men - 9.2%, while the district of Pazardzhik has the highest share of poor men - 30.0%.

The lowest share of poor women, at 14.0%, is registered in the district of Gabrovo, compared to a rate of 33.9% for Sliven.

Seven districts, including Gabrovo, Dobrich, Razgrad, Silistra, Sofia, Targovisht,e and Shumen, have a higher share of poor men than poor women.

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Tags: poverty line, working poor, National Statistic Institute


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