A reduction in the number of persons in the EU at risk of poverty or social exclusion is a key objective of the ’Europe 2020’ strategy, as stated by Eurostat. Poverty and social exclusion are one the most powerful factors behind the rising health inequalities in Europe, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable members of our societies.

In 2010, the highest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Bulgaria (42%), Romania (41%), Latvia (38%), Lithuania (33%) and Hungary (30%), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (14%), Sweden and the Netherlands (both 15%), Austria, Finland and Luxembourg (all 17%). These figures come from a report published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Notably, children are at greater risk of poverty or social exclusion than the rest of the population. In the EU27 in 2010, 27% of children aged below 18 were affected by at least one of the three forms of poverty or social exclusion, compared with 23% for the working age population (18-64) and 20% for the elderly (65 and older). Children were most affected in 20 Member States, while the elderly were the most touched in Bulgaria, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden. In Denmark, it was the working age population which was the most affected.

EPHA related articles:

- Unicef’s report on The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World

- 2011: increasing poverty in Europe concludes first annual review of Employment and Social Developments in Europe

- New Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child

- EPHA Briefing on Children’s Health

- European Parliament condemns austerity policies and call for more social inclusion

- OECD report: Divided We Stand - The gap between rich and poor at its highest in over last 30 years

- article 4522

- EPHA Briefing Paper on Health Inequalities

Last modified on March 27 2012.