According to the newest Eurostat data, in 2011, 119.6 million people, or 24.2% of the population in the EU27 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion - compared with 23.4% in 2010 and 23.5% in 2008. This means that 119.6 million people in the EU are at-risk-of-poverty, or severely materially deprived, or living in households with very low work intensity (or any possible combination of this three factors)
The reduction of the number of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU is one of the key targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.
In 2011, the highest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Bulgaria (49%), Romania and Latvia (both 40%), Lithuania (33%), Greece and Hungary (both 31%), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (15%), the Netherlands and Sweden (both 16%), Luxembourg and Austria (both 17%).
17% of the population in the EU27 is at risk of income poverty (poverty after social transfers) - meaning that people’s disposable income was below their national at-risk-of-poverty threshold. It is important to note that the at-risk-of-poverty rate is a relative measure of poverty and that the poverty threshold varies greatly between Member States. The threshold varies also over time and in a number of Member States it has fallen in recent years due to the economic crisis.
9% of the population in the EU27 is severely materially deprived - meaning that they had living conditions constrained by a lack of resources, such as not being able to afford to pay their bills, keep their home adequately warm, or take a one week holiday away from home. The share of those severely materially deprived varied significantly among Member States, ranging from 1% in Luxembourg and Sweden to 44% in Bulgaria and 31% in Latvia.
10% of the population in the EU27 is living in households with very low work intensity, where the adults work less than 20% of their total work potential during the year. Belgium (14%) had the largest proportion of those living in very low work intensity households, and Cyprus (5%) the lowest.
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