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.

- Eurostat Data on Poverty and Social Exclusion in 2011.

EPHA related articles

- Eurostat statistics published: 23% of EU population, including 27% of children in poverty in 2010

- Report on the EP seminar ’From Rhetoric to Action - Tackling Child Poverty and Promoting Children’s Health and Well-being in the EU’

- Second Poverty Convention urges EU Member States to invest in social policies for human capital and social cohesion.

- [Press Release] Child poverty is not the problem itself - It is a symptom

- Energy and Health: How are these Policies Connected? Why should we Tackle Energy Poverty?

- [Press Release] Economic policies must address the real impact of crisis on people living in Europe

- EPHA publishes Policy Recommendations on Child Poverty, Health and Well-being

- [EPT] Child poverty and well being - Council Conclusions (proposal) Toward the European Commission’s Recommendations on Child Poverty and Well-Being (29 March 2013)

- Eurobarometer on Social Climate in the EU shows decline in almost all Member States

- Fifth stakeholder dialogue on the EU Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion

Last modified on February 4 2013.