International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

In Slovenia one in eight and in the EU one in six people below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold

In Slovenia one in eight and in the EU one in six people is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. One in six people in Slovenia and one in four people in the EU is at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion. Relative poverty of children and social exclusion of children are among the lowest in the EU.

  • 10/14/2019
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17 October is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 with the aim to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty in the world. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the first international legally binding document concerning child rights. It recognizes the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s development. Child poverty is recognized as a violation of these rights, as it hurts children’s development and leads to lower income and health in adulthood.

Relative poverty in the EU

Statistical offices of European countries measure relative poverty, i.e. how many people are poor compared to others. We suppose that due to their low income poor people cannot afford to have a life that is deemed normal for the society in which they live.
Relative poverty is expressed with the at-risk-of-poverty rate, which indicates the share of people living in households in which net disposable income is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. According to the latest Eurostat data, 16.9% of the EU population (about 85 million) were living below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. The at-risk-of-poverty rate was the lowest in Czechia (9.6%) and the highest in Romania (23.5%). According to the latest data, in 2018 268,000 people (13.3% of the population) in Slovenia were living below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. Five Member States had lower at-risk-of-poverty rates than Slovenia. The following Member States had similar shares of persons below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold as Slovenia: Finland, Denmark, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and Austria.
In Slovenia, monthly net disposable income of people at risk of poverty was lower than EUR 662 per adult household member. With a relatively low share of relatively poor people this at-risk-of-poverty threshold ranked Slovenia in the middle of EU Member States together with Spain and Italy. The threshold was the lowest in Romania and the highest in Luxembourg. Fifteen EU Member States had higher at-risk-of-poverty thresholds than Slovenia.

Poverty or social exclusion

Social exclusion is a wider notion than the at-risk-of-poverty rate, since it also comprises people who are severely materially deprived or who live in households with very low work intensity. According to the latest data, one in six people in Slovenia and one in four people in the EU were at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion.
In Slovenia the share of people who are socially excluded because they suffer from one of the three conditions is relatively low. In 2018 it was 16.2%. In the previous year, the EU average was 22.4%. The share of people at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion was lower in only one EU Member State. Poverty or social exclusion were the most widespread in Bulgaria (32.8%) and the least widespread in Czechia (12.2%). The following Member States had similar shares as Slovenia: Slovakia, Finland and the Netherlands.

The share of children below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold among the lowest in the EU; exposure of children to social exclusion the lowest

In 2018 the at-risk-of-poverty rates for children (0–17 years) were the lowest in Czechia and Denmark (11.0%) and the highest in Romania (32.0%). Only three Member States (Czechia, Denmark and Finland) had lower at-risk-of-poverty rates for children than Slovenia (11.7%). In seven Member States, including Slovenia, the share of children below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold was lower than the share for total population.
In 2018 the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate for children was the lowest in Slovenia (13.1%) and the highest in Romania (38.1%). In ten Member States, including Slovenia, the share of children exposed to risk of social exclusion was lower than the share for total population.
  

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Slovenia already close to the Europe 2020 Strategy target

In the Europe 2020 Strategy, which should deliver in the EU high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion, EU Member States (EU-27) set a goal to reduce the number of people living in poverty or social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020; the goal for Slovenia is 40,000 compared to the base year 2008.
In 2017, 111.9 million people in the EU-27 were living in poverty or social exclusion, 4.2 million fewer than in the base year 2008 (116.1 million). In Slovenia the number of people living in poverty or social exclusion decreased from 361,000 in the base year 2008 to 326,000 in 2018. The data for the EU show that the Europe 2020 Strategy target is still far away, but in 2017 the EU started to draw closer to it for the first time. In 2018 Slovenia drew close to the target, since the number of persons exposed to social exclusion has to be reduced only by additional 5,000 people to reach the target (321,000). The reduction of severe material deprivation contributed the most and the lower number of people living in households with very low work intensity slightly less to achieving the target in Slovenia, while the number of people below the at-risk-of poverty threshold was higher than in the base year 2008.
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