Last year, 16 cent of the EU population (75 million people) and 21 per cent of Cypriots, suffered from material and social deprivation, according to data released on Tuesday by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU.
According to the definitions of “material and social deprivation”, Eurostat uses, this means that these citizens could not afford at least five items out of this list:
– face unexpected expenses;
– one week annual holiday away from home;
– avoid arrears (in mortgage, rent, utility bills and/or hire purchase instalments);
– afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish or a vegetarian equivalent every second day;
– keep their home adequately warm;
– a car/van for personal use;
– replace worn-out furniture;
– replace worn-out clothes with some new ones;
– have two pairs of properly fitting shoes;
– spend a small amount of money each week on him/herself (“pocket money”);
– have regular leisure activities;
– get together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month;
– have an internet connection.
According to Eurostat, in 2016 the highest material and social deprivation rate, applying to about half of the population, was registered in Romania (50 per cent) and Bulgaria (48 per cent), followed by countries where one in three persons was affected: Greece (36 per cent), Hungary (32 per cent) and Lithuania (29 per cent).
In contrast, the Nordic Member States and Luxembourg reported the lowest rate of material and social deprivation: 3 per cent in Sweden, 4 per cent in Finland, 5 per cent in Luxembourg and 6 per cent in Denmark.
In all EU Member States, the material and social deprivation rates are higher among people with low (lower secondary or less) education level. One in four people (25 per cent) with low education level in the EU suffer from the material and social deprivation, while this rate drops to one in seven (14 per cent) for those with upper secondary education and further to one in twenty (5 per cent) among people with higher (tertiary) education.