While the percentage of people at the risk of poverty or social inclusion in the EU has decreased from 23.7 per cent in 2008 to 21.7 in 2018, it has gone slightly up in the same period of time in Cyprus, from 23.3 per cent to 23.9 per cent, Eurostat reported on Thursday.
Among member states for which 2018 data are available, the at-risk of poverty or social exclusion rate has grown since 2008 in nine countries: Luxembourg (from 15.5 per cent in 2008 to 21.9 per cent in 2018, or +6.4 percentage points) Greece (+3.7 pp), Estonia (+2.6 pp), Spain (+2.3 pp), Italy and the Netherlands (both +1.8 pp), Sweden (+1.3 pp), Denmark (+1.1 pp) and Cyprus (+0.6 pp).
The largest decrease was observed in Bulgaria (from 44.8 per cent to 32.8 per cent, or -12.0 pp), Romania (-11.7 pp) and Poland (-11.6 pp), followed by Hungary (-8.6 pp) and Latvia (-5.8 pp).
In 2018, some 109.2 million people, or 21.7 per cent of the population, in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that they were in at least one of the following three conditions: at risk of poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity.
After three consecutive increases between 2009 and 2012 to reach almost 25 per cent, the proportion of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU has since continuously decreased to 21.7 per cent last year, 2 percentage points below its 2008 reference-point and 0.7 percentage points below the 2017 level.
In 2018, more than a quarter of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in seven member states: Bulgaria (32.8 per cent), Romania (32.5 per cent), Greece (31.8 per cent), Latvia (28.4 per cent), Lithuania (28.3 per cent), Italy (27.3 per cent) and Spain (26.1 per cent).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Czechia (12.2 per cent), Slovenia (16.2 per cent), Slovakia (16.3 per cent, 2017 data), Finland (16.5 per cent) and the Netherlands (16.7 per cent).