There is a slight upward trend in the at-risk-of-poverty rate (after social transfers) in the EU-28, starting from 16.5% in 2010. While changes were minimal in the period 2011-2013, in 2014 a rise of 0.5 percentage points (pp) recorded the highest levels over the same period for three consecutive years (17.2% or 17.3%).
For 2017, the year for which the most recent data are available, there was a drop to 16.9% (- 0.4 pp). A risky situation for our Old Continent, which may see this trend worsen in the coming years.
Eurostat notes that in the EU-28 rate (calculated as a weighted average of national results) lie significant differences between EU Member States (see Figure 1). In nine Member States, namely Romania (23.6%), Bulgaria (23.4%), Lithuania (22.9%), Latvia (22.1%), Spain (21.6%), Estonia (21, 0%), Italy (20.3%), Greece (20.2%) and Croatia (20.0%), one fifth or more of the population is considered at risk of poverty; similar data were found for Serbia (25.7%), North Macedonia and Turkey (both 22.2%).
Among the EU Member States, the lowest share of people at risk of poverty was recorded in the Czechia (9.1%) and Finland (11.5%); Iceland (8.8% - 2016 data) has an even lower percentage of people at risk of poverty than its total population. The at-risk-of-poverty threshold (also presented in Graph 1) is 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income.
To make comparisons in space, it is often expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS) in order to take into account the differences in the cost of living in various countries. In 2017, the income values â€‹â€‹for this threshold varied significantly between EU Member States: from PPS 3 182 in Romania to PPS 14 006 in Austria, with the Luxembourg threshold value (PPS 17 604) well above the highest value of interval. The poverty line was also relatively low in Serbia (PPS 3 087), North Macedonia (PPS 3 179) and Turkey (PPS 3 987), and relatively high in Iceland (PPS 13 316 - 2016 data), Norway (PPS 15 740) and Switzerland (PPS 16 225).
Some social groups are more exposed than others to the risk of monetary poverty. In 2017, the differential between the at-risk-of-poverty rate in the EU-28 (after social transfers) for the two sexes was small: according to the most recent data, it was 15.5% for men and slightly higher (17.1%) for women (see Figure 2). In 2017, the largest gender gaps were observed in Estonia (6.0 pp), Latvia (5.8 pp), Lithuania (5.0 pp), Czechia (4.0 pp), Bulgaria (3.8 pp) pp) and Slovenia (3.2 pp). Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Malta, Austria and Germany also recorded at-risk-of-poverty rates for women above those for men of at least 2.0 pp, as did Switzerland and Norway. In contrast, in Denmark the at-risk-of-poverty rate was 1 pp higher for men than for women. A similar figure was observed in North Macedonia (1 pp).