Almost four in ten Greeks live in poverty or in social exclusion. According to Eurostat data released on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 35% of Greeks are poor and more than 20% have “severe material deprivation.”
In 2017, 112.9 million people, or 22.5% of the population in the European Union 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.
Highest at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate is in Bulgaria
In 2017, more than a third of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in
three Member States:
Bulgaria (38.9%) Romania (35.7%) and Greece (34.8%)
Largest decrease in Poland, highest increase in Greece:
Among Member States for which 2017 data are available, the at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate has grown since 2008 in ten Member States, with the highest increases
being recorded in
Greece: from 28.1 % in 2008 to 34.8% in 2017, or +6.7 percentage points
Italy: +3.4 pp
Spain: +2.8 pp
the Netherlands: 2.2 pp, Cyprus: +1.9 pp and Estonia: +1.6 pp
Note: I dare to doubt the 28.1% in 2008 because it was kind of lower in 2011 when we started to report about the Greek crisis. First bailout was in 2010, people started massively to lose their jobs as 0f 2011.
The at risk of poverty rate is the share of people whose total household income (after social transfers, tax and other deductions), available for spending or saving is below the at risk of poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income after social transfers
In Greece the annual national median equivalized disposable income was:
€10,800 in 2008 and €7,600 in 2017.
For Single adult: €6,480 in 2008 and €4,560 in 2017
For 2 adults + 2 children <14 years old: €13,608 in 2008 and €9,570 in 2017.
After three consecutive increases between 2009 and 2012 to reach almost 25%, the proportion of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU has since continuously deceased to 22.5% last year, the Eurostat said.
PS and suddenly I reckon the IMF has managed to impose more austerity and demanded the broaden the tax-free basis below annual gross income of 6,000 euros. the measure is to be implemented as of 1.1.2020.
Well… this demonstrates the problems of measuring poverty by median income. Because in real life this rise in poverty would only be correct, if the cost of living got reduced by the same rate as median income. Which I doubt.
In case the cost of living stayed at the same level or even rose, the real rate of poverty would have to be based upon the old median income of 10 800 Euro.
Measuring poverty by median income is a plausible possibility when the median income is on the rise, because it measures exclusion from a general benefit. At times when incomes fall so profoundly and on such a broad scale that median income is falling, then this way to calculate poverty leads to a serious underestimation.
I think this is the case regarding Greece today.