The Highest Proportion of Young People Who Were Severely Materially and Socially Deprived, Recorded in Romania
Among the EU Member States in 2020, the highest proportion of young people who were severely materially and socially deprived in 2020 was recorded in Romania (24%), followed by Bulgaria (21%) and Greece (16%). On the other hand, the proportion was less than 3% in 11 of the 26 Member States with available data: Luxembourg, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Slovenia, Poland, Netherlands, Czechia, Cyprus, Sweden and Austria.
In the EU27, the severe material and social deprivation rate among young people (aged 15-29 years) was 7%. When compared with 2019, this increased by 2 percentage points (pp). The severe material and social deprivation rate among the total population was the same (7%).
-In 2020, the rate of young people aged 15-29 years at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU was 25.4 %, or 18.1 million young people, with women at slightly higher risk than men.
-In 2020, at EU level, young people aged 15-29 not living with their parents were more at risk-of-poverty (25.9 %) than those living with their parents (17.8 %).
- Between 2015 and 2019, the severe material deprivation rate for young people aged 15-29 years in the EU fell from 8.4 % to 5.4 %. However, it increased to 6.5 % in 2020.
- In 2020, 9% of people aged 15-29 years in the EU lived in households with very low work intensity.
When comparing 2020 with 2019, the largest increases in the severe material and social deprivation rate for young people were recorded in Romania, Ireland and Germany (all +3 pp; break in time series for Ireland and Germany). Meanwhile, the largest decreases were recorded in Slovakia (-2 pp), Finland, Greece and Croatia (all -1 pp).
When comparing 2020 with 2019 amongst sub age groups, Romania recorded the largest increases in the proportions of 15-19-year-olds and 25-29-year-olds who were severely materially and socially deprived (around +4 pp). When it came to 20-24-year-olds, the largest increase was recorded in Ireland (+5 pp). At the other end of the scale, the largest decreases were recorded in Slovakia (-4 pp among 15-19-year-olds), Malta (-3 pp among 20-24-year-olds) and Greece (-2 pp among 25-29-year-olds).
From the perspective of the risk of poverty relative to the situation in a certain country, a major indicator is the percentage of people earning below the threshold of 60% of the personal income at national level. Romania appears in 4th place, between the more developed economies, although the majority of former Eastern bloc countries are at the other end of the scale.
Surprinsingly, this is not because the young people in question live in households with very low work intensity (we rank 16th place in this respect, according to Eurostat data), but because there are little to no policies targeted at reducing poverty in the young generation.
Methodology - People at risk of poverty or social exclusion
This indicator corresponds to the sum of persons who are: at risk of poverty after social transfers, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. Persons are counted only once even if they are affected by more than one of these phenomena. Persons are considered to be at risk of poverty after social transfers, if they have an equivalized disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalized disposable income.
Severely materially deprived persons have living conditions severely constrained by a lack of resources, they experience at least 4 out of 9 following deprivation items: cannot afford i) to pay rent or utility bills, ii) keep the home adequately warm, iii) face unexpected expenses, iv) eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, v) a week holiday away from home, vi) a car, vii) a washing machine, viii) a colour TV, or ix) a telephone.
People living in households with very low work intensity are those aged 0-59 living in households where the adults (aged 18-59) work 20% or less of their total work potential during the past year. In order to measure child poverty, the indicator is available for the age group 0-17.