1 in 5 Latvians 'at risk of poverty'

More than one in every five Latvians lives in a state officially classified as "at risk of poverty" new data released by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) said January 18.

425,000 thousand persons or 22.1 % of Latvia's population were at risk of poverty in 2016 – just 0.3 percentage points fewer than in 2015. The equivalent income of this part of the population was below 330 euros monthly.

In 2016, as disposable income of the population grew, the at-risk-of-poverty threshold went up – to 330 euros monthly (it was 318 euros monthly in 2015).

After the sharp decline of 4.6 percentage points in 2015, the share of children at-risk-of-poverty did not change significantly and in 2016 constituted 18.4 % (18.6 % in 2015). In households consisting of one adult with dependent children, at-risk-of-poverty is still high and reaches 34.3 % (34.4 % in 2015), the CSB said.

At-risk-of-poverty in households consisting of two adults with three or more children has dropped notably – from 25.5 % in 2015 to 19.8 % in 2016. Significantly lower at-risk-of-poverty was observed in households consisting of two adults with one or two children – 13.4 % and 14.4 %, respectively.

In 2016, the share of population at-risk-of-poverty has actually risen within the population age group over 65 years (from 38.1 % in 2015 to 39.9 % in 2016). Very high at-risk-of-poverty is observed among single elderly population – if a person aged over 65 lives alone, the indicator constitutes 72.8 % or nearly three quarters of retirees.

The data was generated using EU methodology that defines 'at risk of poverty" as equivalised disposable income below 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income.

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