Baltics report highest share of pensioners at poverty risk in EU

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Latvian pensioners are among the most vulnerable in the European Union when it comes to the risk of poverty, according to data published January 15.

While 1 out of every 7 (14%) of pensioners across the EU were at risk of poverty in 2017, in Latvia the figure was far higher with more than 2 out of every 5 (44%) at risk. 

Only Estonia recorded a higher level (46%).

Individuals are identified as being at risk of poverty if their equivalised disposable income is less than 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income after social transfers have been taken into account.

In the general population, the proportion of individuals identified as being at risk of poverty in the EU in 2017 was 17%.

Pensioners at risk of poverty 2017
Pensioners at risk of poverty 2017

Latvia is also among the four member states where the at-risk-of-poverty rate for female pensioners was more than 10 percentage points (pp) higher than the rate for male pensioners: Estonia (+19 pp), Lithuania (+16 pp), Bulgaria and Latvia (both +15 pp).

The EU-wide 2017 at-risk-of-poverty rate of 14.2% is slightly above the figure of 13.8 % in 2016. The rate has been rising gradually since 2013, when it was 12.6 %.

In most of the 27 EU Member States for which 2017 data are available, the proportion of pensioners at risk of poverty lies between 10 % and 25 %. The four countries with an at-risk-of-poverty rate above 30 % in 2017 were Estonia (46 %), Latvia (44 %), Lithuania (37 %) and Bulgaria (32 %).

In contrast, the lowest rates in 2017 were in France (7 %), Slovakia (8 %), Denmark, Hungary and Luxembourg (all 9 %).

Overall in Latvia, more than a quarter of the population (28.2%) is at risk of poverty, the sixth-highest level in the European Union.

You can see more statistics on the subject at this dedicated page.

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