Children less at risk of poverty than pensioners in Latvia

Latvia has in recent years managed to substantially reduce the number its children at risk of poverty or social exclusion, though aroud one in five remain at risk according to data published by Eurostat October 28. 

In 2020, an estimated 24.2 % of children (aged less than 18 years) in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared with 21.7 % of working-age adults (aged 18-64 years) and 20.4 % of older people (aged 65 years and over).

Children at risk of poverty

Children growing up in poverty and social exclusion are less likely to do well in school, enjoy good health and realise their full potential later in life, when they are at a higher risk of becoming unemployed, poor and socially excluded.

From 2015 to 2020, the risk of poverty or social exclusion for children fell in the EU from 27.5 % to 24.2 %. However, in four EU Member States the risk of poverty or social exclusion for children was higher in 2020 than it had been in 2015, namely in Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden and France.

Among the Member States where the risk was lower in 2020 than it had been in 2015, the largest decreases in the risk of poverty or social exclusion were observed in Hungary (down 18.9 points), Romania (down 12.5 points), Latvia (down 12.0 points; 2019 data), Lithuania (down 11.7 points) and Bulgaria (down 11.6 points).

Children at risk of poverty 2015-2020

The risk of poverty or social exclusion varies across age groups. In 2020, 24.2 % of children (aged less than 18 years) in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared with 21.7 % of working-age adults (aged 18-64 years) and 20.4 % of older people (aged 65 years and over). Children were the age group with the highest at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rates in 13 out of the 27 EU Member States (including 2019 data for Ireland, Italy and Latvia).

In 2020, in Latvia (2019 data), Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Poland and Czechia, older people were most at risk, while in Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland, working-age adults were the age group had the highest risk. 

In eight Member States the risk of poverty or social exclusion for children was below that for the whole population, with the difference most pronounced in Latvia (2019 data), where the rate for children was 7.9 points lower, and in Estonia, where the rate for children was 5.4 points lower.

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