Latvian pensioners most at-risk of poverty in European Union

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Latvian pensioners are the most at risk of suffering poverty among all European Union member states, according to data published by Eurostat February 3.

Based upon data from 2019 the proportion of pensioners aged over 65 who are deemed to be at risk of poverty was between 10% and 30% in the majority of EU Member States.

The four countries with an at-risk-of-poverty rate above 30% in 2019 were Latvia (54%), Estonia (51%), Bulgaria (36%) and Lithuania (35%).

At risk of poverty rate for pensioners, 2019
At risk of poverty rate for pensioners, 2019

In contrast, the lowest rates in 2019 were recorded in Luxembourg (7%), Slovakia, France, Denmark (all 9%) and Greece (10%).

Individuals are classed 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.

The figures in this case relate to all those aged 65 years or over living in private households who are pensioners (that is retired persons or people receiving a disability pension).

In the general population, the proportion of individuals identified as being at-risk-of-poverty in the EU in 2019 was 16.1%.

As previously reported by LSM, data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) on December 22, 2020 show that 407,000 persons or 21.6 % of the total population of Latvia were at risk of poverty in 2019.

The risk of poverty is there for the absolute majority of Latvian pensioners, and there is scant consolation in the fact that at least women are not quite as badly off when compared to men as in some other countries. 

Although women received lower pensions in all EU Member States, the extent of the gap varies widely. The largest difference was observed in Luxembourg, where women aged over 65 received 44% less pension than men. Luxembourg was closely followed by Malta and the Netherlands (both 40%), Cyprus (39%), Austria (37%) and Germany (36%).

On the other hand, the smallest difference in pension income between women and men was recorded in Estonia (2%), followed by Denmark (7%), Hungary (10%), Slovakia (11%), Czechia (13%) and Latvia (15%).

Gender pension gap in EU, 2019
Gender pension gap in EU, 2019

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