Risk of poverty and/or social exclusion

In the European context, the risk of poverty and/or social exclusion is high for people who are deprived of essential goods and services and/or belong to a low work intensity household.

Risk of poverty

Income level is an important criterion for the risk of poverty and/or social exclusion. Nearly 17 percent in the EU population lived on incomes which were so low - i.e. below 60 percent of the mean income - that they were at risk of falling into poverty. This relative limit is calculated for each individual country and is based on the standard of living in that particular country.

Deprived of common goods

Due to lack of income, many low-income households cannot afford durable goods like a car, colour TV, telephone or washing machine. Even a hot meal every other day, a one week holiday every year or heating one’s house is not within everybody’s financial reach. People on low incomes often cannot afford to purchase necessary items if they break down or they are in arrears with their monthly housing costs.  People who are seriously deprived suffer from at least four of the financial limitations mentioned above.

Low work intensity

As unemployment often goes hand in hand with poverty and social exclusion, the third indicator defines the share of residents belonging to a household in which adults are unemployed or have only one a small job. These households are defined as low work intensity households.