In 2016, 24.8 million children in the European Union (EU), or 26.4% of the population aged 0 to 17, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that the children were living in households with at least one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived or with very low work intensity.
The proportion of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU has slightly decreased over the years, from 27.5% in 2010 to 26.4% in 2016. However, contrasting trends were observed across the EU Member States.
Share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion highest in Romania and Bulgaria, lowest in Denmark, Finland and Slovenia
In 2016, almost half of the children were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Romania (49.2%) and Bulgaria (45.6%). They were followed by Greece (37.5%), Hungary (33.6%), Spain (32.9%), Italy (32.8%) and Lithuania (32.4%).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest shares of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Denmark (13.8%), Finland (14.7%) and Slovenia (14.9%), ahead of the Czech Republic (17.4%) and the Netherlands (17.6%).
The source dataset can be found here.
Largest decrease in share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Latvia, highest increase in Greece
In a large majority of the EU Member States, the proportion of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion decreased from 2010 to 2016. The largest fall was recorded in Latvia (from 42.2% in 2010 to 24.7% in 2016, or -17.5 percentage points – pp). Notable decreases were also registered in Poland (-6.6 pp), Ireland (-5.3 pp between 2010 and 2015), Hungary (-5.1 pp), Bulgaria (-4.2 pp) and Lithuania (-3.4 pp).
In contrast, the largest increases among EU Member States were observed in Greece (from 28.7% to 37.5%, or +8.8 pp) and Cyprus (+7.8 pp), followed by Sweden (+5.4 pp) and Italy (+1.1 pp).
At EU level, the percentage of the total population aged below 18 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion decreased by 1.1 pp, from 27.5% in 2010 to 26.4% in 2016.
This news item marks Universal Children's Day celebrated on 20 November.