Theme 3: Social inclusion Theme 3: Social inclusion

Social inclusion, demography and migration is one of the seven key challenges of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS).

The strategy sets out the objective of creating a socially inclusive society by taking into account solidarity between and within generations and to secure and increase the quality of life of citizens as a precondition for lasting individual well-being.

The following set of indicators was agreed to measure progress in the social inclusion theme:

Headline indicator Operational indicators Explanatory indicators

Persons at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion   Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)
Monetary poverty and living conditions
Persons at-risk-of-poverty, after social transfers  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Severely materially deprived persons Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)
Persistent-at-risk-of-poverty rate  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Relative median at-risk-of-poverty gap Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Inequality of income distribution  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)
Access to labour market
Persons living in households with very low work intensity  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata) In work at-risk-of-poverty rate  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Long-term unemployment rate, by sex Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Gender pay gap in unadjusted form  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)


Early leavers from education and training
Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)


Tertiary educational attainment, by sex, age group 30-34  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)


At-risk-of-poverty rate, by highest level of education attained  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

At most lower secondary educational attainment by age  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Lifelong learning  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Low reading literacy performance of pupils  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Individuals' level of computer skills  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Individuals' level of internet skills  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)
Contextual indicator Public expenditure on education (for sub-theme Education)  Table, Graph and Map  Explanatory text (Metadata)

Key trends (2015 monitoring)

The trends observed in social inclusion are mixed. While progress in the subthemes "Monetary poverty and living conditions" and "Access to labour market" is lacking, the evolution of the education indicators is positive.

  • The number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion fell consistently between 2005 and 2009 but started to rise again with the onset of the economic crisis. In 2012, the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU-28 peaked at more than 124 million, before falling back by more than one million in 2013. The number of people at risk of poverty after social transfers in the EU-28 has risen by 1.8 % since 2010, while in 2013 48.3 million people in the EU-28 were living in conditions severely constrained by a lack of resources. Income inequality barely changed between 2008 and 2013. In 2013, the richest 20 % of the population earned about five times as much as the poorest 20 %.
  • Very low work intensity increased by 5.3 % in the EU-28 between 2010 and 2013 and the share of working poor increased between 2005 and 2013 by 8.5 %. Until 2013 the long-term unemployment rate climbed to a high of 5.1 % and remained at this level in 2014. Between 2006 and 2013, there was a 1.3 percentage point drop in the gender pay gap.
  • The share of early leavers from education and training has fallen steadily since 2003, reaching 11.1 % in 2014. Furthermore, the share of the population aged 30 to 34 with tertiary educational attainment has been continuously increasing since 2002, reaching 37.9 % in 2014. Participation in lifelong learning increased steadily and reached 10.7 % of people aged 25 to 64 in 2014.

More information on the evaluation of changes for the EU Sustainable Development Indicators (EU SDIs) on social inclusion is available on Statistics Explained: Sustainable development - social inclusion.