Almost half the unemployed at risk of monetary poverty in the EU


© luxorphoto / European Union

Nearly half (48.7%) of unemployed persons aged 16-64 in the European Union (EU) were at risk of poverty after social transfers in 2016. In other words, the risk of monetary poverty was five times greater than for those in employment (9.6%).

Over the past 10 years, the proportion of unemployed persons at risk of poverty has risen continually, from 41.5% in 2006 to 48.7% in 2016.

Persons at risk of poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

Highest share of unemployed persons at risk of poverty in Germany

Across the EU Member States in 2016, the rate of unemployed persons at risk of poverty was highest in Germany (70.8%), followed at a distance by Lithuania (60.5%). Over half of unemployed persons in Latvia (55.8%), Bulgaria (54.9%), Estonia (54.8%), the Czech Republic (52.3%), Romania (51.4%) and Sweden (50.3%) were at risk of poverty.

At the opposite end of the scale, fewer than 40% of unemployed persons were at risk of poverty in Cyprus and Finland (both 37.3%), France (38.4%) and Denmark (38.6%).


At-ris-of-poverty rate of unemployed persons, 2016

The source dataset can be found here.


Gap with employed persons narrowest in Cyprus, France and Portugal

In 2016, the widest gaps between the proportion of unemployed and employed persons being at risk of monetary poverty were recorded in Germany (70.8% for unemployed persons vs. 9.5% for employed persons, or a 61.3 percentage point gap), Lithuania (51.8 pp), the Czech Republic (48.5 pp) and Latvia (47.3 pp).

In contrast, the difference was significantly less pronounced in Cyprus (37.3% for unemployed persons vs. 8.4% for employed persons, or a 28.9 percentage point gap), France (30.5 pp) and Portugal (30.8 pp).


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