Glossary:At risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE)

At risk of poverty or social exclusion, abbreviated as AROPE, corresponds to the sum of persons who are either at risk of poverty, or severely materially and socially deprived or living in a household with a very low work intensity. People are included only once even if they are in more than one of the situations mentioned above. The AROPE rate is the share of the total population which is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. It is the main indicator to monitor the EU 2030 target on poverty and social exclusion and was the headline indicator to monitor the EU 2020 Strategy poverty target.

The European Pillar of Social Rights proposes three EU-level targets that have to be achieved by 2030 in the areas of employment, skills and social protection. Poverty and social exclusion is one of the targets. The number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion should be reduced by at least 15 million by 2030, and out of them, at least 5 million should be children.

In 2021, the AROPE indicator has been modified according to the new EU 2030 target:

  1. Adjusting the severe material deprivation component, defining a new severe material and social deprivation rate as a percentage of the total population lacking at least seven items out of the thirteen material and social deprivation items;
  2. Defining the (quasi)-jobless household indicator as “people from 0-64 years living in households where the adults (those aged 18-64, but excluding students aged 18-24 and people who are retired according to their self-defined current economic status or who receive any pension (except survivors pension), as well as people in the age bracket 60-64 who are inactive and living in a household where the main income is pensions -except survivors pension-) worked less than 20% of their total combined work-time potential during the previous 12 months”.

The revision allows to better measure deprivation, based on a revised list of items, as well as to better account for the social exclusion situation of those in the working age (aged 18 to 64 instead of 18 to 59).


The following table shows the differences between AROPE defined for the Europe 2020 strategy and for the Europe 2030 targets.

Component Europe 2030 Europe 2020
Severe material deprivation rate Severe material and social deprivation rate (SMSD): Proportion of the population experiencing an enforced lack of at least 7 out of 13 deprivation items (6 related to the individual and 7 related to the household) Severe material deprivation rate (SMD): Proportion of the population that cannot afford (rather than the choice not to do so) at least 4 out of 9 predefined material items considered by most people to be desirable or even necessary to lead an adequate life
At risk of poverty rate Percentage of persons in the total population who are at-risk-of-poverty based Percentage of persons in the total population who are at-risk-of-poverty based
Low work intensity indicator People from 0-64 years living in households where the adults (those aged 18-64, but excluding students aged 18-24 and people who are retired according to their self-defined current economic status or who receive any pension (except survivors pension), as well as people in the age bracket 60-64 who are inactive and living in a household where the main income is pensions -except survivors pension-) worked less than 20% of their total combined work-time potential during the previous 12 months People from 0-59 years living in households where the adults (those aged 18-59, but excluding students aged 18-24) worked a working time equal or less than 20 % of their total combined work-time potential during the previous year


Further information

Related concepts

Statistical data