Statistics Explained

Migrant integration statistics - at risk of poverty and social exclusion


Data extracted in October 2022.

Planned article update: October 2023.

Highlights


Among people living in the EU, 19.5 % of nationals, 27.5 % of citizens of other EU Member States and 48.4 % of non-EU citizens living in the EU faced the risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021.

The risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 was almost twice as high for foreign-born persons (36.1 %) as it was for native-born persons (19.0 %) and was particularly concentrated among those born outside of the EU (41.0 %).

[[File:Migrant integration statistics - at risk of poverty and social exclusion-interactive_MIGR2022.xlsx]]

Share of people aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate, by citizenship, EU, 2015–2021

This article presents European statistics on the risk of poverty or social exclusion among adults, with an analysis according to an individual’s citizenship or country of birth. Information is presented for various groups of foreign citizens or foreign-born persons and compares these with nationals or native-born persons.

This article forms part of an online publication on migrant integration statistics.

Full article


The data presented in this article are from the EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). The information presented generally refers to people aged 18 years or over. For analysis by age, two age groups are presented: young people (here defined as people aged less than 30 years) and people of working age (20–64 years). The latter age group is of particular interest as it is the focus for employment analyses in the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021–2027.

The population that is at risk of poverty or social exclusion refers to people who are at risk of poverty, and/or severely materially and socially deprived and/or living in a household with a very low work intensity: in other words, people in at least one (and possibly two or all three) of these situations.

People at risk of poverty or social exclusion

In 2021, there were 94 million people at risk of poverty or social exclusion across the whole of the EU; this equated to 21.5 % of the population. Four fifths (80.0 %) of the people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (76 million) were aged 18 years or over, 58.0 % were aged 20–64 years (core working age) and 15.7 % were aged 18–29 years (young people).

Figure 1 indicates that the risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU was lower among national citizens than it was among foreign citizens throughout the period from 2015 to 2021. In 2021, around one fifth (19.5 %) of nationals living in the EU faced such a risk. The share among citizens of other EU Member States was somewhat higher (27.5 %) while that for non-EU citizens was close to half (48.4 %).

During the period 2015–2021, the share of nationals who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion fell in the EU from 22.3 % to 19.5 %. Most of this fall occurred between 2015 and 2019, as this share fell slightly in 2020 and remained stable in 2021, coinciding with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For citizens of other EU Member States (note that data for some years are of low reliability), the risk of poverty or social exclusion rose from 31.2 % in 2015 to a peak (for the years analysed) of 32.1 % in 2016. It then fell to a low of 27.0 % in 2019, before increasing to 29.1 % in 2020, at the start of the crisis. The share fell back somewhat in 2021, standing at 27.5 %. For non-EU citizens, the development was similar to that for citizens of other EU Member States, but with higher shares. Starting from 49.9 % in 2015, the share increased to a peak of 50.5 % in 2016 before falling to a low of 45.4 % in 2018 and 2019. It increased strongly in 2020 (to 48.6 %) before dropping back to 48.4 % in 2021. Note that the decrease in the share of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 was notably smaller for non-EU citizens than for citizens of other EU Member States.

A similar analysis of the time series from 2015 to 2021 based on migrants’ country of birth is also presented in Figure 1. This indicates broadly similar developments in the EU as observed for the analysis by citizenship.

  • The share of native-born persons who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion was lower than that of people born in other EU Member States, which in turn was lower than that of people born outside the EU.
  • The share of native-born persons who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion fell between 2015 and 2020, stabilising in the most recent year for which data are available (2021).
  • The share of EU-born persons and non-EU born persons who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion fell between 2015 and 2019, increased in 2020 and then fell back in 2021.
Figure 1: Share of people aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by citizenship and by country of birth, EU, 2015–2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

Figure 2 summarises the situation in the EU in 2021 for the two types of analyses (by citizenship and by country of birth). All of the shares by country of birth were lower than the shares by citizenship. The similar categories in each classification had shares of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion that were broadly similar, but there were some differences.

  • The closest shares were those observed for nationals (19.5 %) and native-born persons (19.0 %).
  • The shares for other EU citizens (27.5 %) and for people born in other EU Member States (24.6 %) were somewhat further apart.
  • The shares for non-EU citizens (48.4 %) and for people born in non-EU countries (41.0 %) were furthest apart.
Figure 2: Share of persons aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by citizenship or country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

An analysis by citizenship for the EU Member States reveals that the share of foreign citizens at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 was always higher than that for nationals (no data available for Romania). In absolute terms, the difference ranged from 1.0 percentage points in Croatia and 1.2 percentage points in Ireland and Poland (2020 data) to 31.6 percentage points in France (2020 data) and 33.8 percentage points in Spain.

A more detailed analysis of the results for 2021 for the two subpopulations of foreign citizens reveals that the share of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion was lower for citizens of other EU Member States than for non-EU citizens in 20 of the 22 Member States for which data are available. The two exceptions were Ireland and Czechia, where the shares were somewhat lower for non-EU citizens. The largest differences in the shares between these two foreign subpopulations were observed in France (2020 data), Latvia (low reliability data), the Netherlands and Croatia (low reliability).

The large differences in the shares of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion between the two foreign subpopulations in Croatia and Latvia reflected their particularly low shares for citizens of other EU Member States: both were lower in 2021 than the equivalent shares for nationals; these were the only Member States where this occurred. In none of the Member States, were the shares for non-EU citizens lower than for nationals; the smallest differences in these shares were observed in Poland (2020 data), Ireland and Czechia.

The share of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 peaked among the EU Member States in Bulgaria for citizens of other Member States (42.4 %; low reliability); for non-EU citizens, this share exceeded half in Bulgaria (low reliability), Greece and France (2020 data), peaking at 64.8 % in Spain.

Figure 3: Share of persons aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by citizenship, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n)

An analysis by country of birth reveals that the share of foreign-born people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 was higher than that for native-born persons in 24 of the 26 EU Member States for which data are available (no data for Romania). The two exceptions were Hungary and Slovakia (2020 data), where the shares were somewhat lower for foreign-born persons. In absolute terms, the largest difference was observed in Spain (30.2 percentage points).

Focusing on the two migrant subpopulations, the share of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 was generally lower for people born in other EU Member States than for people born outside of the EU. This was observed in 20 of the 25 Member States for which data are available. Among these, the largest absolute differences were observed in Sweden, France (2020 data) and Spain. Among the five exceptions, Latvia, Poland (2020 data) and Czechia had somewhat lower shares for people born outside of the EU, while notably larger differences were observed for Hungary and Lithuania (2020 data; low reliability).

Croatia, Slovakia (2020 data; low reliability) and Portugal were the only EU Member States where the shares of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 were lower for people born in other Member States than for native-born people. In a similar manner, Hungary was the only Member State where the share of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 was lower for people born outside of the EU than for native-born people.

The share of people who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 peaked among the EU Member States in Lithuania for people born in other Member States (45.2 %; 2020 data; low reliability); for people born outside of the EU, this share exceeded half in Greece, Bulgaria and Spain.

Figure 4: Share of persons aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by country of birth, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps06n)

Analysis by age

This section continues the analysis of the share of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion according to citizenship or country of birth but adds an analysis by age.

For young people (aged 16–29 years for the analysis by citizenship, aged 18–29 for the analysis by country of birth), the shares of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion were higher than for the general age group of all people aged 18 years or over. This was observed for all categories of citizenship and of country of birth analysed, in so far as data are available.

For the age group 20–64 years, the shares of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion were very similar to those for persons aged 18 years or over. The absolute differences in the shares for these two age groups were less than 1.0 percentage points for all categories of citizenship and of country of birth.

  • When analysed by citizenship, the shares for those aged 20–64 years were lower than for those aged 18 years or over for foreign citizens and both subpopulations of foreign citizens, while they were marginally higher for nationals.
  • When analysed by country of birth, the shares for those aged 20–64 years were slightly higher than for those aged 18 years or over for all migration categories except for non-EU born persons (where the shares were the same).
Figure 5: Share of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by age and by citizenship or country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

Figure 6 presents a similar analysis to that in Figure 5 but showing the difference in shares compared with nationals (for the analysis by citizenship) or native-born persons (for the analysis by country of birth).

  • The share of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU in 2021 was 20.9 percentage points higher for foreign citizens aged 18 years or over than for nationals. This difference was somewhat higher among those aged 16–29 years (22.7 percentage points) and slightly lower among those aged 20–64 years (20.3 percentage points).
  • For citizens of other EU Member States, the difference in the shares was 8.0 percentage points among people aged 18 years or over. Again, the difference was somewhat lower among those aged 20–64 years (7.3 percentage points).
  • For non-EU citizens, the difference in the shares was 28.9 percentage points among people aged 18 years or over. This difference was somewhat higher among those aged 16–29 years (29.8 percentage points) and somewhat lower among those aged 20–64 years (28.1 percentage points).

The equivalent analysis by country of birth was similar but differed in one respect. The difference in the shares (between native-born persons and the various categories of migrants) was always larger for persons aged 18–29 years than for persons aged 18 years or over. However, there was no clear pattern in the difference in the shares for persons aged 20–64 years and those for persons aged 18 years or over, as these were almost identical for all migrant categories.

Figure 6: Difference in the share of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared with nationals or native-born persons, by age and by citizenship or country of birth, EU, 2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

Figures 7 and 8 compare the shares of foreign persons or foreign-born at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 for two age groups, comparing the shares for young people (aged 16–29 or 18–29 years) with those for people of core working age (aged 20–64 years).

In the EU, 45.7 % of young foreign citizens (aged 16–29 years) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, compared with 39.9 % among foreign citizens aged 20–64 years (see Figure 7).

  • Estonia (low reliability), Latvia (low reliability), Slovenia and Spain were the only EU Member States (among the 20 for which data are available) which recorded higher shares of foreign people at risk of poverty or social exclusion among the core working age population than among young people.
  • The largest age difference in the share of foreign persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion was in Sweden, where the share was 51.6 % for young foreign citizens compared with 39.7 % for foreign citizens aged 20–64 years.
Figure 7: Share of foreign citizens at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by age, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n)

A broadly similar situation was observed when comparing the share of foreign-born persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion for two similar age groups (see Figure 8). In the EU, 43.3 % of young foreign-born people (aged 18–29 years) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, compared with 36.4 % among foreign-born people aged 20–64 years.

  • Estonia (low reliability), Croatia, Belgium, Latvia (2020 data; low reliability) and Slovenia recorded higher shares of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion among the core working age foreign-born population than among young foreign-born people; the remaining 18 EU Member States for which data are available recorded higher shares among young foreign-born people.
  • The largest age differences in the shares of foreign-born persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion were
    • in Hungary (low reliability), Sweden and France (2020 data), with higher shares for young foreign-born people, and
    • in Estonia (low reliability), with a lower share for young foreign-born people.
Figure 8: Share of foreign-born persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by age, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps06n)

Analysis by sex

This final section adds an analysis by sex to the analyses by citizenship or country of birth for the share of persons (aged 18 years or over) at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

For men, the shares of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion were lower than for women in the EU. This was observed in 2021 for all categories of citizenship and of country of birth analysed. The absolute differences between the two sexes in the shares of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion were smallest for non-EU citizens / non-EU born persons and largest for citizens of other EU Member States / persons born in other Member States.

Figure 9: Share of persons aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by sex and by citizenship or country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

Figure 10 presents a similar analysis to that in Figure 9 but showing the difference in shares compared with nationals (for the analysis by citizenship) or native-born persons (for the analysis by country of birth).

The share of males at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU in 2021 was 21.3 percentage points higher for foreign citizens than for nationals; for females the difference was slightly lower, at 20.3 percentage points. A similar pattern was observed among non-EU citizens: the share for males was 29.8 percentage points higher than for national citizens, while for females the difference was slightly lower, at 28.0 percentage points. By contrast, for citizens of other EU Member States, the reverse was observed: the share for males was 7.1 percentage points higher than for national citizens, while for females the difference was greater, at 8.7 percentage points.

The equivalent analysis by country of birth was broadly similar.

Figure 10: Difference in the share of persons aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared with nationals or native-born persons, by sex and by citizenship or country of birth, EU, 2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

Figures 11 and 12 compare the shares of foreign persons or foreign-born persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021 for two age groups, comparing the shares for men and women.

In the EU, 39.5 % of foreign men were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, compared with 41.1 % among foreign women (see Figure 11).

  • Malta, the Netherlands and Italy were the only EU Member States (among the 25 for which data are available) which recorded higher shares of foreign men rather than foreign women at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
  • The largest gender difference in the share of foreign persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion was in Slovakia (2020 data; low reliability), with shares of 5.4 % for foreign men and 31.4 % for foreign women.
Figure 11: Share of foreign citizens aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by sex, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n)

A broadly similar situation was observed when comparing the share of foreign-born persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion for men and women (see Figure 12). In the EU, 35.7 % of foreign-born men were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, compared with 36.6 % among foreign-born women; this was a smaller gender gap than observed for foreign citizens.

  • Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland and Hungary recorded higher shares of foreign-born men rather than foreign-born women at risk of poverty or social exclusion; the remaining 20 EU Member States for which data are available recorded higher shares among foreign-born women.
  • The largest gender difference in the share of foreign-born persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion was in Lithuania (2020 data), with shares of 24.0 % for foreign-born men and 42.4 % for foreign-born women.
Figure 12: Share of foreign-born persons aged 18 years or over at risk of poverty or social exclusion, by sex, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps06n)

Data sources

The data presented in this article are from the EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). Note that the age coverage used in this article may not be the same as that used by Eurostat in the area of social inclusion statistics and for this reason results may differ slightly from information that is published elsewhere.

The population that is at risk of poverty or social exclusion refers to people who are at risk of poverty, and/or severely materially and socially deprived and/or living in a household with a very low work intensity: in other words, people in at least one (and possibly two or all three) of these situations.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate is the share of people with an equivalised disposable income (after social transfers) that is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

The severe material and social deprivation rate relates to an enforced lack of necessary and desirable items to lead an adequate life. It is defined as the proportion of the population experiencing an enforced lack of (rather than a choice not to have) at least 7 out of 13 deprivation items (six related to the individual and seven related to the household). Examples include the lack of access to a car/van for personal use and getting together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month.

The share of people living in households with very low work intensity is defined as the share of people aged 0-64 years who are living in a household where the members of working-age (defined here as 18–64 years, other than students in the age group 18–24 years, retired people or people who receive pensions and inactive people aged 60-64 years living in a household where the main income is pensions) worked 20 % or less of their total work-time potential during the previous year. The work intensity of a household is the ratio of the total number of months that all working-age household members worked during the previous year and the total number of months the same household members theoretically could have worked in the same period. Households composed only of children, students aged less than 25 years and/or of people aged 65 years or over are excluded from the calculation.

For more information on the data sources used, please consult EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) methodology.

Limitations of the data

In several EU Member States, the detailed classification of foreign citizens and foreign-born persons identifies quite small numbers of people. As the data source is a sample survey, the reliability of data in such cases may be low: data that are of low quality are published with an appropriate footnote while some data cannot be published for reasons of confidentiality.

Context

In November 2020, an Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021–2027 (COM(2016) 377 final) was adopted with the purpose of fostering social cohesion and building inclusive societies for all. Inclusion for all is about ensuring that all policies are accessible to and work for everyone, including migrants and EU citizens with migrant background. This plan includes actions in four sectoral areas (education and training, employment and skills, health and housing) as well as actions supporting effective integration and inclusion in all sectoral areas at the EU, Member State and regional level, with a specific attention paid to young people.

More information on the policies and legislation in force in this area can be found in an introductory article on migrant integration statistics.


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Social inclusion (mii_soinc)
Income distribution and monetary poverty (mii_ip)
People at risk of poverty and social exclusion (mii_pe)
Persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion by group of citizenship (population aged 18 and over) (ilc_peps05n)
Persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion by group of country of birth (population aged 18 and over) (ilc_peps06n)
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