Alongside income-related measures of poverty, other more absolute measures such as material deprivation give a broader perspective of social exclusion. People are considered materially deprived if they cannot afford items such as heating to keep the house warm, one week’s annual holiday away from home or if they are unable to afford a selection of household goods considered necessary or desirable.
Just over one in six (17.0 %) in the EU were materially deprived in 2015. Among the EU Member States, this proportion was highest in Bulgaria (49.1 %), Greece (40.8 %), Romania (39.5 %) and Hungary (34.8 %).
Less than one in 10 were materially deprived in the Netherlands and Austria (both 8.2 %), Denmark (8.1%), Finland (7.7 %), Luxembourg (4.9%) and Sweden (2.8 %). Switzerland, Iceland and Norway also had low rates of material deprivation.
For more information see Eurostat's Statistics Explained article on social inclusion.
The material deprivation rate is defined as the proportion of persons who cannot afford at least three out of the nine following items: having arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments; not being able to afford one week’s annual holiday away from home; not being able to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day; not being able to face unexpected financial expenses; not being able to buy a telephone (including mobile phone); not being able to buy a colour television; not being able to buy a washing machine; not being able to buy a car; or not being able to afford heating to keep the house warm. Those who are unable to afford four or more items are considered to be severely materially deprived.