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Share of severely materially deprived people down to 6.7% in the EU.

Around 33 million people in this situation in the EU, according to early estimates for 2017.

In 2017, 6.7% of the population or around 33 million people in the European Union (EU) were severely materially deprived.

This means that they cannot afford at least four of the following items, which are considered by most people to be desirable or necessary to lead an adequate life:

  • pay their bills on time;
  • keep their home adequately warm;
  • face unexpected expenses;
  • eat meat (or fish or the vegetarian equivalent) regularly;
  • take a one week holiday away from home;
  • a TV;
  • a washing machine;
  • a car;
  • a telephone.

The 2017 data reflect the continued downward trend in the proportion of persons severely materially deprived in the EU since its peak of 9.9% in 2012.


Severe material deprivation rate in the EU 2010-2017


Single adult households are most affected. The rate of severe material deprivation for households with only one adult is 9.6% if the household has no dependent children. It stands at 14.3% for a household comprised of a single adult with children. For households where two or more adults are present, the rates are significantly lower: 5.2% without children and 6.1% with children.


Largest decrease in severe material deprivation in Romania

In most of the countries for which 2017 data are available, the severe material deprivation rate decreased compared with 2016. The exceptions are Denmark, where it increased by 0.5 percentage points, from 2.6% in 2016 to 3.1% in 2017, and the Netherlands where it remained stable at 2.6%. The largest decreases are registered in Romania (from 23.8% in 2016 to 19.4% in 2017, or -4.4pp), followed by Italy (from 12.1% to 9.2%, or -2.9pp), Croatia (from 12.5% to 10.3%, or -2.2pp), Bulgaria (from 31.9% to 30.0%, or -1.9pp) and Cyprus (from 13.6% to 11.7%, or -1.9pp).


Highest rate of severe material deprivation in Bulgaria and Greece

Across EU Member States, Bulgaria (30.0%), Greece (21.1%), Romania (19.4%) and Hungary (14.5%) register the highest shares of severe material deprivation. In contrast, the severe material deprivation rates were below 3% in Sweden (0.8% in 2016), Luxembourg (1.6% in 2016), Finland (2.0%) and the Netherlands (2.6%).


Severe material deprivation rate, 2017

The source dataset can be found here


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