The European Union’s statistical office, Eurostat, published its latest findings regarding material and social deprivation in EU countries, with Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Hungary topping the list of highest deprivation rate.
The Eurostat report explains the meaning of material and social deprivation as the percentage of population that could not afford at least five items out of a list that includes facing unexpected expenses, one week annual holiday away from home, avoiding arrears in items such as mortgage and utility bills, affording meals every second day that include meat, poultry, fish or a vegetarian equivalent, keeping living accommodations adequately warm, replacing worn-out clothes and furniture, getting together with friends or family for a drink or meal at least once a month, affording an internet connection, and other items that might be considered essential in developed countries and today’s day and age.
Eurostat estimates that last year, 16% of the EU population – or some 75 million people – “suffered from material and social deprivation”, while these numbers rise as high as 50% of the population in Romania, 48% in Bulgaria, and about one third of the populations in Greece and Hungary.
Overall, one in four people with lower education levels in the EU suffer from material and social deprivation as defined in this report, while the rate drops to one in seven for those with upper secondary education and further to one in 20 among people with higher education. Three Nordic member states, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, along with Luxembourg, are at the bottom of this list with lower, single-digit deprivation rates.
Feature image source credit: Eurostat