Vg.hu reports the latest results of the Eurostat survey examining the changes witnessed in the material deprivation rate of the EU Member States between 2010 and 2017. Although the number of people suffering from severe material deprivation decreased in the examined period, there are still millions of people who live in dire poverty and cannot afford such basic household items as a washing machine or a telephone. As far as the situation of Hungary is concerned, while a considerably good tendency has been witnessed in the last few years, but it is still at the forefront among the countries most affected by poverty.

The number of materially deprived people in the European Union decreased to 6.7% from the previous 7.5% rate, reports the latest survey of Eurostat analysing data between 2010 and 2017. However, the result obtained still means that around 33 million people in the EU are exposed to the problem of economic stain that prevents them from leading an adequate life. The Eurostat survey has measured the rate of material deprivation by examining how many of the following indispensable items EU citizens cannot afford to buy or maintain:

  • paying bills on time
  • heating
  • paying unexpected expenses
  • regularly eating meat (or fish, in case of vegetarians)
  • going on a vacation
  • having a TV
  • having a washing machine
  • maintaining a car
  • having a telephone
survey statistics

During the research, those people were considered to be severely affected by material deprivation in each country who mentioned at least 4 of the items mentioned above as unaffordable to them. The final results indicate that some basic items are still missing in most households and single parents are much more exposed to this material shortage then families with two adults.

Significant improvement experienced

In most EU Member States, the material deprivation rate declined considerably compared to the results obtained in 2016. There are only two exceptions to this outcome: Denmark and the Netherlands. While in Denmark, a 0.5% increase was witnessed (from 2.6% in 2016 to 3.1% in 2017), in the Netherlands, the 2.6% rate rested steady both in 2016 and 2017.

The greatest improvement was experienced in Romania where the decline rate was 4.4% (from 23.8% in 2016 to 19.4% in 2017), which is followed by Italy (-2.9%), Croatia (-2.2%), Bulgaria (-1.9) and Cyprus (-1.9%) with further outstanding results.

survey statistics

Aggravating deprivation rates

As always, there is another side of the coin which shows more aggravating results. Among the countries most affected by material deprivation is Bulgaria (30%), which is followed by Greece (21.1%) and Romania (19.4%). However, Hungary is also at the forefront being the 4th most affected country by material shortage. Here, a 14.5% rate was registered which seems to be very severe considering how far we are from the EU average rate. At the same time, it is noteworthy that a 1.7% decrease was experienced compared to the previous 16.2% rate.

Although this might still seem quite disquieting, in the last few years, a positive tendency has been witnessed, since in 2013, the deprivation rate was as high as 27.8%.

Finally, the research also mentioned those countries where the material shortage was below the EU average. This was the case in 4 countries, namely in Sweden, Luxembourg, Finland and the Netherlands which could serve as a model for the other Member States regarding social improvement.

If you are interested in reading the whole report, you can find it on the website of Eurostat.

Source: vg.hu; ec.europa.eu

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