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Czechs and Slovaks among least threatened by poverty in the EU

Bratislava, Slovakia – The Czech Republic and Slovakia boasts among the lowest rates of people at risk of poverty in the EU.

In the EU, 21.7% of the population was considered at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2018, according to Eurostat.

Out of the 28 member states, the Czech Republic has the single lowest rate in the EU, with only 12.2% (or over 1.2 million people) of the population deemed vulnerable to poverty or social exclusion by the EU’s statistical office – compared to 15.3% ten years ago.

Czechs are followed by Slovenia (16.2%) and Slovakia (16.3%, data from 2017), rounding up the podium. The Slovak regions of Presov and Banska Bystrica are the most at risk of poverty, according to a spokesperson for the national statistical office. In absolute terms, over 850,000 Slovaks were threatened by poverty, an important drop since 2008 (more than 1.1 million).

Other European countries with low at-risk-of-poverty rates include Finland (16.5%), the Netherlands (16.7%), Denmark, France (both 17.4%) and Austria (17.5%).


Both Poland (18.9%) and Hungary (19.6%) remain below the EU’s average, and recorded some of the biggest decreases since 2008 (-11.6 and -8.6 percentage points in ten years, respectively).

At the other end of the scope, the countries that reported the highest shares of the population threatened by poverty or social exclusion in the EU were Bulgaria (32.8%), Romania (32.5%), Greece (31.8%), Latvia (28.4%), Lithuania (28.3%), Italy (27.3%) and Spain (26.1%).

A previous Eurostat study also pointed out that the Czech Republic and Slovakia’s young (18-24) and employed citizens were by farĀ the least likely to fall into poverty in the bloc.

According to the EU’s statistical office, people are considered “at risk of poverty” if their disposable income accounts for less than 60% of the country’s medium disposable income (after social transfers).