Severe material deprivation in EU (2016)

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Share of people (%) living in households facing severe material deprivation

in EU, euro area and Member States

(2005, 2010, 2016)

This indicator illustrates the share of the population that cannot afford at least four items which are considered by most people as desirable or necessary to lead an adequate life. The share of severely materially deprived people in the EU27/EU28 was in decline between 2005 and 2009 (and between 2005 and 2007 in the euro area) before starting to climb again, peaking at 10% in 2012 (8% for the euro area).

By 2016 it had declined again to 7% (6% for the euro area). These averages, however, concealed an immense variation among Member States. At one end of the spectrum in 2016, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece had population shares facing severe material deprivation three to four times higher than the EU average. At the other end, in eleven Member States – mostly north-western countries but also in Scandinavia, Estonia and Czechia – less than 5% of the population faced material deprivation in 2015.

For the period for which data are shown here, the most impressive reductions in this indicator were observed in Poland, Latvia, Sweden, Slovakia, Estonia, Czechia, Lithuania and Finland, while Italy, Greece, Ireland and Spain experienced increases in this indicator. More generally, the new Member States from central and eastern Europe saw sizeable improvements in this indicator, while it  worsened for the southern members, including Cyprus.

Change in share of people living in households facing severe material deprivation in EU (2010-2016)

[source: Eurostat]


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