Half of Romania’s population (50%) suffered from material and social deprivation in 2016, this being the highest rate registered in the European Union (EU), according to data from the European statistics office Eurostat.
This means that half of the Romanian population couldn’t afford at least five items out of several included on a list taken into account by the Eurostat statistics, namely: face unexpected expenses; one week annual holiday away from home; avoid arrears (in mortgage, rent, utility bills and/or hire purchase instalments); afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish or vegetarian equivalent every second day; keep their home adequately warm; a car/van for personal use; replace worn-out furniture; replace worn-out clothes with some new ones; have two pairs of properly fitting shoes; spend a small amount of money each week on him/herself (“pocket money”); have regular leisure activities; get together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month; and have an internet connection.
Only Bulgaria had a rate close to that of Romania, namely 48%. Other EU Member States with high rates were Greece (36%), Hungary (32%) and Lithuania (29%).
On the other hand, the Nordic Member States and Luxembourg reported the lowest shares of material and social deprivation. For example, Sweden registered a rate of 3%, Finland – 4%, Luxembourg – 5%, and Denmark – 6%. At EU level, the rate stood at 16% in 2016, which means that 75 million people were suffering from material or social deprivation.
Eurostat data also showed that people with low education are the ones affected the most. Across EU, the material and social deprivation rate is higher among people with low (lower secondary or less) education level. A quarter of people with low education level in the EU suffer from the material and social deprivation, with the rate dropping to 14% for those with upper secondary education and 5% for people with higher (tertiary) education.
Irina Marica, [email protected]