Romania’s young working people are the poorest in the EU

Sorin Melenciuc 22/01/2019 | 11:02

More than 28 percent of Romanian young people aged 18-24 in work are at risk of poverty, by far the highest proportion among the 28 EU member states, Eurostat data show.

In 2017, the share of young people aged 18-24 in work and at risk of poverty in the EU was estimated to be 11 percent, 1.1 percentage points below the figure for 2016.

The share has fallen each year since a peak in 2014 (12.9 percent), according to official data.

“The highest proportion of young people aged 18-24 in work and at risk of poverty in 2017 was in Romania (28.2 percent), followed by Luxembourg (20 percent), Denmark (19.1 percent), Spain (19 percent) and Estonia (18.4 percent). In contrast, three countries had rates below 5 percent: Czechia (1.5 percent), Slovakia (3.8 percent) and Finland (4.2 percent),” Eurostat said.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate for all people in work in the EU was 9.4 percent in 2017.

Individuals are identified as being at risk of poverty if their equivalised disposable income is less than 60 percent of the median equivalised disposable income after social transfers have been taken into account.

However, the share of young people aged 18-24 in work and at risk of poverty in Romania has slightly declined during the last couple of years, since a peak in 2015 (33.5 percent) to 31.2 percent in 2016 and 28.2 percent in 2017.

A recent BR Analysis showed that the Romanian pensioners are far less poor than the children or the working-age population as only one out of six pensioners is at risk of poverty.

In 2017, 16.1 percent of Romanian pensioners were considered at risk of poverty, slightly above the EU average of 14.2 percent.

The share of Romanian pensioners at risk of poverty is even lower than the proportion seen in much more developed countries like the United Kingdom (19.1 percent in 2017), Germany (17.5 percent) or Sweden (16.2 percent).

However, the share of pensioners at risk of poverty has steadily increased in Romania during the last few years, from 10.1 percent in 2011 up to 15.8 percent in 2015, 15.9 percent in 2016 and 16.1 percent in 2017.

However, the proportion of pensioners at risk of poverty is much lower than that of the general population considered to be in the same situation.

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