Distance in % of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in relation to EU 2020 Target

Definition. The condition of being at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate corresponds to at least one of the three following situations. The first is being at risk of poverty, i.e. having an income below the 60% threshold of the national median equivalised disposable income after social transfers. The second situation is the severe material deprivation, i.e. experiencing at least 4 out of 9 following deprivations items: cannot afford i) to pay rent or utility bills, ii) keep home adequately warm, iii) face unexpected expenses, iv) eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, v) a week holiday away from home, vi) a car, vii) a washing machine, viii) a colour TV, or ix) a telephone. The third situation is living in households with very low working intensity (people aged 0-59 living in households where adults work less than 20% of their total work potential during the past year).

As a target, the EU2020 Strategy envisages reducing the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion at least by 20 million by 2020. This is the only headline target that is not a percentage, but a global figure. In 2010 there were more than 115 million people officially considered poor, corresponding to 23.5% of total population, and the reduction of at least 20 million might mean moving below 19.5%. In this sense, the indicator, from the SIESTA ESPON project, has used 19.5% as a percentage target.

Key facts at European level. The map shows how regions are positioned in relation to 19.5%. The more extreme are some Bulgarian, Romanian and Italian regions, plus Extremadura (Spain), while there is a marked contrast within countries in the cases of Italy and Spain. Western, Northern countries, Czech Republic and Western Slovakia tend to be below the 19.5% threshold, except from the cases of Ireland (29.9%) and the UK (23.1%). Germany is very near, showing high internal poverty conditions variation. Belgium, Denmark or Finland has low rates of poverty and social exclusion, with high internal disparities.