Children at greatest risk of poverty in EU

Children are the age group in Europe at the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion, according to a new statistical report from the European Commission. And the relative risk for children in the UK is greater than the average for EU countries as a whole.

The conclusions in the report are based on figures from EU-SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) for 2011, the latest year available.

Key points

  • In 2011, 27.0 per cent of children aged 0–17 in the European Union as a whole were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared with 24.3 per cent of working age adults (18–64) and 20.5 per cent of elderly people (65 and over).
  • Among households with dependent children, those at the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion were lone parents and large households (two adults with three or more dependent children, and three adults or more with dependent children) – with rates of 49.8 per cent, 30.8 per cent and 28.4 per cent respectively.
  • Over 45.0 per cent of low to very low work intensity households with dependent children were at risk of poverty. Moreover, 49.2 per cent of children whose parents' highest level of education was low were at risk of poverty, compared with 7.5 per cent of children whose parents' highest level of education was high.
  • 18.4 per cent of lone parent households were severely materially deprived compared with, on average, 9.6 per cent of households with dependent children.
  • Children were also at a greater risk of poverty or social exclusion in most member states. In the UK in 2011, 26.9 per cent of children were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared with 21.4 per cent of working age adults and 22.7 per cent of elderly people.
  • Children's risk of poverty or social exclusion rose in most member states between 2008 and 2011.

Source: Cristina López Vilaplana, Children Were the Age Group at the Highest Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion in 2011, Statistics in Focus 4/2013, Eurostat (European Union)
LinkStatistical release

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