Thirty two percent live in poverty in Poland



One-in-three live in absolute poverty in Poland. One-in-five can’t afford to adequately heat their homes, finds a new report launching a fight against economic and social exclusion throughout the European Union.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, found that two thirds of Poles cannot afford an annual holiday away from home and 21 percent are not able to have a meal with meat or fish every second day. As many as 17 percent of Poles cannot afford to own and run a car.



Thirty two percent of Poles are seriously materially deprived.


Although the stats are quite bleak for a European nation in the 21 st century, the country is still ahead of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal when it comes to material wellbeing.


The data released this week is to coincide with the opening conference of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, organised by the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency, which takes place on 21 January.


"Wealth inequalities and severe poverty are matters of growing concern across the Union", says a report by the European Commission. “The priorities which will be undertaken this year by members of European Parliament are to concentrate on fighting child poverty and the inter-generational transmission of poverty. Special attention will be allocated to large families, single parents, families caring for a dependent person, and children in institutions.”


Baltic states “most at risk” from poverty


Eurostat not only measured material deprivation - or absolute poverty - they also measured relative poverty, too, with the deprivation threshold shifting from nation to nation.


The Baltic States and ex-communist nations of south eastern Europe are most at risk from poverty, with one-in-four in Latvia in that category. Fifty percent of those over 65 are at risk in the country, worst hit as it has been by the Europe-wide economic recession.


Seventeen percent of Poles are in the at risk category, or relatively deprived, and so socially excluded compared to other Poles. In this regard Poland is a normal country in the 27-nation bloc: seventeen percent is the average “at risk” figure for the whole of the European Union.


To hear the radio report by Magdalena Jensen, click on the player above.


related sites

Eurostat report news release