PositionBrief article

In 2012, 124.5 million people, or 24.8% of the population, in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared with 24.3% in 2011 and 23.7% in 2008, according to Eurostat data, released on 5 December 2013. This means that they were in at least one of the following three conditions: at risk of poverty, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. The reduction of the number of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU is one of the key targets of the Europe 2020' strategy.

In 2012, the highest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Bulgaria (49%), Romania (42%), Latvia (37%) and Greece (35%), and the lowest in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic (both 15%), Finland (17%), Sweden and Luxembourg (both 18%).

Seventeen percent of the EU28 population in 2012 were at risk of poverty after social transfers, meaning that their disposable income was below their national at risk of poverty threshold. The highest rates were observed in Greece and...

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