Czech Republic has lowest poverty rate in EU, study suggests
New data comparing poverty rates across the European Union puts the Czech Republic’s poverty rate at the very bottom of the statistic. Only nine percent of Czechs live at or below the poverty threshold, compared to the European average of 17 percent. But across the European Union, children are most at risk of living in poverty.
“In the European Union in general, the poverty rate is at 17 percent, so there are 17 percent of people who have an average income that is below the poverty line. And the Czech Republic performs very well in this context, with the lowest poverty rate in the European Union, a figure of nine percent.”
At the top of the statistic is Latvia, where 25 percent of the population either live in poverty or are at risk. Only six percent of Czechs cannot afford to keep their home adequately warm, in Latvia, the figure is at 29 percent.
“What we are talking about here is relative poverty, which is defined as being 60 percent of national median income. You divide the whole population into two, and you find that fifty percent of the people are above a certain income and 50 percent are below. That’s the median income. And the at-risk poverty rate is described as 60 percent of the national median income.”
The data shows that the chasm between rich and poor in the Czech Republic is much less dramatic than in other European Union member states, says Pascal Wolf.
“The low figure [of people at risk of poverty] in the Czech Republic means that there are relatively little inequalities in the distribution of income in the Czech Republic compared to other countries in Europe.”
One of the worrying aspects of the study that also applies to the Czech Republic is the overall higher rate of poverty among those aged 17 and younger. Chantal Hughes again.