Eurostat: 30% of Bulgarians live at risk of poverty and cannot cover their payments on time

Bulgaria continues to be among the countries with the largest share of people at risk of social isolation and poverty, according to Eurostat data for 2023. A total of 30% of Bulgarians live in deprivation – only 2 percentage points below the share in Romania. 

The statistics examine a total of 13 indicators that assess whether a household is socially and materially excluded. If he covers at least 7 of them, he is considered to be living in financial distress. Among the criteria are inability to meet unexpected expenses, difficulty paying bills, mortgage or rent, timely payment of loans.

The EU average is 21.4%, and the risk of poverty is greater for women, the young people, those with low education and the unemployed. However, the problems also affect part of the workers, including part-time workers. According to the data, over a fifth of families with young children are at risk. About 25% of children also fall among those with potential financial and social problems. EU figures show an increase in one-person households, lone parents and a decline in couples with children.

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Housing and utility bills have risen as a share of disposable income. If at the beginning of 2022 this accounted for a little over 15% of all expenses, a year later this share rises to over 17%.

Eurostat’s analysis shows that between 2021 and 2022, the share of households that can easily meet the ends slightly decreases – from 27.3% to 24.1%. On the other hand, however, the share of those who have difficulties covering bills and usual expenses also slightly decreased – by 0.2 percentage points, to 6.8%. In Bulgaria, over 80% of people have some difficulty making ends meet, compared to nearly 90% in Greece.

It’s interesting that in the euro area the average percentage of people at risk of poverty is slightly higher than that of the entire EU – 21.6%, according to Eurostat data. Euro area members such as Greece, Spain, and Italy fall among the countries with a high share. At the same time, the levels are low in some countries outside the monetary union, such as the Czech Republic and Poland.

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