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Young Europeans at increased risk of falling into poverty trap

Two women wait to receive aid in Greece.
Two women wait to receive aid in Greece. Copyright Petros Giannakouris/AP
Copyright Petros Giannakouris/AP
By Sudesh Baniya
Published on
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Young people in Europe are at a greater risk of falling into poverty compared to the general population, a study shows.

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Young people in Europe are at greater risk of falling into poverty than the overall population, according to Eurostat. 

Their latest figures show that 20% of young people aged 15-29 were at risk of poverty in 2021, while the at-risk-of-poverty rate for the total population of the EU stood at 17%. 

The at-risk-of-poverty metric compares those on low incomes to other residents of the same country.

The indicator "doesn't necessarily imply a low standard of living, and measures the share of people that have disposable income below the poverty threshold," Eurostat explains.

Data over the years show higher at-risk-of-poverty rates for younger people compared to the population as a whole. However, the difference has begun to shrink, after peaking in 2016.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate was higher for younger people compared to the total population in 19 EU countries in 2021. 

Denmark had the biggest gap, with 25.6% of young people at risk compared to 12.3% of the general population. Sweden trailed Denmark with a difference of almost nine percentage points. 

Similarly, nine European countries had a reverse trend -- young people were less at risk of getting poorer. 

Latvia, Malta, Estonia, and Croatia had the most noticeable differences, while the Czech Republic had the lowest at-risk-of-poverty among the EU countries.

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