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How much do social transfers reduce poverty?

Nov 20, 2018 | News

(20 November 2018) – To mark the first anniversary of the European Pillar of Social Rights, Eurostat looks at one of the key indicators for social protection and inclusion – the extent to which social transfers, such as state unemployment and housing benefits, reduce the number of people at risk of poverty.

© Clément Laberge

It is estimated that in 2017 social transfers resulted in a reduction of almost one third (32.4%) in the number of people classified as “at risk of poverty” within the European Union. Apart from 2013, this figure declined in each year since 2010, when it was 36.8%.

The extent to which social transfers reduce the number of people at risk of poverty varies across EU Member States. In 2017 there were two Member States where the number of people at risk of poverty was more than halved as a result of social transfers: Finland (a 57% reduction) and Denmark (51%).

In nine Member States the reduction was below 25%, and of these the smallest reductions were in Greece (16%) and Romania (17%).

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