Bulgaria is no longer the poorest in the EU, Romania is ahead of it

The deterioration in 2020 is due to the pandemic. PHOTO: YORDAN SIMEONOV

The average income for a year in our northern neighbor fell to 4267 euros, in our country it is 4612 euros

Bulgarians are no longer the poorest people in the European Union. Romanians are ahead of them, according to Eurostat data on the risk of poverty and social exclusion for 2020.

In our country the share of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion is 33.6%. There is a slight increase compared to the previous year, when this share was bil 33.2%.

in Romania

the people who

barely connect

both ends,

are 35.8%

of the population. In addition, in our northern neighbor this summer the average salary began to fall and according to the latest Eurostat data, the average annual income of a Romanian is 4267 euros, while in Bulgaria it is 4612 euros.

In terms of the risk of poverty, however, the trends in the two Balkan member states of the European Union in the last two years are opposite – while in Bulgaria the share of the poor is increasing, in Romania it is decreasing because in 2019 it was 36.3%.

The deterioration in Bulgaria is more due to the pandemic, because in the long run there is still a strong decline in the share of the poor. In 2015 in our country

these were

43.4% of


There is a deterioration in the whole of the European Union in 2020. 96.5 million Europeans or 21.9% of the population live at risk of social exclusion. A year earlier, this share was 21.1%. In 2015, however, almost one in four Europeans lived at this risk – 24%.

Curiously, on the other pole in terms of poverty, as opposed to that of Bulgaria and Romania, are also three former socialist countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. For example, in the Czech Republic

only 11.5% of


can be

considered poor

In large economies such as Germany, France, Italy, the share of this population is higher, in Germany, for example, it is 23%.

The difference is not only between the individual countries, but also between the regions in them. In Eastern Europe, the risk of poverty is increasing for those living in rural areas. In Western Europe, the opposite is true – in cities, the risk of social exclusion is often higher, according to Eurostat data.

Basically, the type of family in which a person lives, the same thing is observed everywhere. Single people, especially those with children, are more likely to be at risk of social exclusion. For example, 42% of people living in a single-parent household with a minor child are poor. The percentage of elderly people living alone is also high.

Employment status is also one of the main factors that determines the inclusion of Europeans in this risk group. According to data in 2020

11.8% of


are at risk

from poverty

and social exclusion, as well as 19.2% of retirees. The same applies to 66.2% of unemployed Europeans.

The comparison between Bulgaria and Romania in terms of employment and complaints of unemployment shows the same trends as for the share of the poor. In Romania, 65.6% of people of working age have a job, while in Bulgaria – 68.5%. But in Bulgaria the average grade that people give to their work is 6.4, while in Romania – 7.2 on a 10-point scale.

The same is true with regard to housing conditions. The Romanians definitely


more crowded

from the Bulgarians

– 45.1% of Romanians live in homes that do not have a separate room for each person over the age of 18, while in Bulgaria 39.5% of the population are in this situation. However, Romanians are more satisfied with their living conditions because they give them an average score of 7.4, while Bulgarians – 6 on a 10-point scale



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