Elderly most at risk of poverty in Estonia
Text Mark Taylor Photo Pixabay
According to data released by Statistics Estonia, 22.8 per cent of Estonia’s population lived at risk of poverty and 1.4% in lived absolute poverty in 2021. Compared with 2020, the share of people living at risk of poverty rose 2.2 per cent, and the share of people living in absolute poverty fell by 0.8 per cent.
“The at-risk-of-poverty rate reflects income inequality in a country. Close to 301,100 people lived at risk of poverty in 2021, which is nearly 30,300 persons more than in 2020. Their monthly income, taking into account household composition, was less than 763 euros,” said Anet Müürsoo, Head of the Population and Social Statistics Department of Statistics Estonia.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate was the highest in years and increased mainly among the elderly, while it decreased among families with children.
“Of people aged 65 and over living alone, 82.8 per cent were at risk of poverty, up 4.7 per cent from the year before. This is largely due to the size of the average pension, which is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. We also see that almost one in three lone parents live at risk of poverty. Their incomes have not increased as fast as, for example, those of two-parent families,” explained Müürsoo.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate was highest in Ida-Virumaa (38.3 per cent), Hiiumaa (31.6 per cent), and Võrumaa (31.2 per cent). It was lowest in Harjumaa (18.1 per cent), Järvamaa (18.9 per cent), and Tartumaa (20.9 per cent).
Absolute poverty indicates the share of the population who are not able to meet their basic needs. “In 2021, nearly 18,000 people lived in absolute poverty – 10,700 fewer than the year before. The monthly income of people living in absolute poverty, taking into account household composition, was less than 234 euros,” noted Müürsoo.