Pensioner Poverty

What percentage of elderly people are living in poverty?


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Map of pensioner poverty in Europe.

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In most European countries, its quite common for people to put part of their salary aside for their pension once they retire. Either by doing it themselves or the employer does it. On top of that some governments also pay their citizens a small pension. In other countries the children take care of their parents once they retire.

Despite all this, there are still people aged 66 or over that can’t make ends meet. This map shows what percentage of people aged 66 and over live in relative poverty income. The OECD treats poverty as a “relative” concept. The yardstick for poverty depends on the median household income in a particular country at a particular point in time. Here, the poverty threshold is set at 50% of median, equivalised household disposable income.

The Baltic countries stand out straight away on this map. All three of them have a pensioner poverty rate of over 25%. In Estonia it’s even as high as 35.7%.

The lowest rates can be found in Iceland (2.8%), Denmark (3%) and the Netherlands (3.1%). Overall, it’s below 10% in most of Europe.

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