Data shows percentage of the population living on or below the poverty line has increased from by 25% since 2010. Some 3,795,100 people were living on less than 60% of the national median income in 2013
A worker stands at a shipyard in Perama, a poor suburb near Athens (Photo: Reuters) Greece ranks first in the eurozone and fourth among the 28 members of the European Union for the percentage of its citizens living on or below the poverty line, according to a new report.
The study, conducted by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), found that just over a third (34.6%) of Greeks – some 3,795,100 individuals – were living on less than 60% of the national median income in 2013.
This percentage has risen steadily since 2010, when the country began implementing austerity measures, increasing from 27.6% in 2010 to 27.7% the following year, 31% in 2012 and 34.6% in 2013.
The publication of the study, which is based on Hellenic Statistical Authority (Elstat) data, coincided with the 40th anniversary of the effective ending of military rule in 1974.
Elstat’s data showed that the risk of poverty has increased significantly in Greece since 2010 and the percentage of relative poverty increased by 17.3%, or 3.4 percentage points. In the same period, the poverty gap increased by 24.1% and the risk of poverty and social exclusion by seven points, or 25.4%.
In the EU, Bulgaria (49.3%), Romania (41.7%) and Latvia (36.2%) have the highest percentages of people living in relative poverty.
Greece’s poverty rate also outstripped other EU countries that have entered austerity programmes. In Ireland, the rate is 30% in Ireland, in Spain 28.2%, in Cyprus 27.1% and Portugal 25.3%.
The five EU member-states with the lowest rates of poverty were the Netherlands (15%), Czech Republic (15.4%), Sweden (15.6%), Finland (17.2%) and Luxembourg (18.4%).
The average poverty rate in the EU was 24.8% and in the eurozone countries 23.3%.