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Sunday 19.02.2017 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna

More than one-fifth of Latvia’s population subjected to poverty risk

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU424 thousand persons or 21.8 % of Latvia population were at risk of poverty in 2015 – 0.7 percentage points less than in 2014.

The share of persons suffering from severe material deprivation has declined sharply – from 16.4 % in 2015 to 12.8 % in 2016.

In 2015, as population disposable income increased, the at-risk-of-poverty threshold rose as well – up to EUR 318 monthly (EUR 291 monthly in 2014). Out of the total Latvia population, 21.8 % of the persons with monthly equivalised disposable income below EUR 318 were at risk of poverty in 2015, according to data of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Compared to 2014, the share of persons at risk of poverty declined by 0.7 percentage points. The drop was facilitated by 12.5 % rise in minimum wage (up to 360 euros monthly), higher employment, including, among young people and persons at pre-retirement and retirement age, as well as increase of benefits related to family and children by approximately one third, whereas the decline was hindered by comparatively slow growth of old-age pension size (on average by 2.7 % in 2015).

In 2015, the share of people aged 65 and over subjected to risk of poverty increased by 3.5 percentage points – from 34.6 % in 2014 to 38.1 % in 2015. If a person aged over 65 is living alone, the risk of poverty increases even more – from 67.4 % in 2014 to 74 % in 2015.

Over the year, the share of children at risk of poverty diminished from 23.2 % in 2014 to 18.6 % in 2015 or by 4.6 percentage points. The risk of poverty in single parent families is still high, reaching 34.4 % in 2015. In families consisting of two adults and two or more children, the poverty risk fell notably – by 9 percentage points or from 34.5 % in 2014 to 25.5 % in 2015. Significantly lower poverty risk may be observed in households consisting of two adults and one child or those consisting of two adults and two children – 11.2 % and 14.7 %, respectively.

Every year, unemployed persons are the population group subjected to high poverty risk (above 50 %, except for 2009 with 47.9 %); in 2015 the indicator reached 55.7 %. The poverty risk among retired people has grown sharply – up to 41.9 % in 2015, compared to 36.7 % in 2014. In 2015, poverty risk of employed persons reduced to 8.3 % (9.2 % in 2014).


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