Social exclusion and poverty

A person might experience social exclusion if he or she lives at risk of poverty, or below the subsistence minimum, is severely materially deprived or lives in a household where the working-age members have very low work intensity. A low income might contribute to social exclusion: a person cannot afford dwelling essentials or durables, such as to pay rent or utilities, eat nutritious food, take a holiday away from home or buy a car, washing machine or phone.

To measure social exclusion and to identify the socioeconomic characteristics of people living in social exclusion, Statistics Estonia publishes data for the following indicators:

  • at-risk-of-poverty and absolute poverty rates;
  • deprivation;
  • participation in the labour market and work intensity of household;
  • households with payment difficulties.

All European Union member states use Laeken indicators to measure social exclusion. The indicators allow comparing the developments in Estonia with those in other countries.

221.4 eurot
Deprivation rate 7.6 %
Gini coefficient 0.26
Persistent at-risk-of-poverty rate 16.7 %
Long-term unemployment rate 0.9 %
Very long-term unemployment rate 0.4 %
Share of persons with bad or very bad health in the lowest income quintile 27.2 %

284,300 Estonian residents at risk of poverty in 2018

According to Statistics Estonia, 21.7% of the Estonian population lived at risk of poverty and 2.4% lived in absolute poverty in 2018. Compared to 2017, the share of people at risk of poverty decreased by 0.2 percentage points and the share of those living in absolute poverty by 0.3 percentage points.
Read more 18. December 2019

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