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.

303.4 eurot
Deprivation rate 7.0 %
Gini coefficient 0.32
Persistent at-risk-of-poverty rate 14.4 %
Long-term unemployment rate 1.7 %
Very long-term unemployment rate 0.4 %
Share of persons with bad or very bad health in the lowest income quintile 27.3 %

The number of people who are at risk of poverty decreased

According to Statistics Estonia, 2.3% of the population of Estonia lived in absolute poverty and 20.7% lived at risk of poverty in 2019. Compared to 2018, the share of people at risk of poverty fell by one percentage point. The share of people living in absolute poverty rose by 0.1 percentage point.
Read more 18. December 2020