by Aggelos Skordas
Almost four in 10 children in Greece are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, Eurostat has found based on 2016 data. In a report published on Monday to mark Universal Children’s Day, European Union’s statistical agency data puts Greece at the top of Eurozone’s child poverty scale and at the third highest position in the European Union behind Romania and Bulgaria.
Specifically, 37.5 percent of children aged up to 17 years old in Greece are living in households with at least one of the following three conditions: At-risk-of-poverty after social transfers, severely materially deprived or with very low work intensity.
At the same time the crisis-stricken country holds another sad lead, as in the period between 2010 and 2016 it recorded the highest rise in the number of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion, increased by 8.8 percent from 28.7 percent to 37.5 percent followed by Cyprus with an 8.8 percent increase, Sweden (5.4 percent) and Italy (1.1 percent). The proportion of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the European Union member states has slightly decreased over these six years, from 27.5 percent in 2010 to 26.4 percent in 2016.
In 2016, almost half of the children were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Romania (49.2 percent) and Bulgaria (45.6 percent). On the opposite, the lowest shares of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Denmark (13.8 percent), Finland (14.7 percent) and Slovenia (14.9 percent), while the European Union average stands at 26.4 percent, decreased by 1.1 percent between 2010 and 2016.