Czech Republic has Lowest Poverty Rates in EU

Czech Republic has Lowest Poverty Rates in EU

According to a new ONS report, the country has the lowest poverty levels across Europe

Czech Republic has Lowest Poverty Rates in EU

Czech Republic has Lowest Poverty Rates in EU

According to a new ONS report, the country has the lowest poverty levels across Europe


Published 20.05.2015
Last updated 20.05.2015

The UK’s Office for National Statistics has released a report today on poverty and persistent poverty across all EU countries, coming to the conclusion that while the UK features some of the higher poverty rates in Europe, they are also among the lowest levels of persistent poverty – meaning most people living in poverty in the UK tend not to stay there long-term. 

But the report also showcases some revealing statistics for the Czech Republic, which features the lowest rates of both poverty and persistent poverty across all EU countries. 

In both categories, which measured poverty statistics from 2013, the Czech Republic was followed by Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Slovakia. Greece and Romania had the highest poverty levels among EU countries. 

Poverty rates across the EU as percentage of the total population (2013 figures):

Source: Office for National Statistics
Source: Office for National Statistics

Poverty here is defined in terms of income relative to a nation’s average income. A person is considered to be in poverty if they live in a household with a disposable income less than 60% of the national median. 

Persistent poverty is defined as living in poverty for both the current year and two of the three years prior.

Looking back at the years 2010-2013, the Czech Republic featured the lowest levels of number of years in poverty, followed by Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, and France. 

Years in poverty across the EU as a percentage of total population (2010-13):

Source: Office for National Statistics
Source: Office for National Statistics

The figures are somewhat surprising coming after an OECD study that found that the Czech Republic had the toughest minimum wage – among OECD countries, the Czech Republic has the lowest minimum wage based on the median national wage. 

That suggests, perhaps, that most Czech residents are earning above the minimum wage levels set by the government.

Or that the median national income is low enough for most to avoid the poverty classification.

Click here to read the full study by the ONS.

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Comment from: jezovec Published: 03:20:50 01.06.2015
@Markus Schultz: in many others, they will be considered standard or quite good. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage Most of the "incredibly low" perception is caused by this country is neighbouring much richer countries like Germany or Austria.
Markus Schultz(Guest) Published: 04:49:15 29.05.2015
That's because the average Czech income is incredibly low - I would say that's poverty already. In many EU countries that would be below the minimum wage.
Comment from: John.Barnse Published: 07:42:33 28.05.2015
@Ex.pat I agree, I have a similar perception. One leftover of the communist era is that there doesnt seem to be a set class system here, sure there are rich and poor - people who were successful in business in the 90's through fair or foul means or people with a subsidised state uni education who have gone far, then there are people who didnt study or leave the small towns for Prague. Even in the villages people seem to get by without "real" jobs, a lot of cash in hand work or the barter system. I think there is a big middle bracket of people who get not enough to be rich but also not to be poor - 18K-40K CZK bracket. Shared or state subsidised accomodation softening the blow for people on the low end.
Ex.pat(Guest) Published: 09:38:15 27.05.2015
Makes sense to me. I get the impression that the Czech Rep is quite an equal society and it is more a shared poverty, where a lot of people do not make a lot of money, but only very few make almost no money (less than 60%)
S.P.Q.R.(Guest) Published: 10:59:50 23.05.2015
The ONS office did report friday night, during pub-crawl.
Comment from: Mike.Green Published: 09:22:06 21.05.2015
Lies, damned lies and statistics?
Comment from: Kyle.Nunyabiznazz Published: 12:08:07 21.05.2015
I would take a close look at how Czech Republic defines poverty. You'll find out how they're able to report the lowest rates in the EU...
yes(Guest) Published: 06:48:22 20.05.2015
It's not really that surprising, poverty defined here as
Mary(Guest) Published: 05:38:57 20.05.2015
It is hard to believe this study with having three jobs yet still barely managing. I quite do not understand this, even in my surrounding are people hardly making it out, in long terms not month or two but years . I wonder exactly how was this made and how many people from which occupation were considered in it since the minimal wage in this country is abomination and an absolute disrespect and ignorance of government toward it's country people.