A quarter of all children under the age of 18 are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, both in Malta and the European Union. According to data provided by Eurostat, in 2016 the European Union (EU) was home to 24.8 million children who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This amounts to 26.4% of the population aged 0 to 17, and represents a slight drop of 1.1 percentage points since 2010.
The share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Malta is 24%, slightly lower than the European Union average. Compared to a share of 26.7% in 2010, the 2016 result denotes a decrease of 2.7 percentage points.
What does risk of poverty or social exclusion mean?
In order to be considered at risk of poverty or social exclusion the children had to be living in households with at least one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived or with very low work intensity.
The worst and the best
In 2016, the share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion was highest in Romania (49.2%), Bulgaria (45.6%), Greece (37.5%), Hungary (33.6%), Spain (32.9%), Italy (32.8%) and Lithuania (32.4%). On the other hand the lowest share was registered in Denmark (13.8%), Finland (14.7%), Slovenia (14.9%), the Czech Republic (17.4%) and the Netherlands (17.6%).
Largest decrease in share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Latvia, highest increase in Greece
In a large majority of the EU Member States, the proportion of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion decreased from 2010 to 2016. The largest fall was recorded in Latvia (from 42.2% in 2010 to 24.7% in 2016, or -17.5 percentage points – pp). Notable decreases were also registered in Poland (-6.6 pp), Ireland (-5.3 pp between 2010 and 2015), Hungary (-5.1 pp), Bulgaria (-4.2 pp) and Lithuania (-3.4 pp).
In contrast, the largest increases among EU Member States were observed in Greece (from 28.7% to 37.5%, or +8.8 pp) and Cyprus (+7.8 pp), followed by Sweden (+5.4 pp) and Italy (+1.1 pp).
At EU level, the percentage of the total population aged below 18 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion decreased by 1.1 pp, from 27.5% in 2010 to 26.4% in 2016.