According to Statistics Estonia, in 2013, 22.1 percent of the Estonian population lived in relative poverty and 8 percent in absolute poverty.
However, it is of concern, that if the state benefits and pensions are not included in income, the at-risk-of-poverty rate is 40.7 percent and the absolute poverty rate an overwhelming 32.6 percent.
In 2013, a person was considered to be in risk of poverty if monthly disposable income per household member was below 358 euros and in absolute poverty if it was below 205 euros.
The difference between the income of the poorest and richest fifth of the population was 6.6-fold.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate is highest in the case of elderly people. In 2013, 32 percent of persons aged 65 and over lived in relative poverty. The absolute poverty rate is highest in the case of children and young people (aged 0–24) and in the case of pre-retirement age people (aged 50–64) - 10 percent in both age groups.
The analysis of the results also shows that the level of education significantly affects the risk of falling into poverty. Among persons with basic or lower education, every third was in the poorest and only every twelfth in the richest 20 percent of the population. At the same time, one-third of people with higher education belonged to the richest fifth.
The incomes of Estonians were higher than those of non-Estonians and the risk of poverty was lower for Estonians. In 2013, the at-risk-of-poverty rate of Estonians was nine percentage points lower than that of non-Estonians and the absolute poverty rate four percentage points lower. Of Estonians, 19.5 percent lived in relative poverty and 6.8 percent in absolute poverty, the same indicators for non-Estonians were 28.6 percent and 11 percent.
Editor: M. Oll, S. Tambur