Poverty Mapping Finds Wide Variation Between Municipalities
A Statistics Estonia project to map relative poverty on a local level has found a nearly sevenfold difference between rates in various municipalities.
According to the findings, which were based on a combination of survey data and the results of the 2011 Population and Housing Census, the lowest rates of relative poverty - 6 percent - were in affluent communities bordering Tallinn such as Viimsi and Saue.
On the other end of the scale, coming in at over 40 percent, were remote areas near the border with Russia, in particular the town of Kallaste and the Alatskivi and Peipsiääre local municipalities.
Local governments with low poverty rates were the most prevalent in Harju, Lääne and Saare counties, where at least half of the local governments had an at-risk-of-poverty rate below the Estonian average of 17.6 percent.
Though the ten areas with the lowest poverty rate are all located in Harju County, the county also includes Vasalemma rural municipality, where the poverty rate (34.7 percent) is one of the highest in Estonia.
The remaining local governments with a very high poverty rate (over 30 percent) are located in the border areas of eastern and southern Estonia.
The relative poverty rate, or the at-risk-of-poverty rate, is the share of people whose disposable income, after being divided among household members, comes in at below 60 percent of the national median.