According to Statistics Estonia, 22.6% of the Estonian population lived at risk of poverty in 2017, a 1.6% larger share than in the year before, mainly due to the fact that the lowest incomes showed slower growth.
The income of those Estonian residents that live just above the breadline grew at a slower rate in 2017 than previously, Statistics Estonia reported on Tuesday.
In 2017, a person was considered to be at risk of poverty if their equivalised monthly disposable income was smaller than €523 (€469 in 2016), and in absolute poverty if their equivalised monthly disposable income was smaller than €207 (€200 in 2016).
In 2017, 3.4% of the Estonian population or 44,000 people lived in absolute poverty, which is an increase by 0.2 percentage points compared to 2016.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate anchored at a fixed moment in time (the share of people with an equivalised yearly disposable income lower than the at-risk-of-poverty threshold three years ago adjusted for inflation) has decreased from 12.8% to 12.2% over the year.
Social transfers in the form of state benefits and pensions helped prevent people from slipping into poverty. Without those benefits, 38.5% of the population would have been at risk of poverty (39.2% a year before) and 22.8% in absolute poverty (24.6% a year before) in 2017.
Compared to 2016, the at-risk-of-poverty rate decreased both among children and among young people, but increased among older people. In 2017, 47.5% of people aged 65 and older lived at risk of poverty (41.2% in 2016). Among children under 18, the at-risk-of-poverty rate was 15.9% or 0.6 percentage points lower than in the previous year. The absolute poverty rate of children fell as well from 3.5% in 2016 to 3.2% in 2017.
Editor: Dario Cavegn