More people may be classed as poor in the Netherlands but in European terms, the Dutch have the lowest risk of living in poverty and social exclusion, figures from European statistics office Eurostat show.
The figures show almost one in four people in Europe were at risk of living in poverty and isolation last year, a marginal rise on 2011.
The highest risk was in Bulgaria (49%), Romania (42%) and Latvia (38%). The Netherlands and Czech Republic had the lowest risk at 15%, followed by Finland on 17%.
Dutch figures published earlier this week showed at least 1.2 million people were living in poverty in the Netherlands last year, a rise of over 150,000 on 2011.
Research by the national statistics office CBS and the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP, shows 7.6% of the population is now living below the poverty line. Last year’s rise is the sharpest since the economic crisis began in 2008.
The SCP puts the poverty line at €1,040 a month for single people and €1,430 for a couple. A couple with two children is classed as poor if their gross income is less than €1,960 – or €24,000 per year.
Eurostat uses a complicated calculation based on 60% of the median wage in the country concerned.
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