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Elderly At High Risk of Poverty - Survey

The elderly in Cyprus are the second-highest group in Europe at risk of poverty relative to its population size, according to Eurostat's survey for 2008.

Forty-nine percent of Cyprus' elderly cannot afford to adequately heat their homes, to have meals with fish and chicken every second day, or go on holiday. The only country in Europe with a higher-at-risk elderly group is Latvia, at fifty-one percent.

However, it is not just the elderly that are at risk of poverty on the island. Sixteen percent of the total population lives below the poverty threshold of 11,300 euros in income, with forty-six percent unable to afford a one-week holiday away from home, twenty-nine percent unable to adequately heat their homes and five percent unable to afford meals with fish or meat. Only one percent of the at-risk group cannot afford a car, however.

In the wider context of Europe, seventeen percent of the population are at risk of poverty. The highest at-risk-of-poverty rates in 2008 were found in Latvia (26%), Romania (23%), Bulgaria (21%), Greece, Spain and Lithuania (all 20%), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (9%), the Netherlands and Slovakia (both 11%), Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden (all 12%).

Eurostat released the survey to coordinate with the opening conference of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, organised by the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the EU, and which takes place in Madrid on 21 January 2010.

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