Poverty in Europe: the Current Situation

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    Poverty in Europe: the Current Situation ​




    16.4 % of the European population is poor. According to country, age, gender or origin, the poverty rates are varying considerably.


    The situation in 2010

    16.4 % of the population, 80 million people, live below the poverty threshold in the European Union, if fixing the threshold at 60 % of national median income, on the basis of 2010 data (see box). The Czech Republic (9 % of the population), the Netherlands (10 %), Austria and Hungary (12 %) are the countries where poverty is lowest. With a rate of 13.5% the poverty rate of France is also among the lowest in Europe, just after the Nordic countries (around 13 %). The highest rates, superior to 20 %, are observed in eastern Europe, in Romania and Bulgaria. Spain and Greece have similar poverty levels of about 20 %: these two countries are seriously affected by the economic crisis and have seen their unemployment rate rise considerably, especially among the youngest.
    Caution must however be paid, since the poverty thresholds could differ from country to country (see below).

    Considering the thresholds at 40 and 50 % of national median income, the hierarchies and disparities between the countries are somewhat overthrown. At the 40 % -threshold, the poverty rate of Denmark corresponds to the one of the United Kingdom (5.5 %): thus, in proportion, a similar “great poverty” exists in both countries. This means that the disparity between the two countries is most apparent, not at the bottom of the poverty scale, but when considering poor families in general. Spain shows the highest rates in Europe (9.8 %), while the French rate is identical to the rate in Sweden (3.7 %), one of the lowest on the continent. At the threshold of 50 %, Spain is still one of the countries, together with Bulgaria and Romania, where poverty remains highest (around 15 %). The poverty rate of the United Kingdom (9.8 %) comes up to the European average (10 %), while the French rate (7.4 %) is a little above the Swedish one (7 %). The lowest level can be observed in the Netherlands (4.9 %), before the Czech Republic (5.2 %) and Finland (5.5 %).




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    Read more:
    Inequality watch

    Thought a comparison of countries might be good.
     
  2. Wehrwolfen
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    Modern Poverty Includes A.C. and an Xbox​



    By Ken McIntyre
    July 18, 2011

    When Americans think of poverty, we tend to picture people who can’t adequately shelter, clothe, and feed themselves or their families.

    When the Census Bureau defines “poverty,” though, it winds up painting more than 40 million Americans — one in seven — as “poor.”

    Census officials continue to grossly exaggerate the numbers of the poor, creating a false picture in the public mind of widespread material deprivation, writes Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector in a new paper.

    “Most news stories on poverty feature homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden eating in soup kitchens,” Rector says. “The actual living conditions of America’s poor are far different from these images.”

    Congress is tying itself in knots figuring out how to cut spending and bring down a $14 trillion national debt. Lawmakers might well take a much closer look at the nearly a trillion dollars spent each year on welfare even though many recipients aren’t what the typical American would recognize as poor and in need of government assistance.

    What is poverty? Americans might well be surprised to learn from other government data that the overwhelming majority of those defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau were well-housed and adequately fed even in the recession year 2009. About 4 percent of them did temporarily become homeless.

    Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:

    ● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.

    ● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.

    ● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.

    ● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.​

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    Rather than report such detailed surveys, Rector and co-author Rachel Sheffield write, the media “amplified” the Census Bureau’s annual misrepresentation of poverty over the past 40 years. News reports routinely suggest that poor Americans typically are homeless and hungry — and U.S. foes and rivals such as Iran, China, and Russia are delighted to report the same.

    “Regrettably, most discussions of poverty in the U.S. rely on sensationalism, exaggeration, and misinformation,” Rector says.


    Read More:
    Modern Poverty Includes A.C. and an Xbox - By Ken McIntyre - The Corner - National Review Online
     

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