The Berlin Spectator
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Many Europeans Too Poor to Heat their Homes

A total of 8 percent of the population in the European Union can not afford to heat their homes sufficiently. Eurostat conducted a survey with this outcome. The latter reflects the economic situation in the E.U., in the sense that it highlights extreme contrasts. There is poverty in the European Union, far more than there should be.

The data released were collected in 2017, and they contain both good and bad news. One positive message is that the share of E.U. citizens unable to afford to heat their homes sufficiently is decreasing. In 2012, this issue applied to 11 percent of the population, in 2017 it was down to 8 percent.

Another piece of good news is the fact that in many countries, a very low percentage of residents is in this difficult situation. The social systems in those countries are preventing that kind of extreme poverty. In countries like Luxembourg. Finland, the Netherlands and Austria, the share is at around 2 percent.

On the other hand, there are numerous countries in which the percentage of people who can not afford to heat their places properly is extremely high. Those are Portugal (20.4%), Cyprus (22.9%), Greece (25.7%) and Lithuania (28.9%). They are pulling down the E.U. average.

Like in most statistics of this kind, Bulgaria, the poorest country in the European Union, is last. The extreme poverty among pensioners, minorities and other citizens, especially outside the big cities, is causing a truly bad situation: 36.5 percent of all Bulgarians, far more than one third, can not afford to heat their homes sufficiently.

The survey was part of a much larger study on income, social inclusion and living conditions in the European Union, the outcome of which can be found here.

Eurostat is part of the European Commission. The authority provides statistical information to E.U. institutions.

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