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17% of EU27 population at risk of poverty

The latest statistics covering the 27 countries in the European Union show that 17% of the total population of the EU is at risk of poverty. One in five of all children (20%) are at risk of poverty and 19% of older people are in this situation. The comparable figures provided on Ireland by Eurostat are a little out of date.  They state that: 16% of the total population are at risk of poverty, 18% of children and 21% of people aged 65 and above. The latest study from the Central Statistics Office, published November 2009) shows that 14.4% of the population is at risk of poverty as are 18% of children, 12.1% of those aged 65-74 and 9.9% of those 75 and over. 

These figures illustrate the scale of the challenge faced by the EU at the start of 2010 - the European Year Against Poverty and Social Exclusion. It is crucial that the European Union adopt an objective of achieving zero poverty by 2020 and put in place the programmes and strategies required to deliver on this target. Each country, including Ireland, should be obliged to adopt the same objective and develop the strategies and programmes required to achieve this goal.  A society is measured by how it treats its weakest members. On that basis Ireland and the EU are currently failing

The latest statistics covering the 27 countries in the European Union can be downloaded in full below

The latest study from the Central Statistics Office can be downloaded below