22% of Bulgarians Lived Below Poverty Line in 2015

22% of Bulgarians Lived Below Poverty Line in 2015

22% of Bulgarians Lived Below Poverty Line in 2015

Sofia, September 16 (BTA) - The average monthly poverty line in Bulgaria was 325.83 leva per person in 2015, the National Statistical Institute reported Friday. The number of people living below this line was 1,585.8 which represents 22 per cent of this country's population.

Compared to the previous year, the poverty line has increased by 0.6 per cent, while the share of poor persons has gone up by 0.2 percentage points.

The social protection system contributes significantly to curbing poverty. According to data for 2015, if the income from pensions is included into a household's total income and the other social transfers (welfare benefits) are excluded, then the poverty level would increase from 22.0 per cent to 28.4 per cent. Respectively, if pensions and the other social transfers are excluded all together, then the poverty line would reach 42.9 per cent.

The main factor increasing the risk for most people to fall into poverty is their economic activity and involvement in the labour market. The relative share of poor is the highest among the unemployed (53.3 per cent in 2015), with the poverty risk for unemployed males being 5.1 percentage points higher than for unemployed females.

The share of poor employed people has decreased by 1.5 percentage points in 2015, down to 7.7 per cent. Part-time employees are four times as likely to fall into poverty than full-time employees. Meanwhile, the risk of poverty among working women is 1.1 percentage points less than for working men.

The level of education has a significant influence over the risk of poverty among the employed. The largest share of working poor have primary education or none - 57.9 per cent. The level of education is correlated to the share of working poor - twice less among people with primary education and over eight times less for those with secondary education. The share of working poor with university-level education is 2.1 per cent.

Poverty estimates by household type show that poverty is most concentrated among the elderly single-person households, single parents with children and households with three children or more.

The highest share of poor is among the Roma ethnic group - 67.2 per cent, compared to 15.2 per cent among Bulgarians.

In 2015 25.4 per cent of children aged 0 - 17 in Bulgaria were at risk of poverty, which is 6.3 percentage points less than in 2014. The social transfers decrease children's poverty rate by 15.0 percentage points.

Source: Sofia