Almost no one is poor in Sweden

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Published 16 October 2021 at 16.31

Domestic. In Sweden, 4 percent of the population lives in either social or material poverty, figures from Eurostat show. In Romania, 39 percent live under these conditions.

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The EU definition of social or material poverty contains 13 questions about what EU citizens can do. The questions are whether you can afford to:

Pay for unforeseen expenses
Take one week's holiday per year
Eat a meal with meat, chicken or fish every other day
Have adequate heating of the home < br> Have access to a car
Pay debts in time
Replace worn furniture
Replace worn clothes
Own two pairs of shoes
Meet friends/relatives for coffee/have a beer/dinner at least one once a month
Spend time regularly on a leisure activity
Every week spend a small amount of money on yourself
Have access to the Internet

A person in material and social poverty can not afford at least five of these thirteen items.

When it comes to costs related to housing so central in Sweden (mortgages, rent and other housing costs), Swedes do not have the same advantage.

Five percent of Sweden's population stated in 2020 that they have fallen behind with at least one of these payments in the past year. Sweden is thus slightly below the average, which is 8 percent. But the countries in the EU that report the lowest share are the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and the Netherlands with 3 percent each.

The highest share is reported by Greece and Bulgaria, 37 and 24 percent respectively.