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Poverty Rate Drops in 2009

Ljubljana, 29 October (STA) - The poverty rate in Slovenia in 2009 stood at 11.3%, a percentage point down from 2008, the Statistics Office said on Friday. The number of people finding themselves bellow poverty threshold decreased to 223,000 despite the raising of threshold to a yearly income of EUR 7,118 or a monthly income of EUR 593.

The yearly income poverty line in 2008 stood at EUR 6,535 with 241,000 (12.3%) people under the poverty threshold, Stanka Intihar of the standard of living department at the Statistics Office told the press.

Without the support of social transfers the poverty rate would rise to 22% and with people above 64 to 31.6%.

To present a clearer picture the survey also included data from the survey on living conditions, for people above and below the poverty line, Intihar said.

Data shows that household utility costs were a great financial burden for 36% of Slovenian households. There were 5% of not properly heated households while 31% would require maintenance.

Intihar also said that 38% of households are over-populated, with the rate lowest in households involving elderly people.

Nearly half of households (43%) would not be able to cover unpredicted expenses (the bar was set at EUR 495) and in one third at least one of the members would not be able to afford a one-week holiday, mostly among single-parent or single member households.

Members of 28% of all the households surveyed said they have difficulties or serious difficulties making it through the month on their income. This was the most common reply among tenants, where nearly a quarter was unable to pay the rent at least once in the past 12 months.

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