Demographics: Every sixth older EU

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Demographics: Every sixth older EU
Demographics: Every sixth older EU

One in six older EU citizens is at increased risk of poverty

Within the 25 EU member states, more than 13 million people over the age of 64 are currently at risk of poverty, according to a study by the European Center for Social Welfare Policy and Research. With a total of around 74 million seniors within the European Union, this corresponds to around 17 percent. Women in particular are increasingly affected by poverty in old age.

There are clear differences between the previous 15 EU member states and the ten new accession countries: Research leader Asghar Zaidi determined that the risk of poverty for older people in the group of 15 was an average of 19 percent, while the risk in the newer Accession countries only ranked at just under ten percent - according to the researchers, the income situation of older people is similar to that of the working population.

The risk of poverty is highest for older people in Cyprus (52 percent), Ireland (40 percent) and Spain (30 percent). In Germany, the risk is still 15 percent - this roughly corresponds to the number of younger people living in poverty. Overall, more women are also at risk of poverty in old age in Germany: While only one tenth of men are affected in old age, the proportion for women is almost twice that.

Nevertheless, German women are still doing quite well compared to the other old EU member states: only their French, Dutch and Luxembourgish women are better provided for in old age. The author attributes the overall poorer position of older women compared to men to the poor financial situation of widows who had not previously worked. The scientist warns that the problem of poverty in old age will continue to worsen in the future: as long as pensions are reduced on the one hand, but on the other hand employees no longer save to make provisions for old age themselves, the situation in all member states will worsen.

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