Romania and Greece recorded the lowest drop in the number of people at risk of poverty due to social transfers (such as unemployment benefits paid by the state or housing aid), 17 and 16 per cent respectively, according to data released on Tuesday by the European Statistical office (Eurostat).The extent to which social transfers reduce the number of people at risk of poverty varies across EU Member States. In 2017 there were two Member States where the number of people at risk of poverty was more than halved as a result of social transfers: Finland (a 57 % reduction) and Denmark (51 %). In nine Member States the reduction was below 25 %, while it is estimated that in 2017 social transfers resulted in a reduction of almost one third (32.4 %) in the number of people classified as "at risk of poverty" within the European Union (EU).
Apart from 2013, this figure declined each year since 2010, when it was 36.8 %. Pensions are not considered as social transfers in these calculations, says Eurostat.
According to a report published last month by Eurostat, more than a third (35. %) of Romania's population was at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2017, the situation being worse back then in Bulgaria, where 38.9% of the population was at risk of poverty.