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Map of the week: the poverty of young Europeans

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SocietyMapping Out Europe

Since the days of the Roman emperor Vespasian, is often said that money does not smell. Poverty itself is often colourless, odourless, and extremely elusive when it comes to measurement.

However, an estimated 20% of European young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are "at risk of poverty." It's a serious enough problem to make the comparison.

Poverty is a difficult concept to grasp. It has no unanimous scientific approach, never mind a single clear definition. Yet it shows. Everywhere, and perhaps now more than ever, the image of a young man or woman holding a cardboard apsmsign on the streets might jump out at you during a trip on the continent.

Yet to fulfil the need to measure poverty, the statistics organisations such as the France's INSEE and Eurostat have agreed on a common approach. The risk of poverty rate calculated is proportional to the number of people living below the official poverty line. However, this value is only an indicator.

Nevertheless, it is estimated at 20% of young people across Europe between the ages of 15 and 29  are "at risk of poverty." As this map shows, youth poverty obeys no common rule: it is diffuse and no European country can boast of being free of this condition, not even the Scandinavians. 10% of young Europeans can't afford a meal with meat or fish, while 1 in 6 can't afford to buy a computer or car.

Stats from Eurostat 


This article is part of our Map of the Week series: charting the stats that matter to Europe, one map at a time.

Story by

Matthieu Amaré

Je viens du sud de la France. J'aime les traditions. Mon père a été traumatisé par Séville 82 contre les Allemands au foot. J'ai du mal avec les Anglais au rugby. J'adore le jambon-beurre. Je n'ai jamais fait Erasmus. Autant vous dire que c'était mal barré. Et pourtant, je suis rédacteur en chef du meilleur magazine sur l'Europe du monde.

Translated from Carte de la semaine : la pauvreté des jeunes européens