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Living Conditions Survey (ULF/SILC):

Percentage of people in work and below the poverty threshold remains unchanged

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2018-02-16 9.30

Seven percent of Swedes who work have an income below the EU’s at-risk-of-poverty threshold. The average in the European Union is 10 percent. In Sweden, it is more common that young people, single parents with children and foreign born persons have a low income despite being in work.

In Sweden, 7 percent of those in work live in a household with an income below the EU’s poverty threshold. This is lower than the EU average, where 10 percent of those who work have a low disposable income. The percentage varies in the different EU countries; Finland, at three percent, has the lowest percentage, and Romania, at 19 percent, has the highest percentage in the EU. Among unemployed Swedes of the same age, about half of them have a disposable income below the poverty threshold. According to the EU’s definition, a person is at risk of poverty if they live in a household in which the disposable income per consumption unit is below 60 percent of the median value in the country.

In the period 2008–2016, the proportion of Sweden’s population with a low disposable income has increased from just over 13 percent to just over 16 percent. This can be compared with just over 17 percent in the EU as a whole. Among Swedes who work, the proportion of those who live in a household with an income below the EU poverty threshold has remained relatively constant in the period 2008–2016.

Percentage of those who work whose disposable income is lower than 60 percent of the median income in each country

The EU, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, 2016 compared with 2008. Percent

Chart
Source: Eurostat, SILC

* Information regarding Iceland refer to 2015, since information regarding 2016 was not available at the time of publication. ** 2008 data not available for Croatia.

In this context, the disposable income is mainly affected by how much or how little the adults in the household work, as well as the composition of the household, that is, the number of members in the household, including the number of children, and the salary level. Among those who work, an income below the EU’s poverty threshold is more common among young people, single parents with children and foreign born persons.

Barely four percent of cohabiting Swedes in households without children have an income below the EU’s poverty threshold compared with 16 percent among single parents with children. Corresponding percentages at EU level are six percent among cohabiting adults without children and 22 percent among single parents with children.

Percentage of those who work whose disposable income is lower than 60 percent of the median income by type of household

Sweden compared with the EU. 2016

Chart

Source: Eurostat, SILC

New calibrated weights in the Swedish SILC

Statistics Sweden has developed new calibrated weights in the Swedish SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions). The new calibrated weights have contributed to a decreased non-response bias in a number of important indicators, such as the Gini coefficient and the percentage of individuals with a low income. In this context, Statistics Sweden is publishing revised series for SILC-based indicators in the Statistical Database regarding 2008–2016.

Definitions and explanations

Risk of poverty among those who work: The EU’s term for this indicator is ‘in-work-poverty’, and ‘working poor’ is also used as a description. Refers to the proportion of those who are 18 years and older who work and whose disposable income after taxes is lower than the EU’s poverty threshold.

In work: means the person must have been in work at least seven months during the calendar year (2015) prior to the interview year (2016).

Disposable income: The disposable income consists of the sum of the all the household incomes and transfer payments (such as child benefits, housing allowance and social security) minus final taxes. To make comparisons of disposable income and economic purchasing power between different types of households, a weighting system is used where the consumption is related to the composition of the household. This is based on the assumption that a household consisting of several household members has economies of scale, as household costs can be distributed among several individuals. The disposable income is divided by the consumption weight, or consumption units, that applies to the household.

At risk of poverty or low income: According to the EU’s definition, persons at risk of poverty are those living in a household with a disposable income per consumption unit after taxes below 60 percent of the median value of all those at risk of poverty. In Sweden in 2016, the median income among single persons was SEK 172 000, and the corresponding media income among cohabiting parents with two children was SEK 257 000.

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2018-03-02 at 09:30.

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

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