Of Slovakia’s 5 million inhabitants, 872,000 are at risk of poverty, which is more than 16 percent of the population, the country’s statistical office said.
About 12% of Slovak families, which accounts for 640,000 people, find themselves below the income poverty line. To cross the line, a single-person household would have to be earning a monthly income below €406, while a household with two adults and two children would have to be earning €853 per month.
Because of the pandemic, however, an additional 20,000 to 50,000 are also at risk of falling into poverty, with the elderly particularly feeling the brunt.
Over 260,000 Slovak pensioners have fallen into so-called severe material deprivation. While the average old-age pension is currently €499 per month, in 2021, 213,000 Slovak pensioners received the minimum pension of €334.
The coronavirus crisis has only deepened the significant economic and social disparities that previously existed between regions. The problems faced by poorer regions have only been further exacerbated due to insufficiently developed infrastructure, a weaker developing business environment, and lower education levels for part of the population.
Analysts have also drawn attention to a growing unemployment rate in regions with people most vulnerable and at risk of poverty. Only a third of people who receive social benefits and allowances are able to get out of poverty. (Lucia Yar | EURACTIV.sk)