Vast majority of Bulgarians unable to cover living costs

To cover the cost of living for a family of four, including two adults, they each need to be earning a net monthly income of €650. [Shutterstock/Belish]

Given that monthly living costs for a household with two adults and two children has now reached €1,300 in Bulgaria, 65% of Bulgarians are currently unable or just about able to cover their living costs, according to an annual report published by Bulgaria’s confederation of independent trade unions.

According to the report, 22% of Bulgarian households (1.6 million people) earn up to €185 per household member on a monthly basis, which is far lower than what is needed to lead a normal life and below the absolute poverty line in the poorest EU country. Another 43% of households (3.1 million people) earn incomes that are between the poverty line and the required cost of living. Only a remaining 35% have an income above €650 per adult household member.

Meanwhile, the average hourly wage in Bulgaria is €2.40, compared to €13.20 across the EU.

A drastic decrease in the average wage has been observed in economic sectors that have sustained direct damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, expert Violeta Ivanova has said. In the travel industry, the average wage has dropped by 29.4% and the number of employees has declined by 40.3%. The average wage in Bulgaria’s air transport sector has seen a 28% drop and a 19% decrease in employees. (Krassen Nikolov |

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