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Over-indebtedness of European households in 2008


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Population and social conditions
Social questions - town planning and housing
Target audience: Specialised/Technical



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Language English
Population and social conditions Authors: Gara ROJAS GONZALEZ, Fabienne MONTAIGNE
S t a t i s t i c s i n f o c u s 61/2010
Over-indebtedness of European households in 2008 Highest share of population in a ‘critical’ situation in the United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus, Austria and GreeceIn 2008 the proportion of individuals in the total When asked about expectations regarding the population that were living in households in a financial situation for the following 12 months, 1 critical situation (owing an amount larger than 14% of EU residents were in households that the household monthly disposable income) was thought their situation would improve, against above 5% in five Member States: the United 25% who predicted their financial situation would Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus, Austria and Greece. deteriorate. At EU-27 level, around nine people in 10 lived in All figures are based on data from EU-SILC households with at least one bank account and (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions). slightly under one out of two lived in a household Figure 1 below shows that in 2008, people in with credit or store card(s). households assessed as being at risk of poverty When comparing the actual financial situation toaccording to the concept of relative poverty adopted that of 12 months ago, fewer than one EU residentin the EU were more often exposed to a critical in five was part of a household that hadsituation (i.e. owing an amount larger than their experienced a major drop in the householdhousehold monthly disposable income) than the rest income.of the population. The only exception to this was Germany. Although the share of people living in It should be noted that this survey took place in ‘critical households’ was above 5% in only five 2008, at a time when the financial and economic Member States for the population as a whole, for the crisis had not yet begun in some countries (see population at risk of poverty the 5% mark was methodological notes/fieldwork period). exceeded in 16 Member States. 1 The amount of the mortgage itself is not taken into account, only the arrears related to the payment of the mortgage are included (See methodological notes) Figure 1: Individuals in a ‘critical’ situation with respect to arrears and outstanding amounts, 2008 % of individuals in households with an owed amount larger than the household monthly disposable income, by country15
Total Poor Source: Eurostat (see methodological notes/data source) NB: ‘Poor’ refers to the people assessed to be at risk of poverty following the concept of relative poverty adopted in the EU (see methodological notes/risk of poverty)