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This Policy Brief provides the latest evidence on how EU countries differ in terms of poverty risks for older people (aged 65 years and over).
Results using the latest EU-SILC data for 2008 show that, on average, older people face a higher poverty risk rate than the total population: the rate for older people was 19% as opposed to rate for the total population of 17%.
The highest poverty risk rates were observed in Latvia (51%), Cyprus (49%), Estonia (39%) and Bulgaria (34%).
The lowest in Hungary (4%), Luxembourg (5%) and the Czech Republic (7%).
Three country groupings can be distinguished from these results: ten countries with lower-than-average poverty risk rates for older people (16% or less), nine countries with close-to-average poverty risk rates (18-23%) and another eight countries with higher-than-average poverty risk rates (>25%). No single explanation can be meaningfully employed to explain this differentiation across the three groupings of countries. That said, countries with low poverty risk rates for older people generally have a good social safety net in the form of a basic pension (e.g. the Netherlands) and/or they offer strong redistribution in the earnings-related contributory pension schemes in the form of minimum guaranteed pensions (e.g. Austria).