One in five lives below the poverty line

Just over one in five Greeks (20.3 percent) lives below the poverty line, according to a survey by the National Statistics Service (NSS), based on incomes for 2006. This means that 2,190,933 people in this country were living on less than 6,120 euros a year, while the households that are on the verge of poverty numbered 838,910. The NSS data also indicate that social benefits do not go as far as they should to help to offset poverty, since they only reduce the percentage of those statistics by 3.5 points. Notably, the income of the population’s top tier is six times larger on average than the income of the those people in the lowest echelon, meaning it is in excess of 36,000 euros per annum. The NSS announced that the poverty line in 2006 for a household of two adults and two dependent family members stood at 12,852 euros per year. At the same time, the average personal income for that year reached 12,130.28 euros and the average annual disposable income per household came to 21,140.37 euros. Those considered at greater risk of falling below the poverty line are the unemployed, members of households with poor education, young people and those living in the countryside. Households under the greatest threat of poverty are those with dependent children under 16 years old with one breadwinner (51 percent), unemployed men (41 percent) and young people in the 16-24 age bracket (25 percent).