Four in 10 children aged up to 17 years old in Greece are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, Europe’s statistical agency has found, putting the crisis-hit country at the top of the eurozone child poverty scale.
In its report published on Monday and using 2016 data, Eurostat reported that with 37.5 percent of children facing the threat of poverty, Greece has the highest rate of at-risk children in the eurozone and the third highest in the European Union, behind Romania (49.2 percent) and Bulgaria (45.6 percent).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest shares of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Denmark (13.8 percent), Finland (14.7 pct) and Slovenia (14.9 pct), ahead of the Czech Republic (17.4 pct) and the Netherlands (17.6 pct).
Greece also saw the highest rise in the number of at-risk children in the period between 2010 and 2016, growing 8.8 percent from a pre-crisis level of 28.7 percent. Cyprus also saw a spike of 7.8 percent, followed by Sweden (5.4 percent) and Italy (1.1 percent).
In total in 2016, 24.8 million children in the EU, or 26.4 percent of the population aged up to 17 years old, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that the children were living in households with at least one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived or with very low work intensity.
The proportion of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU has slightly decreased over the years, from 27.5 percent in 2010 to 26.4 percent in 2016, Eurostat reported.