On 18 January 2010, a Eurostat news release stated that 17% of the population in the EU27 was at risk of poverty in 2008. The EFTA countries mentioned in this publication had among the lowest at-risk-poverty rates for 2008. Iceland had the second lowest rate among EU27 countries at 10%, behind the Czech Republic. Norway had the third lowest at-risk-of-poverty rate at 11%, the same as the Netherlands and Slovakia.
The proportion of the Icelandic and Norwegian population who could not afford to pay for one week's annual holiday away was significantly less than for other European countries. Only 3% of Icelandic people and 6% of Norwegians could not afford one week's annual holiday in 2008. Both of these rates are far below the EU27 average of 37%.
Iceland's and Norway's rates were closer to the EU27 average for other indicators.
1% of Icelandic people could not afford to have a personal car in 2008 while this rate was 5% for Norway. The EU27 average is 9%. 2% and 3% of the Norwegians and Icelandic people respectively could not afford to have a meal with meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalent every second day, while the EU27 average was 9%.
As for the EU27 countries, the highest risk of poverty was among the elderly, with an average of 19%. The rate for Norway and Iceland was 15%.
No data for Liechtenstein and Switzerland was available.
More information: Eurostat
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