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Proportion of population in poverty in the EU, Norway and Iceland. Comparison of 2008 and 2011. Graphic: SCB

Sweden best in EU at beating poverty

Sweden has the lowest proportion poor people in the EU, according to a Statistics Sweden report. Just over one percent are in severe poverty, while the EU average is much higher at nine percent.

The definition of severe poverty is being unable to afford at least four of nine items in a list, which includes unexpected expenses, vacation, or goods such as a washing machine, TV, phone or car.

Both in Sweden and in the rest of Europe, it is the unemployed who have been hit the hardest regarding living standards. Close to ten percent of Sweden’s unemployed are poor, compared with one percent of those in employment.

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