One million Austrians at risk of poverty

Vienna, April 13 (IANS) A total of 1.05 million Austrians were at poverty risk in 2011, the latest available figures released in a report revealed.

The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) social report also stated that if those who were living under significant material deprivation or were unfit for work were included, the total reached 1.4 million people referred to as “at risk of being poor or of exclusion”, reported Xinhua.

The Austrian population in 2011 was 8.42 million.

Minister of Social Affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer said the situation was stable, and that despite a 34,000 people increase over 2010, which Statistik Austria who carried out the study described as being within statistical fluctuation, figures since 2008 show an improvement of 125,000 fewer people.

The threshold the study set for defining poverty risk was household income of 1,066 euros per year for a single adult, with 533 euros added per adult, and 320 euros per child.

“Significant material deprivation” is defined as those living without basic essential needs such as one week of vacation per year, or heating at home, while “risk of exclusion” is for those living above the poverty line, but who work little or not at all.

Hundstorfer said Austria is on the right path in following EU directives and should reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and exclusion by 235,000 by the year 2018.

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