Brussels, 19th February 2007
What is the Joint Report and what does is cover?
This year's report examines the first ever integrated national strategies on social inclusion, pensions, healthcare and long-term care. It reviews the main trends across the EU and at national level. The report includes country profiles identifying the key challenges in each Member State.
The EU's system of common objectives, assessment and reporting for social protection and inclusion – the 'open method of coordination' – operates in parallel with the strategy for growth and jobs. The Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion will be presented to EU leaders t and will feed into the conclusions of the Spring Summit.
How many Europeans live in poverty?
In 2004, 16% of EU-25 citizens lived under the poverty threshold defined as 60% of their country's median income, a situation likely to hamper their capacity to fully participate in society. This rate ranged from 9-10% in Sweden and the Czech Republic to 21% in Lithuania and Poland.
Children are often at greater risk-of-poverty than the rest of the population (19% in the EU-25). This is true in most countries except in the Nordic States, Greece and Cyprus.
Source: SILC(2005) - income year 2004 (income year 2005 for IE and the UK); except for BG and RO - estimates based on the national Household Budget Survey
How many Europeans live in jobless households?
In 2006, almost 10% of EU25 working age adults (aged 18-59, and not students) lived in households where no one was working. This rate ranged from less than 5% in CY, LU and SI to more than 13% in PL and BE, a similar proportion of children lived in jobless households, 9.5% in the EU in 2006. However, families with children are more affected by joblessness in some countries than in others. The share of children living in jobless households varies greatly across Member States, and ranges from less than 3% in LU to 14% or more in BG and the UK Living in a household where no one works affects both children's current living conditions, and the conditions in which they develop by lack of an appropriate role model.
Source: Eurostat Labour Force Survey, spring results, data missing for SE
What about poverty among those in work?
Having a job does not always protect people from the risk-of-poverty. In 2004, 8% of EU-25 citizens in employment (aged 18 and over) lived under the poverty threshold, thereby facing difficulties in participating fully in society. This rate ranged from 5% or less in the CZ, DE and the Nordic countries to 13-14% in EL, PL and PT.
In work poverty: at-risk-of-poverty rate of people in
Source: SILC(2005) - income year 2004 (income year 2005 for IE) – data missing for BG, RO, SI, UK
Why is employment important for pensions?
One of the ways to ensure both sustainability of pension systems and an adequate level of income for pensioners is by extending working lives. The Lisbon target is to reach 50% employment rate of older workers by 2010. In 2004 the employment rate of older workers for the EU 25 was 43% compared to 38% in 2001 and Sweden, Denmark, UK, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Cyprus, Portugal have reached the 50%. However, the target is still far away for a group of countries where the employment rate of older workers is still around 30%.
Employment rate of older workers (aged 55-64), 2005 and
Source: Eurostat Labour Force Survey, annual averages
Currently pension systems have in general managed to achieve widespread elimination of poverty of older people, and people aged 65+ have an income which is around 85% of the income for younger people, ranging from 57% in Cyprus to more than 100% in Hungary and Poland.
Relative income of the elderly: Median equivalised income
of people aged 65+
Source: Eurostat SILC(2005) - income year 2004; data missing for BG and
Recent reforms in many Member States though, have led to decreases in the average pension compared to the average wage of an average worker at a given retirement age (replacement rates). The stylised graph below illustrates how retirement income as a percentage of working income is composed today and how it could evolve in 2050: the share of income from public retirement provision falls, but this is compensated by private provision and working longer.
Evolution of retirement income, 2005 and 2050
[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED
Health and long-term care
How does life expectancy vary across the EU?
Life expectancy has increased spectacularly in the last half century. On average, life expectancy from 1995 to 2005 has increased by 3 years for men and 2 years for women. However, there are currently wide disparities in health outcomes across the EU, with men's life expectancies ranging from 65.4 (Lithuania) to 78.4 years (Sweden) and those of women from 75.4 (Romania) to 83.9 (Spain).
Life expectancy at birth, men, 2005 vs.1995
Source: Eurostat demographic data
Life expectancy at birth, women, 2005 vs.1995
Source: Eurostat demographic data
What about resources allocated to healthcare?
Total healthcare expenditure in the EU ranges from 5.5% of GDP in Estonia to
10.9% in Germany – still well below the countries with the highest
healthcare expenditure, the US, at 15.3%-, and in the EU it employs between 3
and 10% of the population. Total healthcare expenditure includes both public and
private expenditure, including direct out of pocket payments by households.
Private expenditure in the EU is about a quarter of overall expenditure.
Total healthcare expenditure as a % of GDP, 2004
[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]Source: