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Published: 20 March 2013

Number of people at risk of poverty 704,000 in 2011

Statistics Finland's income distribution statistics indicate that a total of 704,000 persons were at risk of poverty in 2011. This is 13.2 per cent of the population. The number of children aged under 18 living in low income households was 120,000, which is 11 per cent of all children. The at-risk-of-poverty rates (poverty risks) of both the whole population and population subgroups have remained unchanged in recent years.

At-risk-of-poverty rates of the population aged 16 or over according to socio-economic group in 1995–2011

At-risk-of-poverty rates of the population aged 16 or over according to socio-economic group in 1995–2011

A person whose household income per consumption unit 1) is less than 60 per cent of the median income is considered living at risk of poverty. This income threshold was approximately EUR 13,640 per year, or EUR 1,140 per month, in a one person household in 2011.

The at-risk-of-poverty rates were highest for unemployed persons, of whom 44 per cent were at risk of poverty. Also other non-employed persons had high poverty risks: the at-risk-of-poverty rate of students was 27 per cent and that of pensioners 19 per cent.

Poverty risks can also be viewed with a fixed low income threshold set to that of some preceding year. This fixed threshold does not change yearly. A fixed low income threshold describes better how poverty risk develops during weak economic growth. Calculated with a fixed low income threshold of 2005, the at-risk-of poverty rate declined until 2009, but has after that remained unchanged. In 2011, the number of people at risk of poverty calculated with the fixed low income threshold was around 500,000 and the share of the population 9.4 per cent.

1) The consumption units are based on the so-called OECD's modified scale. One adult in the household is one consumption unit. Other persons in the household aged at least 14 each are 0.5 consumption units and children aged 0 to 13 each are 0.3 consumption units. A household with one adult member is one consumption unit, while a household consisting of spouses and one child aged under 14 together are 1.8 consumption units.

Source: Income Distribution Statistics 2011, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Hannele Sauli 09 1734 3497, Kaisa-Mari Okkonen 09 1734 3408

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


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Updated 20.3.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Income distribution statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1331. Poverty 2011. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 4.6.2023].
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