Croatian Poverty Risk Less, But 70% Only Just Making Ends Meet

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, last year, every fifth person in the Republic of Croatia was at risk of poverty and social exclusion, or 20.9 percent of them, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). This is a small improvement compared to back in 2019 and 2020.

The decline in terms of Croatian poverty risk is weak, especially when you take into account that the economic growth in 2021, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic often points out, stood at a record 10.4 percent. The fact that the number of those at risk of poverty didn’t really increase significantly back in 2020, a year when the country’s GDP fell by around eight percent, can still be attributed to the government’s rapidly introduced social measures.

Data from the CBS also shows that the Croatian poverty risk rate back in 2021 stood at 19.2 percent, which is almost one percentage point (0.9) more than in pandemic-dominated 2020. The poverty risk threshold in 2021 for a single-member household was 36,461 kuna per year, or slightly more than 3000 kuna per month. For a household with two adults and two children under the age of fourteen, it stood at 76,568 kuna per year, or 6,300 kuna per month.

If various social benefits were also excluded from overall income, the picture of those exposed to the Croatian poverty risk would be much worse. In such a case, the same 19.2 percent would even go up to 24.2 percent. Most people are at risk of poverty live in Pannonian Croatia – as much as 28.6 percent of them, followed by Adriatic Croatia (19.9 percent) and then in Northern Croatia (19.8 percent). The least number of people are at risk of poverty live in the City of Zagreb. The greatest risk group in all of Croatia last year was, as expected, elderly people aged 65 and over, among whom the risk of poverty rate is as high as 32.4 percent, with women at that age being at a much higher risk than men. For older men, this rate stood at 25.9 percent, and for women – 37 percent. Persons aged 25 to 54 are the least exposed to the Croatian poverty risk.

As expected, the unemployed live at the greatest risk of poverty, but it’s also interesting to note that those who do work/are employed can also be exposed to the same Croatian poverty risk. Statistics show that four percent of employed people are still at risk of dealing with poverty. Living at risk of poverty certainly affects a person’s overall quality of life. Thus, as many as 43 percent of such people are just managing to make ends meet, and with difficulties. It’s very difficult for almost eight percent of people in that group to make ends meet, with almost 20 percent of them claiming that to be the case.

The Croatian poverty risk also brings with it many other adversities. Almost half of people (46.5 percent) whose income is 60 percent of the average income cannot meet any unexpected financial expenses, 16 percent are late in settling their financial obligations, and almost six percent (5.7) of them cannot afford adequate heating in the coldest of the winter months.

It’s worth noting that back at the end of last year, the Croatian Government adopted the National Plan for the fight against poverty and social exclusion for the period from 2021 to 2027. In it, it set out some priorities and measures aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion in Croatia.

The government’s plan is to reduce the poverty risk rate down to 15 percent by the year 2027, and the percentage of those living at risk of poverty and social exclusion to 17.8 percent.

It will be implemented on the basis of the Action Plan, and includes measures such as increasing the adequacy of social benefits and increasing the coverage of supplementary health insurance for the most vulnerable groups in society.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment