Poverty and Exclusion (Special Eurobarometer)

This report looks at perceptions about the existence and the causes of poverty
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This report studies issues related to poverty and exclusion in Europe. The report derives information from a survey that the Directorate-General, Employment of the European Commission, commissioned in February 2007. The survey addressed the following issues:

  • To what extent do Europeans experience poverty in the areas in which they live?;
  • Is the attitude towards poverty an inherited or acquired condition?;
  • What causes poverty?;
  • Why do people become homeless?;
  • What do Europeans regard necessary in order to have a decent standard of living?

The survey found that:

  • Most Europeans believe poverty to be a widespread problem in Europe;
  • Poverty is more prevalent among people living in the New Member States of the European Union (EU);
  • Most Europeans believe that poverty is an acquired condition;
  • Injustice in society is the most frequently mentioned cause of poverty;
  • For Europeans, work related factors best explain why people are poor or excluded;
  • Losing one’s job is seen as the most important reason why people become homeless;
  • Attitudes to poverty do not strongly affect people’s views about requirements for a decent standard of living, social norms, expectations and values of their country do.

The report also presents information about European perceptions regarding the needs of children to live and develop well, and concludes with an examination about how people’s attitudes towards poverty relate to what they consider necessary for a decent standard of living.

About this Publication

By European Commission