Conference Paper European Panel Users Network Conference
Area Variations in Income, and in Poverty, across the EU
05 Jul 2003
This working paper summarises the findings of a longer report, Patterns of Poverty across Europe (Berthoud 2004). It analyses the distribution of household income across the whole of the 15-country EU, breaking down the Europe-wide range of inequality by country, and by region within country. The research illustrates substantial differences in the spatial distribution of poverty, depending on whether regional, national or Europe-wide benchmarks are used to define a 'relative' poverty line. And it tests two possible methods of calibrating poverty lines, to contribute to an empirical approach to the choice of benchmark.
All measures show that the less prosperous countries and regions of the Union (Portugal, much of Spain, the south of Italy, and Greece) have higher rates even of relative income- poverty than many countries and regions at the centre of the Union; but the conventional poverty line (60 per cent of annual median income) probably understates the extent of this imbalance.