Poverty in Bulgaria and Other EU Countries: A Comparative Study

Poverty in Bulgaria and Other EU Countries: A Comparative Study

Marta Zdravkova Sugareva (Faculty of Economics and Social Studies, University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria) and Mariana Koleva Mourgova (Faculty of Applied Informatics and Statistics, University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1196-1.ch024

Abstract

According to Eurostat data, in 2016, one quarter of the population in the European Union is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Hardest hit are the Balkan countries – Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece. The aim of the chapter is to compare the level of poverty in Bulgaria with that of the other Member States of the European Union. Different indicators of poverty are presented and discussed. A critical analysis is provided for some of the indicators used by the Eurostat and more specifically for their opportunities in comparative analyses.
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Concepts And Indicators Of Poverty

The concept of poverty can be interpreted in many different ways, according to different approaches, ideologies, and even according to different political interests. The approach of the authors is based on the idea that social sciences have to elucidate both the real situation of poverty in the countries under investigation, but also the quality of the indicators used for such investigation. In the first place a distinction has to be made between the notions of absolute poverty and relative poverty. This is the most widespread distinction of the existing types of poverty, and each one of them involves a series of indicators. Creating aggregate indicators of poverty (either by deduction or by induction) should be based on solid assumptions about the respective notions, and phenomena that they have to represent. Therefore some basics are presented below about the notions “absolute” and “relative” poverty.

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