September 23, 2022

In 2021, almost a quarter (23.6%) of all self-employed people aged 18 years and over in the EU were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Compared with 2020 and looking at activity status, this was the only category that experienced a deterioration in the poverty situation, increasing from 22.6% to 23.6%.

From 2020 to 2021, at risk of poverty or social exclusion rates decreased for the unemployed, pensioners and employees by 1.6, 0.6 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively.

Bar chart: People at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU, by most frequent activity status (% of people aged 18 and over in that activity status)

At the national level, in 2021, Romania, Portugal and Estonia recorded the highest shares of self-employed people at risk of poverty and social exclusion (70.8%, 32.4% and 32.2%). Romania, in particular, experienced the highest increase from 2020 to 2021 (5.1 percentage points).

In contrast, the poverty situation for the self-employed improved in 11 countries, with Ireland and Hungary reporting the highest decrease in such rates from 2020 to 2021 (-3.2 and -3.7 percentage points, respectively).

Bar chart: Sel-employed people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, EU (% of people aged 18 and over in that activity status)

Source: Eurostat
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