The aim of this chapter is to collect available national data relative to the poverty status of children using national definitions. The main reason why the national approach is used is that it is very difficult to provide internationally comparable data on poverty.

Different countries apply different approaches in the calculation of poverty estimates. Some countries use relative poverty concept to measure poverty, some countries use absolute poverty concept and some countries use both concepts in parallel.

In this chapter mainly national definitions of poverty measures and breakdowns will be considered.

Data for this chapter are usually reported in national or international reports.

However, some data has to be calculated by the specialised unit within National Statistical Offices/Agencies in charge of poverty analysis or within relevant Ministry of Social Protection.

Calculation of poverty indicators usually does not cause a problem for the poverty specialist within the unit - under the condition that a poverty line exists and poverty profile is available.

Poverty: Is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to being unable to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. A Relative poverty refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Absolute poverty line: Is set as an absolute level below which consumption is considered to be too low to meet the minimum welfare level acceptable. Absolute poverty lines are typically used in low or middle income countries.

Relative poverty line: A relative line is set in relation to the overall distribution of income or consumption in a country/region of reference. Example: set the poverty line at 60 percent of the mean consumption in the country, or at 60 percent of the median consumption. Relative lines are typically used in high income countries.

Head of household (national definition of the “head of household”): The national definition has to be noted in qualitative section of the template.

Educational level(by International Classification of Education, 1997): is the level of the education which a person attained. This level is defined according to the classification of educational activities based on ISCED - the International Standard Classification of Education - UNESCO 1997.

It consists of the following categories:
ISCED 0 - pre-primary education
ISCED 1 - primary education or first stage of basic education
ISCED 2 - lower secondary education or second stage of basic education
ISCED 3 - (lower / upper) secondary education
ISCED 4 - post-secondary non tertiary education
ISCED 5 - first stage of tertiary education (not leading directly to an advanced research qualification)
ISCED 6 - second stage of tertiary education (leading to an advanced research qualification)

Employed/Unemployed :(international ILO definition): definition is provided in “Labour market – Per capita households income distribution – Macroeconomic” section, see below.

Equivalence scale: The needs of a household grow with each additional member but – due to economies of scale in consumption– not in a proportional way. Needs for housing space, electricity, etc. will not be three times as high for a household with three members than for a single person. With the help of equivalence scales each household type in the population is assigned a value in proportion to its needs. The factors commonly taken into account to assign these values are the size of the household and the age of its members (whether they are adults or children). A wide range of equivalence scales exist, many of which are reviewed in Atkinson et al. (1995). Some of the most commonly used scales include:

“OECD equivalence scale”. This assigns a value of 1 to the first household member, of 0.7 to each additional adult and of 0.5 to each child. This scale (also called “Oxford scale”) was mentioned by OECD (1982) for possible use in “countries which have not established their own equivalence scale”. For this reason, this scale is sometimes labelled “(old) OECD scale”.
"OECD-modified scale". After having used the “old OECD scale” in the 1980s and the earlier 1990s, the Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT) adopted in the late 1990s the so-called “OECD-modified equivalence scale”. This scale, first proposed by Haagenars et al. (1994), assigns a value of 1 to the household head, of 0.5 to each additional adult member and of 0.3 to each child.

At-risk-of-poverty rate: is the share of people with an equivalised disposable income (after social transfer) below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income after social transfers.

This indicator does not measure wealth or poverty, but low income in comparison to other residents in that country, which does not necessarily imply a low standard of living.
At-risk-of-poverty rate is a relative poverty measure.

Sources: EU-SILC survey, Household Budget Survey or Living Standard Measurement survey For the EU countries the main source of this data is EU-SILC survey.

For the countries that don’t have EU SILC at-risk-of-poverty rate can be calculated using Household Budget Survey or Living Standard Measurement survey using the data on income.

Absolute Poverty Rate: refers to percentage of population declared as poor by national absolute poverty line.

Here as well different approaches are possible for different countries:

Some countries define minimum level of income or expenditure or consumption expenditure under which a person is considered absolutely poor.
Another approach is to calculate monetary equivalent of minimal calorific intake (usually 2100 kcal per person or per adult) which is define as extreme poverty line. Persons with expenditure or consumption under extreme poverty line are considered as extremely poor. Then a minimal level of non food expenditure or consumption is calculated for the household which food consumption is equal or very close to the extreme poverty line. Amount of extreme poverty line plus the minimum level of non food expenditure or consumption gives absolute poverty line. Persons with expenditure or consumption under absolute poverty line are considered as absolutely poor.

 Usually World Bank provides technical assistance for the countries in order to calculate absolute poverty line. For the explanation of the variable breakdowns please refer to the definitions in the beginning Child Well Being chapter.

Sources: Household Budget Survey, Living Standard Measurement Survey, or any other nationally representative household survey.

Material deprivation: It refers to a state of economic strain and durables strain, defined as the enforced inability (rather than the choice not to do so) to pay unexpected expenses, afford a one-week annual holiday away from home, a meal involving meat, chicken or fish every second day, the adequate heating of a dwelling, durable goods like a washing machine, colour television, telephone or car, being confronted with payment arrears (mortgage or rent, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments).

Rates of material deprivation of children: The material deprivation rate is an indicator that expresses the inability to afford some items considered by most people to be desirable or even necessary to lead an adequate life. The indicator distinguishes between individuals who cannot afford a certain good or service, and those who do not have this good or service for another reason, e.g. because they do not want or do not need it.

The indicator measures the percentage of the population that cannot afford at least three of the following nine items:

  1. to pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills
  2. to keep their home adequately warm
  3. to face unexpected expenses
  4. to eat meat or proteins regularly
  5. to go on holiday
  6. a television set
  7. a refrigerator
  8. a car
  9. a telephone.

Rate of material deprivation of children refers to percentage of materially deprived children.

Indicator breakdown on poor/non poor should be relative to national poverty line. Information on the type and characteristics of poverty line used for breakdown has to be reported in the template, in column “Notes”.

 Sources: EU-SILC, Household Budget Survey, Living Standard Measurement Survey, Multiple Cluster Indicators Survey or any other nationally representative household survey.

Housing deprivations: a measure of poor housing amenities.

Rates of severe housing deprivation of children: is defined as the percentage of population living in the dwelling which is considered as overcrowded, while also exhibiting at least one of the housing deprivation measures.

Housing deprivation is a measure of poor amenities and is calculated by referring to those households with a leaking roof, no bath/shower and no indoor toilet, or a dwelling considered too dark.

Housing deprivation is a measure of poor amenities and is calculated by referring to those households with a leaking roof, no bath/shower and no indoor toilet, or a dwelling considered too dark.

A person is considered as living in an overcrowded household if the household does not have at its disposal a minimum number of rooms equal to:

  • one room for the household
  • one room per couple in the household
  • one room for each single person aged 18 or more
  • one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age
  • one room for each single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category
  • one room per pair of children under 12 years of age.

Indicator breakdown on poor/non poor should be relative to national poverty line. Information on the type and characteristics of poverty line used for breakdown has to be reported in the template, in column “Notes”.

 Sources: EU-SILC, Household Budget Survey, Living Standard Measurement Survey, Multiple Cluster Indicators Survey or any other nationally representative household survey.