20% of Bulgarian Households Live below Poverty Line
The poverty line in Bulgaria is BGN 214 a month, with 1.6 million people (over 20% of households) living below it, according to a recent study.
The report on consumer prices and living cost has been prepared for the Confederation of Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria, KNSB.
BGN 563 a month per person (BGN 2 654 per household) is required so that a 4-member household can lead a normal life. The amount is needed to meet expenses for food, healthcare, education and vacations according to average country standards.
The poverty line is based on the consumer basket of 77 basic goods and services.
The average salary in Bulgaria is BGN 610 a month, meaning one employed person supports two unemployed ones.
52% of households (3.7 million people) have a monthly income of BGN 310 (this is the minimum monthly wage in the country) a month per member.
2.5 million people have a monthly income of BGN 311 – BGN 560 a month per member.
Only 965 000 people have a monthly income of over BGN 560 a month per member.
According to KNSB data, nearly 25% of workers are low-paid. 10% of all employed in Bulgaria (nearly 200 000 people) receive the minimum monthly wage.
Bulgaria remains last in the EU by the minimum monthly wage and by the average wage, while prices are very close to European averages.
All data is pointing to looming recession, according to trade union experts.
Compared to the first quarter of 2013, in the second quarter of 2013, living cost is down by 0.5%. It is up 3.0% on annual basis. The slowdown is attributed to the lower prices of heating, natural gas, and electricity, and the seasonal decrease of prices of some types of food products.
In the last 4 years, living cost went up by 17.3% with food prices up over 20% and other goods and services – by 14.5%.
In the second quarter of 2013, food prices were down 0.9%, and up by 5% on annual basis.
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