Fresh Poll Confirms 1/5 of Bulgarians Live Below Poverty Line
Only 25% of Bulgarians between the ages of 31 and 45 say they have not been affected negatively by the economic crisis.
One third of all Bulgarians say the same, according to data from a poll of the Open Society Institute conducted between July 5 and 15.
Due to the crisis, over one fifth of Bulgarians (20.6%) have been subject to pay cuts - a level that remains unchanged in the last two years.
18% have been laid off, while another 12% report lower earnings from their own business – these two indicators also keep their 2011 levels.
Experts from Open Society say that after 2009, the gap between the wealthy and the poor Bulgarians has grown even wider, particularly in cities and largest towns.
The average income per person in a household in at the time of the study has been BGN 425 a month. 19.3% of households live below the poverty line, which is set at BGN 210.
The share of the poor is the lowest in the capital Sofia (10%) and the highest in villages (33%).
37% of the respondents fear a further deterioration of the economic situation in the country with the share of the pessimists going up by 10% in the last 12 months.
Three sectors in the last 4 years have been the focal point of people's desire for reforms – healthcare, the labor market, and economic growth.
Two more have been added in 2013 – social policies and education.
One of every four Bulgarians in voting age expects from the Socialist-endorsed government of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, to achieve success in social policies (23%) and healthcare (22%), while a much higher percentage (40%) expect healthcare reforms.
16% are optimistic about the labor market and economic growth with twice more expecting reforms.
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