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%, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU.
In Cyprus in 2021, 9.5% of the self-employed were at risk of poverty and social exclusion, which was an increase compared to 8.1% in 2020. At the same time, in 2021 Cyprus was the country with the third lowest percentage of self-employed at risk.
From 2020 to 2021, at risk of poverty or social exclusion rates in the EU decreased for the unemployed, pensioners and employees by 1.6 (from 66.1% to 64.5%), 0.6 (from 19.2% to 18.6%) and 0.3 percentage points (from 9.4% to 9.1%), respectively.
In the case of Cyprus, there was a reduction at the percentage of those at risk for the unemployed (from 55.0% to 51.6%, 3.4 percentage points lower), for pensioners (from 23.3% to 20.5%, 2.8 percentage points lower) and for employees (from 8.7% to 8.3%, 0.4 percentage points lower).
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 lower, respectively).