[EN] Poverty

Definition(s) of Poverty

Actually there are multiple “official” definitions of poverty. The most widely adopted is the UN definition. The other important one is the EU definition, the one used by Eurostat reports.

“Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and cloth[e] a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living on marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.”

I chose one for my own use which is somewhere in between the two. I needed a definition which is both measurable and practical. I also differentiate between deep poverty and “regular” poverty, because the two pheonomena require different approach.



personal share of household income is below the poverty line, where poverty line is 60% of the median income per capita


personal share of household net worth is in the lowest 20% of wealth per capita

Deep poverty

lack of decent access to: food, housing, basic utilities (electricity, water, heating)


personal share of household income is less than 40% of the median income per capita

Deep poverty in Transylvania


Lack of decent access to: food, housing, basic utilities (electricity, water, heating) or income is less than 1540 Eur per year (128 Eur per month).

Median income in Romania

3851 Eur per year per capita
[Eurostat, 2019 – link to source]

Definition of income

The total disposable income of a household is calculated by adding together the personal income received by all of household members plus income received at household level.

Disposable household income includes
– all income from work (employee wages and self-employment earnings)
– private income from investment and property
– transfers between households
– all social transfers received in cash including old-age pension

Excluded from this income definition are: non monetary income components, in particular value of goods produced for own consumption, social transfers in kind and non-cash employee income except company cars.

Income is reported on gross value (pre-tax).

[Eurostat – link to source]