Published: 21 December 2016

Number of persons at risk of poverty 631,000 in 2015

Statistics Finland's income distribution statistics indicate that the number of persons belonging to households at risk of poverty was 631,000 in 2015. This is around 43,000 fewer persons than in the year before. The share of persons at risk of poverty in the household population was 11.7 per cent, having been 12.5 per cent one year earlier.

Number of persons at risk of poverty in Finland in 1987 to 2015*

Number of persons at risk of poverty in Finland in 1987 to 2015*
* The data concerning 2015 are preliminary.

The number of persons at risk of poverty has been declining since 2010 and the number has been below 700,000 since 2012. The at-risk-of-poverty threshold for a one-person household was EUR 14,230 in 2015, that is, around EUR 1,185 per month, while in the year before, it was EUR 14,270 or EUR 1,190 per month. Persons at risk of poverty describe the relative income differentials of medium-income and low-income groups, so the development of persons at-risk-of-poverty depends not only on the income development of low-income households, but also on the development of median income. Persons are classified as being at-risk-of-poverty when the household's disposable monetary income per consumption unit 1) is below 60 per cent of the national median income.

One-quarter of households have difficulties in making ends meet

In all, 651,000 households or 24.6 per cent of all households report experiencing at least some problems in making ends meet. This is 0.4 percentage points more than in 2014. Of all households, 7.7 per cent or around 203,000 households have more serious difficulties in making ends meet. This is 0.4 percentage points more than one year earlier. The share of households experiencing difficulties in making ends meet has remained fairly stable in recent years. The share of households having experienced at least some difficulties was at its highest, 30 per cent, in 2003. The share of those having experienced more serious difficulties was also biggest then, around ten per cent.


1) The consumption units are based on the so-called OECD's modified scale. One adult in the household is one consumption unit. Other persons in the household aged at least 14 each are 0.5 consumption units and children aged 0 to 13 each are 0.3 consumption units. A household with one adult member is one consumption unit, while a household consisting of spouses and one child aged under 14 together are 1.8 consumption units.

Source: Income Distribution Statistics 2015, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kaisa-Mari Okkonen 029 551 3408

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 21.12.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Income distribution statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1331. Poverty 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 11.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tjt/2015/01/tjt_2015_01_2016-12-21_tie_001_en.html