Labour ministry: One in three Romanian children poor, 52.2 percent at risk

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One in three Romanian children is poor, and more than half are at risk of poverty and / or social exclusion (52.2 percent in 2012); this is the highest level in EU27, except Bulgaria, according to the National Strategy for protecting and promoting the rights of the child between 2014 and 2020, published by the Ministry of Labour.

The strategy also mentions that Romania has one of the largest differences between risk levels for children and those for the overall population (41.7 percent in 2012).

The analysis by age groups shows the highest risk for the age brackets between 12-17 years (54.8 percent) and 5-11 years (52.5 percent). The risk of poverty and social exclusion is considerably higher in households with many children (72.5 percent of the households with 2 adults and 3 or more children) and in single parent families (60.7 percent), which are the most concerned.

Generally, irrespective of the household's structure, the presence of a child considerably increases the economic vulnerability.

Moreover, according to the document, one third of Romanian children are poor, although living in a household with working adults. Almost one fifth of the children in households that are active on the labour market are poor, although the adults dedicate to work more than 80 percent of their active time (they have high intensities of work).

For both indicators, Romania has the highest poverty rates in Europe. Children poverty rate in households with working adults has increased from 29.1 percent in 2007 to 32.6 percent in 2012. Children poverty rate in households with very high intensities of work has declined slightly, from 18.9 percent in 2007 to 17.3 percent in 2012.

Almost one tenth of the children live in jobless households. Also, the risk of relative poverty for all the working adults who sustain children is more than double in Romania compared to EU27, namely 23.4 percent compared to 11.5 percent in 2012.

The overall poverty is deeper in rural areas, but during the last decades compact areas where extreme poverty prevails have emerged in urban areas. In all these areas, children and young people are the main age group (more than 60 percent), while people over 60 years of age are less than 10 percent. These areas are isolated from the general urban space, and represent forms of spatial segregation that contribute to consolidating the poverty trap, the strategy also shows.

While in the early 1990s there were 6.6 million children in Romania, at present there are less than 3.7 million, mainly due to lower birth rates. This decline is also significant at the overall population level; over the same period between 1990 and 2013, while life expectancy has increased, the demographic balance has changed; the ratio used to be one child to slightly more than two adults, and now it reached one child to four adults, defined as people over 18 years of age.

According to 2011 census data, the average size of Romanian households is 2.7 people. The most frequent family model is represented by couples with a single child, namely more than half of the families. A continuous increase of the average marriage age is noted; it was 26 years for women and 29 years for men in 2011. A similar trend is also found in the average age of women at first child birth, which reached 26 years in 2011.AGERPRES

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