Denmark’s low ranking in Eurostat report on youth poverty is nonsense, claims think-tank

Ben Hamilton
May 1st, 2023

Data fails to grasp how many youths have left the family home – paradoxically, an indicator that the age group is thriving, not struggling!

International students will have more opportunities to work and live in Denmark (photo: Ministry of Children and Education)

Mads Lundby Hansen, the chief economist at the Cepos think-tank, has rubbished a new Eurostat report that claims young Danish people aged 15-29 are the most likely to live in poverty in the EU.

According to Hansen, the report fails to take into account many factors that would significantly lift Denmark up the rankings – most notably, the tendency of many Danes in the age group to live on their own, not with their parents.

Danish youths have twice the spending power of many of their counterparts, contends Hansen, if all the available data is correctly assessed.

READ ALSO: No country for idle men: Denmark is European employment leader

Plenty of spending power
According to the Eurostat findings, 26 percent of young people in Denmark are at risk of living in poverty, but this is based on an assumption that 60 percent of the median income in Denmark should correspond to a lowly amount.

It does not, according to Hansen, as 144,000 kroner per year would give the average youngster twice the spending power of their counterparts in Greece and Spain, the countries that completed the bottom three in the report.

“Eurostat’s poverty target has nothing to do with poverty. It is a relative goal: one starts from it, and the conclusion becomes skewed when one places Denmark as the country where young people have the greatest risk,” claimed Hansen.

Complete paradox
Many Danes in the age group are students, he further contends, and their income will be proportionately lower.

Many do not live with their parents – as is the case with rankings leader Slovenia, where the average age of moving out is 30. Furthermore, household income is factored in, again favouring countries where most people in their 20s live at home.

“Paradoxically, we’re at the bottom because Danish young people have such good financial conditions that they have the opportunity to move away from home,” he concluded.

“Danish students are well off. They receive the world’s highest SU – approximately twice as high as in Sweden, Finland and Norway, on average – and they do not have to pay for their education themselves.”


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