According to data published today by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat), the median disposable income was 18,019 PPS (expressed in purchasing power standard) per capita in the EU. This index varied considerably between EU member states: from 32,132 PPS in Luxembourg, to 8,703 PPS in Romania, which was in last place.

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“How income is distributed in society determines the extent to which individuals have equal access to the goods and services produced within a national economy. A very important measure of income distribution is the median equivalent disposable income (hereafter referred to as median disposable income), expressed here per capita in purchasing power standard (PPS)”underlines Eurostat.

Western and northern EU Member States recorded the highest levels of median disposable income, with Luxembourg (PPS 32,132), the Netherlands (PPS 24,560), Austria (PPS 24,450) and Germany ( 23 401 PPS). On the other hand, median disposable income was lower in most southern and eastern Member States, especially in Romania (8 703 PPS), Bulgaria (9 375 PPS), Greece (917 PPS) and Hungary (9 982 PPS) .

Also according to Eurostat data, in terms of average salaries in the EU, Romania is at the bottom of the list, along with Bulgaria and Hungary. And also, at the beginning of last year, Romania had one of the lowest minimum wages in the European Union, lower amounts being recorded in only two other countries. Ranking: Bulgaria (332 euros), Latvia (500 euros), Romania (515 euros), Hungary (542 euros), Croatia (624 euros).

Romania the poorest country

The year 2023 started with a plus, which, however, does not propel us far into the top: at the beginning of this year, the minimum gross salary in Romania increased to 3,000 lei (609 euros), from the amount of 2,550 lei previously.

And in our country, many families are dependent on the minimum wage. According to data from 2021, in Romania there were 1.58 million minimum wage contracts out of 5.55 million employees in the economy, i.e. more than a quarter.

How much money do Romanian families manage?

The total average monthly income of a household in Romania was 6,668 lei in the third quarter of 2022, with a person receiving 2,662 lei, according to the data published today by the National Institute of Statistics. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the income increased by almost 1000 lei. The total expenses of the population were in the third quarter of 2022, on average, 5816 lei per household per month (2322 lei per person) and represented 87.2% of the total income level.

Approximately one third of household consumption goes towards food products and non-alcoholic beverages, and 15.8% are expenses for housing, water, electricity, gas. Investments represent a tiny percentage in the expenditure structure. In parallel with the incomes, expenses also increased (by 877 lei), and the products and services that weigh heavily on the Romanian household budget – food and energy – became more expensive than average, increasing the burden on the budgets of families in the country.

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