Estonia’s Child Poverty Worse Because of Recession, Report Says

Estonian poverty worsened more for children than for the rest of the population after the Baltic nation endured the European Union’s second-worst recession in 2008-2009, the Justice Chancellor’s office said in a report.

Children living below the minimal subsistence level exceeded that of the total population by 1.6 times in 2010, compared with 1.3 times in 2004, according to the report, which was published yesterday on the office’s website.

“Children are in a worse situation than the rest of society,” according to the report. “Altogether 26 percent, or more than 63,000 children under 18, lived at risk of poverty or in absolute poverty” in 2010.

Estonia passed austerity measures of more than 9 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to meet euro-adoption terms, exacerbating an economic slump that wiped almost a fifth off output over two years. The benefits system is insufficient to help families with children out of poverty, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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