Quarter of Serbians "exposed to poverty risk"

BELGRADE -- Some 24.6 percent of Serbian citizens are exposed to the risk of becoming poor - those aged up to 18 being most at risk, the Beta news agency has reported.

At the same time, those older than 65 and pensioners are least exposed, according to the Serbian Statistics Office.

Households comprising two adults with three or more dependent children had the highest at-risk-of-poverty rate in 2012 (44.4 percent), as well as single parents with one or more dependent children (36.2 percent), Statistical Office Director Dragan Vukmirović told reporters during the institution's annual press conference held earlier this week.

He said Serbia is at the top of the list of European Union countries and countries in the region for its at-risk-of-poverty rate, not including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Macedonia, for which no data was available.

Vukmirović said the threshold of the poverty risk for a one-member household in Serbia is RSD 13,680 (EUR 120) and that everyone who had a monthly income below this is considered poor.

The poverty threshold for a three-member household is RSD 24,624 and for a four-member household it is RSD 28,728, he said, while presenting the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC).

They survey was conducted for the first time in the territory of Serbia, excluding Kosovo and Metohija, from May 6 to June 17.