The indicator severe material deprivation targets persons having their living conditions severely constrained by a lack of resources. The indicator is defined as the share persons experiencing at least four out of nine following deprivations items: cannot afford: 1) to pay rent or utility bills; 2) keep home adequately warm; 3) face unexpected expenses; 4) eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day; 5) a week holiday away from home; 6) a car; 7) a washing machine; 8) a colour TV; or 9) a telephone.
Fair and equal access to and provision of services and goods is one of the fundamental cornerstones of European social policies. This indicator reflecting the percent of population lacking any of such fundamental resources is a headline indicator for the EU2020 strategy, and is also included in the EU SDS set of indicators.
Measuring of poverty using deprivation rate allows comparison of regions independently of national milestones. Having no data about the former East Germany, a divide between the Nordic countries and the remaining BSR can be mentioned, with a remarkably higher typical rate of severe deprivation in the latter. When in the Nordic countries’ regions typical rates of severe deprivation stay below 2.5% of the population in the remaining BSR typical rates are higher than 5%. In addition, the BSR worst deprivation regions with over 15% of severely deprived population can be found only on the eastern and southern shore of the Baltic Sea.