Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia


People at Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion (AROPE)

The headline indicator for monitoring the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy in the sphere of social inclusion and poverty reduction is AROPE. It was formulated in 2010 as a new and expanded primary indicator of poverty and social exclusion, with the aim of statistically measuring the intangible aspects of poverty and exclusion from the labour market, in order to improve the evaluation of the multidimensional aspect of poverty and social exclusion, with indications that this indicator is a product of political compromise[1].

The indicator represents a combination of three indicators – the at-risk-of-poverty rate, the rate of severe material deprivation and the rate of very low work intensity, measuring deprivation and living standards based on three criteria: income, non-monetary expenditures and employment/work.

This indicator, “people at risk of poverty or social exclusion”, shows the proportion of the population which is:

  1. At risk of poverty after social transfers (people whose equivalised income is below 60% of the median equivalised income) and/or
  2. Severely materially deprived (people who, owing to a lack of financial means, cannot afford at least four of the following nine household material deprivation items: 1) adequate heating of a dwelling; 2) a one-week annual holiday; 3) a meal with meat or fish every other day; 4) facing unexpected expenses; 5) arrears on mortgage or rent, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments; 6) a telephone; 7) a colour television set; 8) a washing machine; 9) a car) and/or
  3. Living in households with zero or very low work intensity (adults worked for fewer than 20% of the total number of months in which they could have worked during the reference period).

As this headline indicator represents a union of three different risk factors, different “risk combinations” may be calculated as well.

Although it would appear that the population exposed to all three risk factors (overlap of the three sets) is most vulnerable, it is worth noting that due to the definition of low work intensity the overlap cannot contain persons older than 60[2], even when they are without income and under extreme material deprivation. By its nature, the overlap contains a practically very low share of employed and self-employed persons, as well as members of their households. To better understand the problem of multiple grounds of vulnerability, certain authors then propose monitoring consistent poverty, i.e. the population simultaneously at risk of poverty and under extreme material deprivation.

According to SILC (2018) data, 34.3% of the population of the Republic of Serbia (2.28 million) is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This value is significantly higher than the average value for the EU 28 countries (21.7%). A higher percentage of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion was not recorded in any other country where this research is being conducted (even though high values of over 30% of the population were recorded in Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece)[3].

Broken down by risk factors, a total of 24.3% (1.79 million) of the population of the Republic of Serbia is at risk of poverty, 16.0% (1.37 million) is severely materially deprived, and 13.0% (1.01 million) live in households with low work intensity.

Approximately 40% of the population exposed to a risk of poverty or social exclusion faces a combination of two or three risk factors, i.e. they are found at the intersection of two or three sets. The lowest overlap is between sets related to low work intensity and extreme material deprivation.

Formation of the at-risk-of-poverty rate or social exclusion rate in the Republic of Serbia, 2018, %

Formation of the at-risk-of-poverty rate or social exclusion rate in the Republic of Serbia, 2018, %

Note: The reference period for the collected data pertaining to:
– income is 12 months in the preceding calendar year – 2017,
– material deprivation is the time of the survey – 2018.


Persons at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion
(left chart: share in total population; right chart: number of persons in millions).

Persons at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion - share in total population Persons at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion - number of persons in millions


SILC 2013. SILC 2014. SILC 2015. SILC 2016. SILC 2017. SILC 2018.
At risk of poverty % 24.5 25.6 26.8 25.9 25.6 24.3
thousands 1,750 1,778 1,895 1,820 1,795 1,690
Severe material deprivation % 26.9 26.4 24.0 19.5 17.4 16.0
thousands 1,922 1,873 1,701 1,374 1,221 1,107
Low work intensity % 13.7 15.1 15.6 15.7 14.5 13.4
thousands 975 1,084 1,106 1,104 1,014 902
Cross section of the At-risk-of-poverty rate and severe material deprivation % 12.6 12.2 12.3 10.7 9.6 8.8
thousands 901 867 870 752 675 610
Cross section of the At-risk-of-poverty rate and low work intensity % 8.4 9.4 10.9 10.9 10.4 9.6
thousands 618 669 772 767 730 666
Cross section of the severe material deprivation and low work intensity % 7.6 8.2 7.6 6.6 5.6 4.6
thousands 541 587 536 464 392 317
Cross section of all three indicators % 5.9 6.0 6.1 5.6 4.7 4.1
thousands 419 428 432 394 331 284
Source: SILC, SORS

For more information, see:



[1] For more on the indicator see: Matković, G., Mijatović, B., & Krstić, G. (2015). Income and Living Conditions 2013. Belgrade: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, p.102
[2] Persons older than 60 years of age cannot belong to all three categories at the same time, since the set of individuals living in households with low work intensity covers only those younger than this age limit, i.e. the 0-59 population.
[3] Eurostat database Table People at risk of poverty or social exclusion

Social Inclusion Newsletter

Social Inclusion Newsletter Archive

Featured > <

Blog > <

Radmila Urošević
Tempo života savremenog čoveka, pritisak svakodnevne borbe za egzistenciju, uspeh i izazovi sa zdravljem proizvode kod pojedinaca hronični osećaj straha, [...]
Wed, Feb 24, 2021
Source: Inkluzija blog
Često pričamo samo o lepim stvarima, uz preterano naglašavanje ideje o tome da treba da budemo bezrezervno srećni i veseli. [...]
Wed, Feb 17, 2021
Source: Inkluzija blog
Ko neće da čita do kraja, zaključak je: i jedno i drugo. Još kao dete naučio sam da brojim na prstima [...]
Thu, Feb 11, 2021
Source: Inkluzija blog
Iva Eraković
Krajem 2019. i početkom 2020. godine jedna devojčica u Srbiji doživela je strašnu sudbinu. Osim što će celog svog života [...]
Mon, Feb 01, 2021
Source: Inkluzija blog
Korona virus prouzrokovao je brojna prilagođavanja u poslovnom svetu, kao i u radnim navikama. Osobe čija se radna aktivnost može [...]
Fri, Jan 22, 2021
Source: Inkluzija blog

Documents > <

Ex-Post Analysis of the National Employment Strategy for the Period 2011-2020
February, 2021 arrow right pdf [3 MB]
Impact of the COVID-19 on Vulnerable Groups and Groups at Risk – Causes, Outcomes and Recommendations
December, 2020 arrow right pdf [4 MB]
Income of the Poorest Deciles of Serbia’s Population, Focus on Agricultural Activities
July, 2020 arrow right pdf [2 MB]
E2E: Public Policy Testing – Innovative Approaches to Youth Employment
April, 2020 arrow right pdf [1 MB]