Income inequalities in Europe on the rise since 2008

Thursday 16 March 2017

Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, has shown in its new report that income inequalities in Europe have increased.

The report, entitled Income inequalities and employment patterns in Europe before and after the Great Recession, shows that the inequality in around two-thirds of EU Member States has been largely due to growing unemployment levels since the onset of the crisis in 2008-2009. At the same time EU-wide income inequality also increased as income convergence between European countries stalled.

The report is a comprehensive study of income inequalities during the years of the Great Recession starting in 2008–2009, and based on income data for 2005-2013. It presents an EU-wide perspective on the issue and provides an updated picture of inequalities across different sources of income. The results show that EU-wide income inequality declined notably prior to 2008, driven by a strong process of income convergence between European countries – but the Great Recession broke this trend and pushed inequalities upwards both for the EU as a whole and across most countries.

The report shows that the crisis reduced average household disposable real income levels across almost all European countries, although to varying degrees, with the middle classes being significantly squeezed in the majority of countries.

Find the full report on the Eurofound website