The Poor in the World’s “Rich” Countries
In the US and elsewhere, the social and economic fallout from the 2008 financial crisis continues.
- The 28% increase of U.S. adults without work income since 2008 is greater than in Italy or the UK.
- The share of people who report that they cannot afford to buy enough food increased in 23 countries since 2008.
- Having risen since 2000 to reach 1.75 children per woman in 2008, the fertility rate has fallen back to 1.70.
- Spending on education has fallen in half the OECD countries since 2008 with sharp cuts in the US, Italy and Sweden.
1. The percentage of adults living in households without any income from work has doubled(!) in Greece, Ireland and Spain.
2. In the United States, the share of adults living in households without any income from work has risen from 10% in 2007 to 12.8% in 2012.
3. That 28% increase of U.S. adults without work income is greater than the 21% increase in Italy and is nearly as large as the UK’s 30% increase.
4. Young people are at greater risk of poverty than before the crisis. The share of 18-25 year-olds in households with incomes below half the national median has climbed by 5 percentage points in Spain and Turkey, by 4 points in Ireland and the UK — and by 3 points in Greece and Italy.
5. The share of people who report that they cannot afford to buy enough food increased in 23 countries, particularly in Greece and Hungary — but also in the United States.
6. Fertility rates have dropped further since the financial crisis, deepening the demographic and fiscal challenges of aging in OECD countries.
7. Having risen since 2000 to reach 1.75 children per woman in 2008, the fertility rate in OECD countries has fallen back to 1.70.
8. Lower and uncertain incomes may have caused more people to delay parenthood or have fewer children.
9. Unemployment and economic difficulties are known to contribute to a range of health issues, including mental illness.
10. Spending on education has fallen in half of the OECD countries since the start of the crisis, with cuts especially sharp in Italy, Sweden and the United States.
From Society at a Glance 2014: OECD Social Indicators, by OECD (OECD Publishing)