Calculations of income distribution

The basis of the calculations on income distribution and poverty presented on this page is detailed below.


The first EU-SILC survey appeared in 2004, with income data for 2003. Data is now available from 2010-2019, covering income from the years 2010-2018.

Surveys are used to gather data relating to people aged 16 and over living in private households.

People at risk of poverty are defined as the percentage share of the population with an equivalent disposable income that is less than 50 or 60 per cent of the corresponding median income. Both figures are collected and presented on this page.

For each person, the equivalent disposable income is defined as his/her disposable household income, divided by the equivalent weight of the household.

The total disposable household income is calculated by adding together all of the household members’ personal incomes, plus any other income at household level. The disposable household income is divided by members’ equivalent weight in order to arrive at a standard financial measure that makes households with different compositions of adults and children more comparable.

The disposable income consists of a household’s total income after tax, including social cash benefits. According to EUROSTAT’s definitions, the disposable income does not include capital yield.

Other income, such as interest and dividends, is included. Capital income e.g., due to the sale of stocks and shares, is not included. Social cash benefits cover disability, old-age and survivor’s pensions and other family allowances, child allowances, parental benefits, maintenance advances, housing benefits and other social benefits. Interest income from housing was not included until 2007 for the financial year 2006. However, earlier years were included for Denmark.

Statistics Faroe Islands calculated the income distribution in the Faroe Islands according to the method described here.


A household consists of individuals living together and sharing the household economy. EU-SILC does not include people living in institutions/nursing homes, prisons, etc. A household may also consist of other family types.

Please note that other definitions of households apply in calculations of Life situations.

Household types used