How families have coped with the financial crisis

14-10-2016

Families in the European Union (EU) were hit hard by the financial and economic crisis of 2008, which, together with its after-effects, also triggered a social crisis. If measureable changes in family patterns and the breakdown of families may not be immediately observable and directly related to the downturn, the knock-on effects of the economic and financial crisis on families are far more apparent. Throughout the EU, single-parent families (16 % of all families) are exposed to the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion. Single-parent families are predominantly composed of single mothers, who face a higher poverty risk than single fathers. The adverse impact of the economic crisis on families placed children at greater risk of poverty or social exclusion than the rest of the population in 23 of the 28 EU Member States in 2014. In the same year, there were 27.4 million children under the age of 18 living at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. Two drivers have played a growing part in the rise of families' difficulties in the EU since the onset of the recession: a cyclical one – the economic crisis and the strain it put on family-supportive policies – and a structural one – the reinforcement of the phenomenon of inherited poverty. Therefore, even if family policies fall within the responsibility of the Member States, the condition of families has become a policy concern for European institutions.

Families in the European Union (EU) were hit hard by the financial and economic crisis of 2008, which, together with its after-effects, also triggered a social crisis. If measureable changes in family patterns and the breakdown of families may not be immediately observable and directly related to the downturn, the knock-on effects of the economic and financial crisis on families are far more apparent. Throughout the EU, single-parent families (16 % of all families) are exposed to the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion. Single-parent families are predominantly composed of single mothers, who face a higher poverty risk than single fathers. The adverse impact of the economic crisis on families placed children at greater risk of poverty or social exclusion than the rest of the population in 23 of the 28 EU Member States in 2014. In the same year, there were 27.4 million children under the age of 18 living at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. Two drivers have played a growing part in the rise of families' difficulties in the EU since the onset of the recession: a cyclical one – the economic crisis and the strain it put on family-supportive policies – and a structural one – the reinforcement of the phenomenon of inherited poverty. Therefore, even if family policies fall within the responsibility of the Member States, the condition of families has become a policy concern for European institutions.