Freedom in Balkans – Part 4: Poverty

Article published on Jan. 16, 2009
Article published on Jan. 16, 2009
  Poverty stricken Bosnian Muslims search a garbage dump near their village of Visca. The extreme winter low temperatures force people who live in poverty to resort to desperate measures to scrape a living.

One can dispute which level of economic freedom can increase or decrease common welfare for all population but the fact is that poverty sure limits individuals political and human rights as well use of civil liberties. "Poverty" defined as an economic condition of lacking both money and basic necessities needed to successfully live, such as food, water, education, health care or shelter. The table lists countries by the percentage of the population living below the national poverty line — the poverty line deemed appropriate for a country by its authorities.

While studying poverty in Balkans I have used as source UNDP report accessed on Feb. 3rd 2008 and CIA's The World Factbook, updated on July 24th 2008. From there I have picked Balkan countries and Kosovo province figures and the outcome is here:


National estimates are based on population-weighted subgroup estimates from household surveys. Definitions of the poverty line may vary considerably among nations. Thus, the numbers are not strictly comparable among countries. However one could size up that poverty is serious problem in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Romania and Kosovo province (UNSC 1244 protectorate) when in these countries over 20 % of population is living below national poverty line while the rest of Balkan countries can keep the score under 15 %.