According to new data from the Portuguese Statistics Office (INE), in 2011 the spending power of Portuguese workers was 77.4% of the average European income; a drop from 2010 when it was 80.3% of the EU average. Within the Eurozone, only Estonia and Slovakia are deemed to be poorer than Portugal.
Using GDP per head in purchasing power parity, Portugal was 22.6% below the European Union average in 2011, in a ranking led by Luxembourg with 271%, followed by the Netherlands with 131%, according to Eurostat.
Overall in the ranking there are eight European countries where, on average, citizens are poorer than in Portugal: Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Romania and, at the bottom, Bulgaria, where each citizen earned, on average, only 46% of the European average.Estonia, Slovakia and Portugal are the three poorest countries within the Eurozone. As in 2010, the UK was 10th in the EU table of living standards in 2011, with GDP per head at 109% of the average.
In November, the European Commission had already anticipated that Portugal’s GDP would continue to ‘stray’ from the averages of the EU-15 – countries which joined the European Union between 1996 and 2004, considered the most developed within the Union.