Bulgaria: Living expenses are much higher than income

Written by on November 14, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria: Living expenses are much higher than income

A four-member household in Bulgaria, consisting of two adults and two children, needs 2,301 leva (1,176 euro) per month in order to cover its living costs.

Numbers released by the Соnfederation of Indpendent Trade Unions in Sofia show that far too many Bulgarians do not have that kind of income. The numbers, as cited by Bulgarian-language media, take into account consumer prices and living expenses in Bulgaria, in the third quarter of this year.

According to those numbers, the cost of living in Bulgaria is 575 leva (294 euro) per person, in that kind of four-member household. This means each of the parents need to have a gross salary of at least 1,474 leva (753 euro), in order to make ends meet.

The problem is that the official average wage in the third quarter of 2017 was only 1,037 leva (530 euro). That amount is almost 30 percent lower than it would need to be. Three fourths of all Bulgarians, 5.4 million people, live in households the total income of which does not cover the living expenses.

It gets worse: Almost 2.2 million Bulgarians live in households with an income of less than 314 leva (161 euro) per person, which is the official poverty line. Thirty percent of all Bulgarians are in that situation.

Darik Radio quoted Union leader Plamen Dimitrov. He announced that a growing number of Bulgarians, 403,000 of them, are working on minimum wage, which is 460 leva (235 euro) per month.

Things are generally different in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, which is expensive in comparison. Here, that four-member family would need 3003 leva (1535 euro) per month. This means the average monthly living costs per person amount to 750 leva, 30 percent more than in the rest of Bulgaria.

For that reason, the two parents in that model family should bring home a gross salary of 1,924 leva (984) each. Yes, this is a problem too, since in Sofia, the average gross salary is 1,405 leva (718), or 27 percent less than needed, while the living costs are increasing.

All of the above combined means that poverty in Bulgaria, which is the poorest European Union member state, continues to be alarming. A big majority of Bulgarians have less than they need, while almost a third are officially poor.

Minimum Wages in Europe: Bulgaria Hopelessly Behind

Comments

comments

About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com