Poverty in Moldova

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Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.[1] According to the UN Development Program report, 8.1% of the population was living below the international poverty line of 1.25 US dollars a day in 2000-2007 and 48.5% of the population was living below the national poverty line in 2000-2006.[2] As of 2009, Moldova's Human Poverty Index (HPI) is 5.9%.[3]


There are numerous factors related to poverty in Moldova:

  • Lack of large-scale industrialization.
  • Huge population boom between 1920s until the mid 1980s.
  • Rural over-population led to lower bargaining power of labour.
  • Unproductive agriculture due to small farm size and low foodgrain yields.
  • Subsequent food insecurity.
  • Economic collapse during the transition to market economy.
  • The large share of agriculture sector in the GDP.
  • Trade barriers with neighbouring Ukraine.
  • Errors in social policy.
  • Lack of good educational infrastructure meant it could not bypass traditional industrialization and launch into the knowledge economy revolution like India or Turkey.
  • For the same reason as above, lack of white collar workforce that could seek work in more prosperous countries and send back remittances, as happened in the case of Hungary, Poland, and Estonia.[4]

Rural and urban poverty[edit]

Level of absolute poverty[5]
Residence 2000 2004
Rural 73.9% 31.2%
Small towns 80.7% 34.9%
Large towns 40.0% 6.9%

Child poverty[edit]

Child poverty is one of the most important problems in Moldova. Children living in rural areas have an extremely high risk of poverty especially if the family has three or more children. Children in poor households have a high risk of educational underachievement and a lacking access to the healthcare services.


External links[edit]