Food & drink

One-fifth of Irish people can't afford to meet friends for a drink

The Eurostat report was compiled by analysing data from EU statistics on income and living conditions. Photo by Johnny Green, PA Wire

NEARLY one-fifth of Irish people cannot afford to meet up with friends for a drink or a meal at least once a week, according to figures.

Europe-wide research, conducted in 2014 by Eurostat, shows that, on average, 13 per cent of people aged 16 and over living in the EU were not able to get together with family and friends for socialising at least once a month because of a lack of money.

This figure in the south stood at 18.4 per cent, with more than a quarter of those in the 16 – 25 bracket reporting the issue.

In other EU countries the situation is more extreme, with around one third of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria’s populations saying they could not afford it.

Figures showed Britain faired better than the Republic as a whole, posting figures just shy of 10 per cent.

The elderly in Romania are particularly affected: in the age group over 65, the share there reaches 43%.

By comparison, just 8.4% of Irish people aged 65 and over could not get together with friends and family for a drink or food because of their financial situation.

The report also said that 12 per cent of people in the Republic 2014 could not afford to take up a leisure activity. This figure was slightly higher in the younger age bracket.

Europe-wide, the average was one in six.

Almost a half of all those surveyed in Romania reported this problem, which is in sharp contrast to countries such as Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden, were these levels were below 5 per cent.

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