human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

SINKIES: the new generation of poor

Caritas warns of a new youth poverty phenomenon in Europe

A recent survey on youth poverty conducted by Caritas in 17 European countries warns of increasing poverty among Europe’s youth. It also uncovers the appearance of a new social phenomenon, the SINKIES, that has a devastating impact on Europe’s demographics and, hence, its social and economic future. To address this situation, Caritas Europa calls on European governments to urgently implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights to efficiently tackle youth poverty.

Eurostat reports that today 3 out of 10 young people in Europe live in or at risk of poverty. The findings of Caritas’ survey confirm the increasingly precarious situation of Europe’s youth and show the appearance of a new phenomenon that Caritas has coined as SINKIES: Single Income, No Kids. This term refers to young couples without children who are both working-poor and who, with their combined wages, barely earn the equivalent of a single income. As opposed to DINKIES, a term coined in the 1980s to describe couples earning a double income who chose to be childless, SINKIES might actually wish to have children, but simply cannot afford it.

This generation risks to be the first in modern history to be worse off than the previous one. The European Pillar of Social Rights brings a tremendous opportunity to tackle this situation and strengthen the social dimension of Europe.

Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa

Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa, will co-host a press conference on 16 November in Gothenburg, where he will present the latest findings on youth poverty in Europe coming out of the Caritas survey.

This press conference will take place at the Museum of World Culture of Gothenburg from 9:30 to 10:15, with the participation of Mr. Allan Larsson, European Commission’s Special Adviser on the European Pillar of Social Rights, Ms. Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia and Bishop Per Eckerdal from the Swedish Lutheran Church, along with Mr. Jorge Nuño Mayer.

Notes to editors

  • Eurostat stats on youth poverty are available here:
  • For information about the press conference of 16 November in the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, visit this link
  • The findings of the survey from the 17 European countries will be available here:
  • A longer briefing that compiles the results of the survey will be presented during the press conference in Gothenburg and distributed to the attending members of the press. The paper will be available on Caritas Europa’s website later on that day
  • The European report, which is based on the situation in the 17 European countries, will be available in February 2018